Background/introduction The use of sex toys is common amongst same sex relations and heterosexuals. Evidence exists that sex toys can be a method of transmission for many sexually transmitted infections (STI). Literature from BASHH and FSRH are explicit in recognising this and it is therefore important that we discuss the importance of safe sex toy use with our patients.
Aim(s)/objectives Our aims were to assess whether clinicians routinely discussed the use of sex toys; if so with whom and whether advice was routinely given post diagnosis of an STI.
Methods A survey was designed and sent to local sexual health clinics. Responses were anonymous, using a web site link. Respondents were asked, amongst other questions, if they routinely discussed sex toy usage with their patients and if so when and with whom; and what advice was given regarding sex toy usage post diagnosis of an STI.
Results Responses were received mostly from consultants and specialist nurses. 25% regularly discussed sex toys largely during safe sex discussions. Respondents felt women who have sex with women and men who have sex with men (94%, 84% respectively) benefitted most from this discussion. 22% discussed possible STI transmission with sex toys; however 88% did not routinely give advice post STI diagnosis.
Discussion/conclusion Results show that despite evidence there is limited discussion regarding safe sex with sex toys in this group of clinicians. This could lead to unawareness amongst our patient population and unnecessary transmission of infection. To improve this, education is to be undertaken via our regional BASHH meeting.
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