Sex has been shown by research to have a positive effect on your health, from warding off colds to preventing a heart attack.
However, intercourse raises the risk of sexually transmitted infections – or STIs – if unprotected.
With the festive season providing many opportunities for fun and romance, it is important to stay safe.
Using a condom is one of the best ways to protect against STIs, as well as unwanted pregnancy.
Here are four common types of STIs and their symptoms. If you are worried you may have caught something, you should visit a sexual health clinic as soon as possible.
It is one of the most common STIs in the UK, according to the NHS. However, chlamydia is also one of the most worrying, since many people don’t experience symptoms and so do not know they are infected.
In women, symptoms include pain or a burning sensation during urination and vaginal discharge.
Additionally, pain in lower abdomen during sex and bleeding between periods can be signs.
In men, it can also cause pain or a burning sensation when urinating. They may also suffer a white, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis, and pain or tenderness in the testicles.
This type is caused by bacteria and is easily passed on during intercourse.
According to the NHS, not everyone has symptoms, with half of women and ten per cent of men not.
In women, it may cause pain or a burning sensation when urinating, a vaginal discharge and pain in the lower abdomen during or after sex.
Additionally, there may be bleeding during or after sex or between periods, and it may sometimes cause heavy periods.
Men, on the other hand, tend to experience pain or a burning sensation when urinating, a white, yellow or green discharge from the tip of the penis, and pain or tenderness in the testicles.
Also a bacterial infection, syphilis is highly infectious.
The NHS warn that in the early stages it is painless, and may therefore not be as noticeable.
However, sores around the mouth or genital may start to appear, and these can last for up to six weeks.
After a while, sufferers may also experience a rash, flu-like illness or patchy hair loss.
This common infection is triggered by the herpes simplex virus which also causes cold sores.
Sufferers often develop small, painful blisters or sore, according to the NHS.
Additionally, they may experience itching and tingling.