General Advice

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Tips for a healthy & happy sex life

Having a happy sex life should always start with good sexual health. The first step is making sure you always have protected sex when you’re aren’t sure of your partner’s STI status.


Sexually transmitted infections can be spread via vaginal, anal or oral sex, or even intimate skin-to-skin contact.

Having protected sex means that you:

  • Use male or female condoms for penetrative sex
  • Use condoms or dental dams for oral sex

Male condoms go over the penis, while female condoms go inside the vagina. Dental dams are squares of thin, soft plastic that are designed to cover the genitals or anus during oral sex.

To use condoms safely you should:

  • Make sure they haven’t expired or been damaged
  • Use only one condom – doubling up can cause friction and breakages
  • Use water-based lubricants as oil-based lubricants can cause breakages

If you use sex toys you should make sure that you wash them or cover them with a fresh condom between uses.

STI symptoms

You should avoid sex if you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or your sexual partner:

  • Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Unusual bleeding from the vagina
  • Pain when urinating
  • Growths, sores or blisters around the genitals or anus
  • Itching around the genitals

Because certain STIs, such as genital herpes, are spread by skin-to-skin contact, using condoms is not always sufficient to stay protected. If you see any blisters or growths on your partner’s skin you should avoid contact.


If you’re not concerned about STIs (e.g. you’re in a long-term relationship) you might want to have sex without a condom. To avoid pregnancy, you should look into using contraception such as the combined pill, or having an IUD inserted.

In emergency situations after unprotected sex you can visit a pharmacy, GP surgery or sexual health/contraception clinic for emergency contraception such as the morning after pill.

Enjoying a happy sex life

Having a good time in the bedroom is all about feeling happy, safe and secure. Tips for a good sex life include communicating with your partner about fantasies and desires, using lubricants and sex toys, and trying to relax and take your time.

If you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction, for example you’re having trouble getting an erection, you can book an appointment with Doctor Care Anywhere to discuss treatment options.

Content reviewed by Jemma Shafier, a Doctor Care Anywhere GP