When you both feel the time is right in your relationship to be having sexual contact, there are important things to think about and plan to keep safe, healthy, free from infection and pregnancy.
How to avoid STIs (sexually transmitted infections):
- The best way to avoid STIs is by using a condom. Most infections are transmitted through body fluid and condoms stop body fluids from entering another person. Condoms should be used when having vaginal or when having anal sex.
- Infections can also be spread through direct skin to skin contact (such as genital warts, herpes, or pubic lice) so it is also important to use protection such as a dental dam during oral sex. Dams can also prevent direct skin contact between genitals.
How to avoid pregnancy:
- As pregnancy is caused when a man ejaculates in a woman, a condom is the most effective way of avoiding pregnancy (with up to 99% effectiveness). Make sure that the condom is on securely so that it doesn’t come off. Make sure the condom is in date so that it is as effective as possible. Make sure there are no visible rips or tears to avoid leaks.
- If you are concerned that a condom has broken, go to see a doctor or pharmacist immediately to discuss your options for emergency contraception (sometimes known as the morning after pill).
- The contraceptive pill is also a method of preventing pregnancy. This alters the hormones in your body that cause your eggs to be released and become fertilised and prevent pregnancy. If this is something you would like to explore, talk to a doctor or visit the sexual health clinic. IMPORTANT: the pill does not protect against STIs so condoms are still necessary.
- Implants and injections are also hormonal methods of contraception. Again, they do not protect against STI.
REMEMBER! WITHDRAWAL IS NOT A METHOD OF CONTRACEPTION. When a penis is erect, even before ejaculation ‘pre-cum’ is released. This contains sperm.
- Other important things to remember:
The age of consent to sex is 16, but you can still see a school nurse, doctor or visit the sexual health clinic for confidential advice and support.
There are lots of other ways to show someone that you love them, it does not have to mean having sex.
Do not let anyone pressure you into having sex if you don’t feel ready.
Sexual health and contraception information and advice in Sandwell
Sandwell Sexual Health Services is based at The Lyng Centre on the third floor, and offers an appointment-only service.
The emergency contraceptive pill (morning after pill)
Various forms of contraception
Testing for sexually transmitted infections
To book please:
Call 0121 612 2323
Family Planning Association (FPA)
FPA sexual health helpline: 0845 122 8690
Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm (closed bank holidays and 3pm – 4pm on Thursdays)
Choosing contraception – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ4k-trE99E
NHS guide https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/