Looking after your sexual health
Having sex with someone can, if you’re not careful, lead to some unintended consequences. You might end up with a sexually transmitted infection (STI), or an unplanned pregnancy. Both of these can have long-term effects, though can generally be avoided if you take certain precautions.
Examples of such precautions include:
- contraceptive pills (only prevents pregnancy)
- contraceptive implant (only prevents pregnancy)
- intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD, IUCD) (only prevents pregnancy)
- alternatives to sex, such as kissing, cuddling or masturbating.
If you have had unprotected sex or the method of contraception didn't work, there are still options if you are worried about getting pregnant. An emergency contraceptive pill can prevent pregnancy, as long as it is taken within 72 hours (3 days) of having sex. These can be bought from a chemist, the Family Planning clinics or your doctor on prescription.
If you’re sexually active, you should also make sure you’re having regular STI checks.
Neither of these should be relied on however, and the best way to avoid anything unexpected happening is by taking precautions and being careful.