What is ‘safer sex’?
Safer sex includes all forms of sex that protect you against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Safer sex includes the following:
- Cuddling, stroking and kissing • Massage • Rubbing
- Mutual masturbation • Masturbation
- Vaginal sex with a condom and a water-based gel
- Anal sex with a condom and a water-based gel
- Oral sex with a dam/Lollye (a thin square of latex which fits over the vagina or anus) or a condom covering the penis.
Mixing sexual activity, alcohol and other drugs can be a recipe for disaster. People under the influence are much more likely to make poor decisions regarding sexual behaviour, participate in unsafe activities like unprotected intercourse, and have regrets later.
• 17% of sexually active students reported that the last time they had sex they were drunk or high.
Source: Mitchell, A. Patrick, K. Heywood, W. Blackman, P. & Pitts, M. Secondary Students & Sexual Health 2013. Results of the 5th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health.
Studies have also shown that adolescent females think they are more sexually vulnerable when under the influence of alcohol. Researchers found that boys used alcohol as a means to have sex with girls. Interestingly, both males and females recognised the sexual vulnerability of girls when drinking.
Source: Australian Drug Foundation.
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Contraception means prevention of Pregnancy. There are a number of different methods of contraception and it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs. Male and female condoms are the ONLY contraception that protect against both pregnancy AND STIs. When using condoms, it is also a good idea to use a second form of contraception, such as the Pill. REMEMBER: The withdrawal method (pulling out before the guy ejaculates or comes) is NOT a form of contraception. This method will not protect against pregnancy or STIs.
It is important to consider your options when choosing the right contraceptive for you. Asking yourself the following questions may help:
- Is it easy to use?
- Is it safe?
- How effective is it?
- What are the side effects?
- What are the costs?
- How often does it need to be taken/used?
- How soon after stopping will a woman become pregnant?
Most unintended pregnancies happen within 12 months of starting sexual activity. Often we don’t plan sex however we can plan contraception.
The condom is a thin latex sheath which is placed over an erect penis. It works by trapping the sperm following ejaculation, helping to protect you against both unwanted pregnancy and STIs. If used correctly and consistently, condoms are approximately 98 percent effective.
How do I use a condom?
- Always use a lubricated condom
- Use a water-based one only such as KY Jelly or Wet Stuff. NEVER use an oil-based lubricant, such as Vaseline, as it can weaken the latex and the condom can break.
- Check the use-by date. Never use a condom that’s out of date
- Do not unroll the condom before putting it on the erect penis as you may damage the condom
- Before putting the condom on the penis hold the tip of the condom between the finger and thumb to expel any excess air
- Unroll the condom onto the erect penis before intercourse
- After ejaculation, hold the base of the condom while withdrawing the penis to prevent leakage of semen
- Make sure there is no genital contact after the condom is removed
- Dispose of the condom properly. Do not throw it down the toilet or into the street!
Non-latex condoms are available if you have an allergy to latex.
As long as you take the Pill as instructed, it’s at least 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, although it provides no protection against STIs. The Pill basically tricks your body into thinking that you are pregnant so that you don’t ovulate (release an egg) and/or the cervical mucus (a naturally occurring substance in the vagina) thickens, preventing sperm from reaching the egg.
What happens if I forget to take the Pill?
Depending on the type of pill you are on, if you forget, take it as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the usual time.
If you take the forgotten pill too late, you may not be fully protected, and will have to take extra precautions until you have taken seven of the active pills in a row.
If you have vomiting or diarrhoea the Pill may not be absorbed so the same process would apply. If you have any doubts, always contact your doctor or the Family Planning Welfare of NT (08) 8948 0144.
Sometimes you can have bleeding, or ‘spotting’ between your periods. You may also have mood swings, or gain weight.
Implanon is a small implant that lasts for 3 years. Just four centimetres long and two millimetres wide, it is inserted by a doctor under the skin just above the inside of your elbow.
Implanon contains a hormone, progesterone, which prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation. It also affects the mucus produced by the cervix that prevents the implantation of a fertilised egg. Implanon is 99.9 percent effective against unwanted pregnancy, however, it does not provide protection against STIs.
If you don’t like it or want to fall pregnant, it is a fairly simple procedure to remove it and things return to normal pretty quickly.
Sometimes you can have bleeding or ‘spotting’ between your periods. You may also have mood swings, or gain weight.
If you have unprotected sex, or any condom accidents such as slip-offs and breakages, emergency contraception is readily available from chemists. Emergency contraception is a strong dose of hormones that act to either stop ovulation or stop a fertilised egg sticking to the wall of the uterus. It is most effective if taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex, although it can be used up to 120 hours after intercourse. It is currently available over the counter from chemists, on prescription from a doctor, and it is also available through the Family Planning Welfare Association of NT.
It is important to note that emergency contraception does not safeguard you against STI’s. In addition, emergency contraception should not be used as your main form of contraception. Family Planning Welfare Association of NT Inc can help you find other methods of contraception according to your needs.
Find out about the types of contraception available by visiting FPWNT (08) 8948 0144 or visit website www.fpwnt.com.au.
Other contraception options can be considered if necessary for example Depo Medroxyprogesterone, an advantage being it is undetectable.