Health and Relationships

Safer sex

When you decide to have sex, there's the possibility of pregnancy and/or catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Whoever you're thinking of having sex with, it's important to talk about contraception and condoms before you have sex. Both of you have a responsibility to have this conversation.

Condoms

You need to use condoms to reduce the risk of catching an STI, whoever you are having sex with. If you're a boy/girl couple, you need to use an additional form of contraception to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

Contraception

There are 15 different kinds of contraception, including the implant, injection and the Pill. Most kinds of contraception are used by girls, but both of you have a responsibility to consider which you will use. A pregnancy will affect both of you. Find out about the different types of contraception available.

How do I bring up the subject?

Starting a conversation about the different types of contraception could be a good way to start talking about other issues to do with sex, such as how you feel about it and what you do and don't want to do. You could try saying, "I found out that there are 15 different types of contraception...If we were to have sex, which one should we use?"

And researching the options together will help both of you feel more confident and in control of the situation.

Do your research to find out which type of contraception is the best for you, but always remember to use a condom as well, to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infection.

You can get free and confidential advice about sex and contraception at a number of places. Visit the pages under the Sexual Health section of this website to find details of clinics you can visit. Alternatively, you can call the Sexwise helpline for free on 0800 567123 to talk to someone about your options.

Alcohol or drugs won't help

Many people have sex or lose their virginity when they're drunk. After a few drinks, you're more likely to lose your judgement, and you may do things that you wouldn't do normally. You may regret your actions in the morning, and you won't be able to undo what you've done.

People are more likely to have sex without a condom when they're drunk, and this can lead to an STI or unintended pregnancy.

Visit the alcohol and sex page to find out more about keeping safe.

You'll find more useful info in the Sexual Health section

Source: NHS Choices

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