Sex sure is fantastic, but it also causes two things: STIs and unplanned pregnancy. But it is within your power to prevent both from taking place, and in the process, sex can be fun, fulfilling and passionate, just the way you’ve always wanted.
In case you’re still not that fond of using condoms during sex, consider this: Statistics from NHS England in 2013 recorded over 4,46,000 new cases of STIs. Chlamydia (208,000) and genital warts (73,000) were the two most common infections. A study by University College London also found that 16.2 per cent of UK pregnancies are unplanned. It’s easy to prevent these problems by having safe sex.
What is safe sex?
Safe sex means having sexual intercourse or close sexual contact with another person after taking adequate precautions to protect both yourself and your partner from unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Safe sex can protect you against HIV, genital warts, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Safe sex prevents the transmission of bodily fluids such as semen, blood and vaginal fluids between partners.
It all starts with contraception
Contraception is a method to prevent pregnancy. Condoms are a good contraceptive device, and they also protect against STIs by creating a physical barrier against the exchange of bodily fluids. There are several types of condoms to suit every person, even those with a latex allergy. So it is not worth your while to make excuses about ‘not finding the right condom’ any more – check out the Durex range of condoms to find the best condom for you and your partner.
Wearing a condom can also be an enjoyable interlude during sex, instead of an interruption. But putting it on correctly is important. Here’s how you do it:
Remove the condom from the pack, taking care not to tear it.
Place the condom over the tip of the erect penis.
Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze excess air out of the condom’s teat.
Roll the condom down to the penis’s base. If it doesn’t roll down, it’s probably inside out. Discard it and try a new one.
After you’re done, hold the condom at the base and withdraw the penis, or else you will spill.
Practice wearing a condom till you’re more confident about it.
Many STIs do not show symptoms right away, so it is important to get yourself checked periodically. Get a check done if you have had unprotected sex with an unknown partner. The testing is necessary to maintain good sexual health and to protect others from infection. The treatment is easy and confidential, and most infections can be cured within medication.
The tests often involve taking a blood and/or urine sample, apart from swabs taken around and inside the genitals. The results often come back quickly, and you can be put on a treatment plan right away.
Practicing safe sex can help keep both you and your partner protected. It can also help you have better sex. Instead of guessing if your sexual partner has an STI, just play it safe and use a condom for sex.