Your sexual health is an important part of you overall health! If you are sexually active, you need to be aware of how to stay safe. There are more consequences to unsafe sex than pregnancy.
Condoms are the most effective form of protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex performed on a penis. They are also an effective contraceptive for preventing pregnancy.
You should never feel embarrassed to buy condoms. They come in a wide variety of flavours and shapes. However, it’s important to be able to use condoms correctly in the heat of the moment. A condom is easy to use – once you get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect, so learn how to use one before you need one for real.
Condoms are available in pharmacies, supermarkets and you can even get them in your SU. Remember using contraception should become second nature and a responsibility of both partners.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’S)
Sexual Health is not just about preventing pregnancy. STI’s are on the increase in Ireland – the number has doubled in the last five years. STIs are common and anyone, male or female, can get an STI – including HIV.
Having unprotected sex even ONCE can put you at risk of getting an STI! Even if you are in a faithful relationship for ages, one of you can still have an STI and pass it on. This is because STIs can be dormant (non-active) in your body for a long time before the symptoms appear.
If you have an STI, it’s important that you tell your partner and ex-partners so that they can also get a check-up.
Not everyone will have symptoms if they have a STI, but if you experience the following, go for a check-up immediately:
- An unusual discharge/liquid or smell from your vagina, penis or bum
- Blisters, Boils, lumps, swelling or itching in or around the vagina, penis or bum
- Burning or Painful feeling when you pee
- Pain during Sex
What is Consent?
When having sex, consent is an agreement between both partners that they definitely want to have sex, or do any sexual act. This means that either partner has the right to change their mind at any time.
It’s super important to think about consent and challenge your attitudes towards it. We have a responsibility to look after each other and make sure our partners are comfortable, safe, and fully consenting
Communication is a healthy and vital part of having sex. Not only does it make things sexier and makes sure that everyone is having their needs satisfied, but also it makes sure that both partners are comfortable, safe and consenting.