Sex. The word alone sounds scandalous, Why make it so provocative when Sex is a natural and important part of life. Sex creates emotional stability through pleasure and can heighten your ability to express yourself. With this being said, sexual health is a topic we do not talk about enough. Let’s widen our conversation topics and jump into the world of safe sex.
Safe sex and the gist of it.
Understanding safe sex protects you and your partner from sexually transmissible infections/diseases. The goal to keep in mind with practicing safe sex is to avoid the exchange of semen, vaginal fluids, or blood between partner(s). Unsafe sex creates a higher risk of exposing yourself as well as your partner to chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Mycoplasma genitalium, HIV or hepatitis B, etc. These infections/diseases at times do not have symptoms, they do not discriminate against religion, race, gender, etc. Anyone and everyone can be infected and not know it. Getting tested with your partner is always recommended if you thinking of becoming exclusively intimate and exploring outside of “safe sex practices”.
This form of contraception is by far the best available protection against STI’s/STD’s. Generally, the condom acts as a barrier to protect the exchange of semen, vaginal fluids, or blood between partner(s). Condoms are not always the answer yet they are known to be the best form of protection when used correctly.
- A male condom is a thin sheath placed over the erect penis. When left in place during sexual intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex, male condoms are an effective way to protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Male condoms are also an effective way to prevent pregnancy. To be effective, condoms must be used from the start of sex to the very end as STIs can be transmitted via pre-ejaculate, etc.
- The female condom resembles a regular condom made of polyurethane but is designed to fit inside the vagina or anus. The female condom is pre-lubricated and is ‘one size fits all. (Another form of the female condom is a dental dam this is a sheet of latex worn over the female genitals during oral sex.)
Top tips for Safe sex.
- When it comes to going out and meeting new people do not assume someone is carrying a condom. Carry a “just in case” in your wallet, car, or pocket. Is it always a good idea to have one handy and be prepared for safe sex.
- If you or your partner experience a lack of sensitivity when using condoms, try a water-based lubricant on the tip of the condom to enhance the feeling and sensitivity.
- Learn which condom works best for you, it may take some time to find the right one, but it’s well worth using to protect from an STI/STD.
- If you ever catch yourself feeling anxious about buying condoms in the store, Go to your local Planned Parenthood/community health center to obtain free cost, no judgment condoms.
- Please be aware that hormonal contraceptives DO NOT protect against STD/STI infections. They only protect against pregnancy.
- Keep in mind that ANYONE who has sex is at risk of infection.
- Keep an open line of communication with your sexual partner and get tested, getting tested is important for your sexual health.
What if you have Unprotected Sex
- If you have no desire to become pregnant, consider the morning-after pill. (This pill needs to be taken 72hours post-sex and can be pushed to 120 hours at max.)
- See your GYN/Midwife promptly for testing and reassurance against STI/STDs.
Where to learn more about Safe Sex, and how to protect yourself and others.
Schedule an office visit or annual with your midwife here at The Birth Center. Open a line of communication about your sexual health with your Midwife. We are here to educate and support our community in a safe environment.