Seven out of ten single women regularly practice unprotected sex, a UK report revealed this week.
The study found that a large percentage of women aged 18 to 40 were most at risk of STI infection, since they admitted to routinely practicing sex without protection.
Research found that the average single woman has had unprotected sex 11 times with a total of four different men. Thirty per cent admitted to getting ‘swept away in the moment’ and forgetting to use condoms, according to figures.
Almost 20 per cent of single girls said they are often too drunk to use contraception, and 8 per cent said they “just don’t like using condoms”.
While on vacation…
The majority of sexual encounters occur with strangers when women are on holiday, according to Dr Tony Steele, co-founder of online doctor and pharmacy, which carried out a survey of 2,000 women’s attitudes to sex.
“Unsafe sex on holiday is a major concern, particularly where women plan ahead to have sex with new partners without using condoms.
“They may know almost nothing about the men they meet, and having sex without contraception is a sure-fire way to increase the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection,” Dr Steele says.
Let’s talk about safe sex
Despite being older and wiser, one in ten women over the age of thirty still feels embarrassed to bring up the subject of protection with a new partner.
The report also found women aged between 30 and 40 were the most likely to have contracted a sexually transmitted infection, followed by those in the 18 to 29 age group.
Contrary to fertility statistics, women 40 years and over were twice as likely to have an unwanted pregnancy as those in the 18 to 29 age group.
Therefore those in the 30 to 40 age group were most likely to have taken the morning-after pill.
It also emerged that 16 per cent of the over-30s say the importance of taking contraception has become less of a priority with age.
Who needs to take responsibility?
Alarmingly its older women who need to be reminded about the the safe sex message. The report found one in five 30 to 40-year-old women admitted to having unsafe sex in the last three months, compared to one in seven women in their teens and twenties.
Nearly a third of women in their thirties say the younger generation has grown up in a world where sex education and STIs are openly discussed.
All age groups were in agreement that contraception should be equally shared between both men and women, which is perhaps surprising as it is women who often end up bearing the consequences of a pregnancy.
“The issue of contraception should be dealt with by both parties, but women need to protect themselves, even when men are not playing their part,” Dr Steele said.
“The consequences of not using contraception for both unwanted pregnancy and for STI’s can be huge.”
Five facts about sex health
- Not all STIs have symptoms. The majority of chlamydia cases have no symptoms at all.
- Reduce your risk of contracting STD by practicing sex with condoms, especially if you have multiple partners.
- Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Australia.
- If you spot symptoms such as genital blisters, lumps and sores, itchiness, pain during sex, pain passing urine and unusual discharge, see your doctor immediately.
- A full health check is advised for you and your partner if you are beginning a new sexual relationship.