Whether it is your first time or you 100th time having sex, sex should be something you enjoy and can do safely. Sex can often be a scary topic and something you do not want to talk about. However, it is important to understand sex and especially sexual health. Your overall health and wellbeing can affect your sexual health and it is important to know how to have sex safely while looking after your health.
Having safe sex includes many different factors. Protecting yourself against STI’s and pregnancy are part of that. Another part of practicing safe sex is about consenting and feeling comfortable. If you feel like you are having sex under pressure or because you feel like you have too then this is not you feeling sexually ready. You only should have sex when you and your sexual partner both agree.
An important part of having safe sex is using contraception. Contraception can prevent you from any un-wanted pregnancies and catching an STI.
There are 15 types of contraception that are available. To decide on the best one for you go to your GP, local sexual health clinic or discuss it with your partner. Contraception can be for boys and girls but some of the more popular ones are:
- Combined Pill
- Contraceptive implant
- Contraceptive Injection
Using a condom is the safest way of having sex as it can prevent to passing of an STI from one partner to another.
A Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) is a bacterial or viral infection that can be passed through unprotected sex. It does not matter how many times you have had sex or how many partners you have had; anyone can get a STI. Most people do not notice any signs or symptoms when they have an STI. If a STI is left un-treated, it can seriously affect your health and your ability to get pregnant.
Common STI’s are:
- Genital Warts
- Genital Herpes
To prevent getting a STI you need to use a condom or female condom every time you have sex. Even if you are using other methods of contraception, like the pill, to protect against pregnancy, you should use a condom as well. It is important to get yourself tested for STIs even if you think you do not have one. Getting tested is very simple, just visit your local sexual health clinic or GP and they can test you for everything.