Freedom is coming, but how do we keep STIs at bay?

      Written by: Editors

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      The Summer of Love is just around the corner. We can go on holiday again and meet people at events. After so long in lockdown, here is a timely reminder that there are still other dangers lurking as we reconnect with the world. Not just suspect food and jetlag, but also STIs and issues with contraception. What happens if you don’t use a condom? Or forgot to take your pill? Maybe you have thrown up and are worried that the pill will no longer work. Read on for the answers to these and more crucial questions.

      Did you know that, even with a 12-hour time difference, you can still take the pill at your usual time?

      If you are flying long-haul this summer, you will probably end up in a different time zone. Bear this in mind when taking the pill. Unless you are on the minipill, you can take it at your usual time even when there is a difference from home of up to 12 hours.

      Did you know that the pill doesn’t work after persistent diarrhoea or vomiting?

      On holiday, food you are not used to can give you diarrhoea. Drinking alcohol can make you sick. If this happens several days in a row, be careful: the pill no longer works properly if you have not been able to take it or keep it down for two days or more. If you have had sex in the previous six days, it is advisable to take a morning-after pill. There are also alternative methods which do not pose this risk. For example:

      • the patch;
      • the vaginal ring;
      • contraceptive injections;
      • the coil (IUD);
      • the contraceptive implant.

      Did you know that most contraceptives do not protect you from an STI?

      Most contraceptives protect you only against pregnancy, not STIs. As well as any other method you usually use, it is therefore always a good idea to pack condoms when you are going away. They are the only sure way to properly protect yourself from sexual infections. There are condoms for men and for women. And don’t forget that you can also catch an STI from oral sex. To reduce that risk, use a mouthwash. Open wounds can transmit diseases, so wear medical gloves when giving manual stimulation.

      Did you know that some STIs are more common in certain countries?

      In parts of South America, Asia and Africa, STIs such as chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B and HIV are more common than the rest of the world. Moreover, testing for them is not always widely available in other countries. And the quality of healthcare in general varies widely abroad. You can read full details of all STIs here.

      Did you know that only 21 percent of young people were sexually active during the second lockdown?

      It is an important time in the lives of young people: the experimentation phase. But after a year of lockdowns and social distancing, you may well be out of practice. So with a Summer of Love on the way, it is more important than ever to make sure you stay safe.

      About is the platform which connects consumers, doctors and pharmacies in order to achieve targeted medical treatment. believes in responsible self-management when it comes to easily treatable complaints.

      Sources (undated). Contraception when travelling. Consulted on 20-07-2021 at Anticonceptie op reis – – Online artsconsult zonder wachttijd. (undated). Sex abroad without a condom. Consulted on 20-07-2021 at

      Wikihow (undated). Protecting yourself against STIs. Consulted on 20-07-2021 at Jezelf beschermen tegen soa’s – wikiHow. (undated). The pill and diarrhoea or vomiting. Consulted on 20-07-2021 at De pil en diarree of overgeven – – De anticonceptie apotheek. (undated). Sex education projects. Consulted on 20-07-2021 at Rutgers: Jongeren op weg naar een leuke, sexy én veilige zomer | Rutgers.

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