Both men and women need to look after their sexual health and take time to understand the issues that surround contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For instance there are some STIs, like chlamydia, that you could be carrying without having any symptoms. This infection can affect fertility, so it's important to make use of the sexual health services available for free on the NHS.
Sex & Young People
A comprehensive guide to the questions you may have about sex from the NHS
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Issues, symptoms and treatments
Sexual Health FAQs
Expert answers from a qualified Doctor
Here you'll find tips for a fulfilling sex life plus advice on STDs, contraception and common sex problems.
FPA - The Sexual Health Charity
Sexual health advice and information on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy choices, abortion and planning a pregnancy.
There are so many different types of contraception available that you should be able to find the right method. You may have to try several different things before you choose the one you like most.
A Family Planning specialist writes about the different types of contraception, the benefits and pitfalls and how effective they are
Contraception - NHS Choices
Information on Contraception from NHS Choices including why, when and how it should be used and with links to other useful resources.
This factsheet is for women who are taking hormonal contraceptives, or who would like information about them.
Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection among under-25s. Often there are no symptoms, but testing and treatment are simple.
Causes and risk factors Chlamydia is usually passed from one person to another during vaginal, oral or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys. It can live inside cells of the cervix, urethra, rectum and sometimes in the throat and eyes.
NHS Choices - focus on Chlamydia
Information, videos and advice from the NHS website
This factsheet is for people who have chlamydia, or who would like information about it.
Chlamydia Screening Programme
This programme is an opportunistic screening programme for men and women between the ages of 15-24. Tests and treatments are free to patients. This is a confidential service and you can choose to receive your results via text, telephone call, letter or e-mail. Please ask your GP, practice nurse or at reception for a kit.
Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12-13 against human papilloma virus (HPV). There is also a three-year catch up campaign that will offer the HPV vaccine (also known as the cervical cancer jab) to 13-18 year old girls.
The programme is delivered largely through secondary schools, and consists of three injections that are given over a six-month period. In the UK, more than 1.4 million doses have been given since the vaccination programme started.
What is Human papilloma virus (HPV)?
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.
How you get HPV?
Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.
How HPV can cause cervical cancer?
Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.
The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.
Cancer Research UK
HPV Facts and information
NHS Choices - HPV Vaccination
Why, how and when is the vaccination given and what are the side effects
This factsheet is for people who would like information about the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.
Smoking, advice and helping you quit
The NHS have produced "Smokefree", a dedicated service to inform everyone of the dangers of smoking, the benefits to giving up and how they can help you kick the habit.
QUIT is the independent charity whose aim is to save lives by helping smokers to stop. Smokers wanting to QUIT should call 0800 00 22 00 or email email@example.com for free, individual, same-day advice from trained counsellors
This tool gives you daily messages, and keeps track of how much you're saving and how many days it's been since your last cigarette. Great motivators for staying smokefree.
Eating Well & Exercise - helping you maintain a healthy body
We're bombarded with scare stories about weight, from size zero to the obesity 'epidemic'. But a healthy body is determined by different factors for each of us.
Eating Well on a Budget
NHS - Good Food Guide
Information on a healthy diet and ways to make it work for you
BBC Healthy Living - Nutrition
A good diet is central to overall good health, but which are the best foods to include in your meals, and which ones are best avoided? This section looks at the facts, to help you make realistic, informed choices