SEX CAN BE GREAT FUN, BUT REMEMBER TO PROTECT YOURSELF BOTH PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY
Just because it’s on offer, doesn’t mean you have to do it, and keep yourself protected. However clean they seem, you never know where they have been!
There are 15 different methods of contraception that you can get for free from loads of places. Choosing contraception that’s right for you is important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
The various methods may prevent pregnancy, but they don’t all protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so play safe.
Condoms are a barrier method of contraception and help to protect against STIs AND pregnancy, so whatever contraception you use to prevent pregnancy, use condoms as well to protect you and your partner from the nasty STIs out there.
Before using a condom make sure of the following things:
- It is in date
- It has the CE quality mark*
- That the packaging is intact.
*Always use condoms that have the CE mark on the packet. This means that they’ve been tested to the high European safety standards. Condoms that don’t have the CE mark won’t meet these standards and may let you down! It would be a real pain to do the right thing by using a condom and then have it let you down because you didn’t check it!
WHERE TO GET IT (contraception, not sex, obviously)
You can get contraception free from:
- Most GP surgeries
- Community contraceptive clinics
- Some genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics
- Sexual health clinics (these offer contraceptive and STI testing services)
Most of these places also offer information, testing and treatment for STIs. If you have had sex without using a barrier method you are at risk of having an STI.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STI)
If you suspect that you have an STI, don’t panic. You simply need to get tested, and then treatment can be given if it’s needed.
Many people with STIs don’t get symptoms, so it’s worth getting tested, even if you feel healthy.
If you have ever had intimate sexual contact with someone there is a risk of getting an STI. Whether it be oral, vaginal or anal, STIs have a nasty habit of finding ways to spread, so get checked and cover up, even if there isn’t any penetration.
Many STIs can be cured with antibiotics. Some, such as HIV, have no cure but can be treated to prevent them getting worse.
IF YOU HAVE HAD SEXUAL CONTACT WITHOUT PROTECTION – GET CHECKED!
Its quick, easy and painless. If you need more convincing, just Google image ‘STIs’.
Some people don’t get symptoms, so can be unknowingly spreading STIs. It’s a fast way to lose friends and get a reputation! Some STI’s leave lasting damage if not treated. Some affect fertility, some can cause impotence and some make it burn when you pee!
For information on symptoms to look out for, the nasty things STIs can do to your body and where to get tested go to this handy NHS symptoms checker.
SEX CAN BE FUN! JUST BE SAFE!
Last updated 08/06/16
Information correct at the time of publishing