Maintain good sexual health
To understand what good sexual health is
Let's start with why this is important:
- understanding sexual health and knowing your options and rights, keeps you as safe and healthy as possible
- you are in control of your body, your sexual relationships and your sexual health
- if you have an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) that has not been treated you can easily pass it on to others
STIs are infections passed from one person to another by having vaginal, oral, or anal sex. The most effective way to avoid STIs is by using condoms for penetrative sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) and having regular STI tests. Many STI's do NOT have symptoms so get tested every 6-12 months and when you change partners.
Click here for video transcript.
Before you have sex, it is important that there is first consent. Consent is a strong and definite YES from the other person you are having sex with. If there is not a strong, definiete YES then you DO NOT have consent and therefore WILL NOT have sex with them.
What do I do if I have had unsafe sex or the condom breaks or comes off?
If you’ve had sex without using a condom, or if the condom breaks or comes off, don’t panic; there are steps you can take to minimise your risks.
STI tests can easily be performed by nurses and at sexual health clinics.
The emergency contraceptive pill is around 85 per cent successful in preventing unplanned pregnancy when used within 24 hours of having sex, but it can still be used for up to 96 hours (four days) afterwards. Most pharmacies offer the emergency contraceptive pill. To get one, ask to speak to a pharmacist and explain your situation, they will advise you on your next steps.
Contraception is also known as birth control. It’s essential any and every time you have sex with someone of the opposite gender as you, to avoid pregnancy.
There are lots of different types of contraception, including male and female condoms, pills, diaphragms, implants, IUDs and injections. It’s important to note that only condoms offer protection from both unplanned pregnancy and some STIs.
Condoms can be brought in most supermarkets, pharmacies and are available for free at most schools and universities.
Oral contraception such as the pill, IUD's and implants are available from either a pharmacist or your doctor.
Safe sex tips
The following things are particularly important with new sexual partners:
- If you or your sexual partner has a visible infection (sores or a rash), don’t touch or rub the affected area.
- Use protection for vaginal, anal and oral sex. Always check the use-by date, as old condoms can break easily.
- Use a water-based lubricant to reduce the chance of the condom breaking.
- Use a new condom each time you have sex (even if he didn’t ejaculate). Never wash out a condom and use it again.
- Use a dental dam (a thin plastic barrier) for female oral sex.