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The World Cup Can Damage Your Sexual Health PDF Print Email
Anyone drinking more than usual during the World Cup could well be taking a risk with their sexual health. According to a survey of more than 2000 adults in the UK commissioned by The Family Planning Association (FPA) alcohol plays an increasing role in risky sexual behaviour. Amongst the Key findings were: • 32% of respondents have taken part in a sexual activity with someone and then regretted it later. Just over half (51%) of these people who drink alcohol said it had an impact. • 31% of respondents said they had sexual intercourse with someone new without using a condom (when not intending to become pregnant). Of those who drink alcohol, 41% said it had an impact. • Just under a quarter of all respondents (24%) said they had taken part in a sexual activity with someone they wouldn't normally find attractive. Of these who drink alcohol, more than half (53%) said it had played a part. FPA commissioned the YouGov survey as part of its Play safe World Cup campaign, with sexual health safety advice for football fans enjoying the tournament both at home and away in Brazil. Policy Manager Harry Walker said: “We know people don't set out to take risks. But even with the best intentions, drinking alcohol can reduce the chance of you using a condom if you have sex with someone new, and it can impair sexual decision-making. “With pubs staying open later and so many supermarket alcohol deals to tempt football fans during the tournament, there will no doubt be a knock-on effect on the sorts of risks people take with their sexual health. “We were concerned to see that 6% of people in our survey said they were unable to remember whether or not they had sexual intercourse, or what sexual activity had taken place the day after. Of these people who drink alcohol, 68% said it had an impact. “And 6% of our respondents said having sexual intercourse without using a condom had resulted in a sexually transmitted infection – in a third of cases amongst those that drink alcohol (33%), it had an impact. These results are very worrying.” Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming majority of people in the survey said they agreed that drinking alcohol reduces people's inhibitions about having sex (89%), and that people tend to think less about the risk of sexually transmitted infections when they take part in sexual activity after drinking alcohol (90%). “Whether you are watching the games down the pub or at home with friends, or even in the terraces in Brazil, if you are drinking alcohol know your limits,” Harry added. “While it's easy to get carried away with World Cup fever, the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections may well be a sobering thought.” Anyone concerned they may have taken a risk can find their local sexual health clinic using FPA's find a clinic tool. FPA has lots of information and advice about contraception and STIs at www.fpa.org.uk Your local pharmacy is also a good, easily accessible place you can get advice from. Many offer sexually transmitted diseases testing in a private consultation and they all stock a good range of condoms.