Study finds an increase in STIs could be linked to misuse of condoms

Study finds an increase in STIs could be linked to misuse of condoms

Latest figures from the Terrence Higgins Trust show that there has been a 24% increase in sexually transmitted infections throughout England, resulting in more than 392,000 cases in the past year.

The same research revealed a 50% increase in gonorrhoea, a 24% increase in chlamydia, and a 15% increase in syphilis since 2021.

In addition, there has been a 26% increase in sexual health diagnoses in people aged 15 to 24 since 2021.

And while there has been an 8% increase in the number of consultations at sexual health services since 2021, research found that half of all appointment requests are denied.

What’s driving these figures up?

Experts have warned that a contributing factor to these statistics is the improper use of condoms.

Offering guidance on this matter, individuals are being urged to ensure that they:

  • wear the right size of condom
  • never use condoms past their expiry date
  • never reuse a condom
  • ensure the condom isn’t inside-out
  • use a water-based lubrication, not an oil-based one
  • ensure the condom isn’t damaged whilst removing the packaging

The best way to protect yourself from STIs is to always use a condom during intercourse, and ensure you follow the best-practice advice given above. You can get free condoms at your local sexual health clinic and, if you’re under 25, you can also get them for free online.

Regular testing for STIs is also essential to maintain good sexual health if having sex with new or casual partners, even if you are not showing any symptoms.

Why you should prioritise regular STI testing

The truth is, many STIs don’t always present symptoms, meaning individuals can remain infected for many years without knowing. If left untreated, the risk of spreading these infections increases and they may also cause complications including during pregnancy. The good news is that some of the most common STIs can be treated effectively with antibiotics.

It’s recommended that you test for STIs if:

  • you or your partner have any unusual symptoms
  • you’ve had unprotected sex with a new partner
  • you have another STI
  • a sexual partner tells you they have an STI

If your results show that an infection has been detected, you must contact your GP or local sexual health clinic as soon as possible for confirmatory testing, further guidance, and treatment options.

You should also abstain from sexual contact to avoid passing the infection(s) on to other people and contact any sexual partners to inform them of the result.

If you are experiencing symptoms that are causing you severe pain or discomfort, or that require a face-to-face examination, we advise you to contact your GP or local sexual health clinic as soon as possible.

It’s easy to order an STI test online including a 7-panel test for just £95 which detects Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma Genitalium, Mycoplasma Hominis, Trichomoniasis, Ureaplasma Parvum (UTI) and Ureaplasma Urealyticum (UTI).

We also have a range of other STI testing kits including tests for Herpes, HIV and Syphilis.

Simply order your test and we will ship your kit out to you in discreet, plain packaging. The kit will contain everything you need to collect your samples and return them to our expert UK laboratory for analysis. Results will be emailed to you within 2 working days.

For confidential advice on which is the right test for you, contact our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email

Please note you must be at least 16 years of age to purchase a home STI test kit from AlphaBiolabs.

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Explore our full range of home STI tests, from just £29.