One of the first rules of good sexual health is to protect yourself with contraception, especially when you have a new partner. Here we take a look at some of the different options available on the NHS.
Multiple types available
Most people only know of a few types of contraception, but there are actually over a dozen available! These include condoms, which are the most commonly known; caps; diaphragms; contraceptive pills and patches; IUDs; and vaginal rings. The really important thing to know is that only condoms provide protection against STIs.
Many studies have been carried out that show the male condom is the most effective at preventing STIs when used correctly. It may also be that the female condom provides protection against some STIs; however, fewer studies have been conducted, as these products are less common.
Easy to obtain
The good news is that condoms are very easy to buy and quick to use. You can obtain them on the NHS from family planning clinics or your doctor, and there is plenty of information available at the same time for young people on safe sex and STI or pregnancy prevention. It is well worth reading up and making sure you are an expert on your own sexual health.
Get checked out!
If you feel that you may have an STI, it is vital to get checked out quickly. Common infections such as chlamydia are very easy to transmit, but also very easy to treat with a course of antibiotics. You can even test yourself with STI testing kits in London as part of the checkurself sexual health campaign. It is important to get diagnosed and treated quickly, as STIs that are not diagnosed can lead to problems over time. It is also important that you let your partner know if you have an STI so that they can be treated. There are different ways of doing this; for example, many clinics will make contact for you if you prefer.
Better to be safe!
Remember that it is easy to practice safe sex if you are prepared and have contraception to hand. Carry a condom around somewhere discreet and have the safe sex conversation with your partner before you get into bed together!