Take condoms with you from the UK as condoms bought in some countries will not be manufactured to as high a standard and are more likely to split or break.
Condoms are freely available to pack in your case and take with you. Come along to a sexual health clinic and pick some up. And if you have sex whilst on holiday don’t leave them in your case…..use them!
Remember to change condom between different sexual activities (oral, vaginal and/or anal sex) and if you use extra lube this should be water based and can improve safety.
Contraception – see your GP or sexual health clinic well in advance so that contraception can be started. If you are considering the contraceptive pill and you are due to have a period whilst on holiday discuss this with your doctor or nurse as it is possible to continue your pills and avoid your bleed.
The mix of sun and alcohol and availability of others ‘up for it’ can lead people into risky situations. Think ahead and have a plan. Stay with friends in groups, know what is in your drink, and think SAFE SEX.
When you get home
If you have been on holiday and taken risks, don’t panic. Call your nearest sexual health clinic as soon as you can and talk it over with someone so that any tests and/or treatment can be done at the optimum time.
Emergency contraception – this is available in the UK to take up to five days after you have been at risk of pregnancy. Emergency contraception is available to buy over the counter (without a prescription) for up to 72 hours after sex in some European countries including the UK, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Greece and Portugal.
PEP (post exposure prophylaxis) – this is available in the UK for up to three days post exposure (to HIV). Outside of the UK, some of the places you can go to seek treatment include the local doctor’s office, emergency rooms, urgent care clinics, or a local HIV clinic.
Consider this if you have sex in or with someone from a country of higher risk; following sexual assault or rape; following uprotected receptive anal or vaginal sex with someone you don’t know. If in doubt seek advice.