Image credit: iStock/matt_benoit Image credit: iStock/matt_benoit

People still aren't talking about protection and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with their partners, it has emerged. A survey performed by Superdrug Online Doctor has revealed that many people are not having these conversations and also are not using condoms when having sex.

The survey of 1,000 people in the US and another 1,000 Europeans has found that over half of people have unprotected sex (Europe 55.1 per cent, US 65.5 per cent). Of these, many in both Europe (18.2 per cent) and the US (29.1 per cent) go without protection every single time they have sex.

Women seemed to be the biggest culprits, with 36.8 per cent of those who gave this answer in the US and 20 per cent of those in Europe being female. Going without protection when having sex even once can put you at risk of catching or transmitting STIs.

With the study showing that more Americans engage in sex without a condom than those in Europe, Superdrug Online Doctor suggests that this could be due to recent studies that show circumcision can reduce the risk of specific STIs. As many men in the US are circumcised, they could be assuming that they don't need to wear condoms.

As well as being at risk of STIs, unprotected sex also increases the chances of unplanned pregnancy. Certain study participants admitted that they would be "devastated" if their partner got pregnant and yet one in five still went unprotected every time they had sex.

On top of this, 15.2 per cent of people who said they weren't yet ready for children had unprotected sex almost every time, with another 12.7 per cent sometimes not using a condom.

Perhaps more worrying is the fact that 68.4 per cent of people said they never ask their partner to get tested for STIs before sleeping with them, meaning that hundreds of survey respondents are at risk of catching STIs. Many could also be infected already, meaning they are passing the STI on.

In order to stay safe from STIs and unplanned pregnancy, you should ensure you are using condoms 100 per cent of the time. Even though a partner may be on another form of contraception, this does not protect against STIs, so it is better to be safe than sorry.