Sexual Health and Family Planning


Safer sex is a way of reducing the chance of getting or passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

There are a number of different STIs including:

    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhoea
    • HIV
    • Syphilis
    • Herpes
    • Hepatitis A, B, and C
    • Warts (human papilloma virus/HPV)

The risks of getting one of these STIs will be different depending on who you have sex with and the type of sex you have.

Read more on sexually transmitted infections

Types of safer sex

There are a number of ways you can have safer sex and reduce your risks of STIs:

          • Using condoms for penetrative sex
          • Having non-penetrative sex (such as mutual masturbation)
          • Reducing the number of different sexual partners you have
          • Getting tested for STIs with new sexual partners and agreeing to only have sex with each other
          • Getting vaccinations for STIs like Hepatitis B or the human papilloma virus HPV.
          • Taking Prep to protect you from HIV (particularly if you are at high risk of HIV).

Talk to your GP or your local sexual health clinic for more information.


Contraception can prevent pregnancy when used correctly. Some people with thalassaemia can develop fertility problems due to iron overload but you should not assume that will always be the case. If you are not trying to have a baby, please consider your options.

There are many different types of contraception available. Some types of contraception may be more suitable for you than others,  so getting advice about your options is important.

You can discuss contraception with your GP or practice nurse, local family planning clinic or haematology team if you feel this right for you.

Read more about contraception

Family Planning and Reproductive Health

If you are planning to have a baby, please let your haematology team know. The are several steps you need to take before conceiving like stopping some iron chelators etc, that requires specialist advice and referrals.

Here are some resources that may be helpful:

Obstetric care It is important that you receive the best care during your pregnancy as early as possible. You and your baby will be followed-up and regularly monitored in the joint obstetric/haematology clinic. Women with a history of cardiac complications and iron overload are at particular risk. If you plan to become pregnant we recommend that you are seen for assessment by a consultant cardiologist before conception. You may need to see other specialists before conceiving to prepare you for pregnancy.