Yes we know. You’ve heard all about them and you’re probably a bit fed up with hearing about them. However, here’s a few things you might not know.
There are lots of sexually transmitted infections out there and some of them you might not even know you have. Also, HIV is on the rise among young people in the West of Scotland and there is still no cure for it. More heterosexual people than gay people are getting HIV, and a lot of those are younger people. If you are having penetrative sex, the only way to be sure of avoiding all these is to use a condom or a femidom, preferably with a water based lubricant to make sure it doesn’t burst. Most condoms fail because people aren’t using them properly or they are using the wrong kind of condom for the kind of sex they are having.
- Contraception is the name for methods that people use so that when they have sex they will not become pregnant eg the pill, the jag, the rod (implant).
- Most forms of contraception only prevent pregnancy and do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
- Most forms of contraception have to be used by women rather than men. This doesn’t mean that guys have no responsibility in protecting against pregnancy.
- In order to choose a method that suits you whether or not you are in a relationship, come to your local Sexual Health and Reproductive Service or one of the services listed here and talk it over with our nurse or doctor. If you are in a relationship you can bring your partner with you.
Here are some of the most useful methods:
These are probably the easiest to use and the safest for you, as they protect against pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and other infections like HIV. They are on offer free at the services listed here. Click here to find out how to use them. Condoms are 98% effective and if used properly will protect you from HIV.
You don’t hear as much about female condoms or femidoms. They are like a small sock made out of polyurethane that fits inside a woman’s vagina during penetrative sex. Like condoms they offer protection against pregnancy, STI’s and HIV. Unlike condoms, you can use oil based lubricants with them because they are much stronger. Some people don’t like to use them because they are a bit awkward to fit and can be a bit noisy. However, like fitting a tampon, it’s a matter of practice and once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy. The main advantage is that it is a method that women can use if guys refuse to wear condoms. This gives them a lot more control and choice over protection against STI’s and HIV. For information on other forms of contraception, go to the Contraception section of this website.