Do you think you’re having safe sex? You could be wrong and the risk is just too major to ignore.
It’s not easy to be in a conservative country in the contemporary world. There is still a lot of stigma when it comes to sex and contraceptives which makes a lot of people nervous and difficult to bring it up, but taking care of yourself and your safety one of the most important part when you’re sexually active. Because let’s face it, sure sex is great but unplanned pregnancy and STDs aren’t. So it is necessary for you to be able to talk about it and take care of yourself to avoid both and just be able to have the most passionate, fun time you want to have. Anyway, talking about protection and safe sex is a much better conversation than bringing up and STI or pregnancy when you aren’t ready, right?
So now let’s define safe sex:
Safe sex is sexual activity with another person whilst taking precautions by using methods and tools to protect yourself and your partner from unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and to make sex better.
How to practice safe sex?
It all begins with contraception, which is a barrier method or technique that is deliberately used to protect against STDs and unwanted pregnancy. The effectiveness of contraceptives depends on which type you use and if you use it correctly or not. Hence, you need to follow the instructions given on it or by your doctor and use it correctly to ensure it is as effective as possible.
Let’s get down to the types of Contraceptives:
Physical Barrier: One of the best ways is to create a physical barrier by using condoms, internal condom aka female condom, or dental dams whenever you have oral, vaginal or anal sex. These barriers basically block contact of bodily fluids in to form of semen, vaginal fluids or blood with the other person, and hence protecting you and your partner. Male condoms are 98% effective if perfectly used while 82% for typical use. On the other hand, female condoms are 95% effective if used perfectly and 79% effective for typical use.
Hormonal Contraceptives: These refer to birth control methods that contain synthetic forms of hormones that act on the endocrine system by mimicking the natural occurring hormones and prevent mature eggs from being released. It is 99% accurate when perfectly used and taken on the prescribed schedule and 91% for typical use.
Long-active reversible contraception methods: These are some of the most effective methods of contraception where you don’t have to remember to take or use them. Hence, the effectiveness is same as there is no typical use here which is at more than 99% for all. They are in the form of Intrauterine Device (IUD), Intrauterine System (IUS) and Contraceptive Implant.
Contraceptive patch: It is a simple, affordable, small and sticky patch that is worn or applied on the skin of a woman’s body, which releases hormones that are absorbed from the patch which prevents pregnancy. It does that basically by averting eggs from being released from the ovaries and it averts the sperm to reach the egg by thickening the cervical mucus.
It is to be worn once a week and changed at the same time next week. This is done for three weeks and not on the fourth one in order to allow menstruation. If used perfectly, it is 99% or more effective and 91% during typical use.
Vaginal Ring: It is a small, flexible ring that sits inside your vagina and releases hormones to avoid pregnancy. It usually fits most women even when it comes in one-size. It is more than 99% effective if used perfectly and 91% effective when use typically.
Permanent contraception: Also known as sterilisation, these are methods that prevent pregnancy permanently, but are difficult to reverse, if not completely impossible sometimes. A vasectomy and tubal ligation are the procedures for men and women respectively. The failure of the former is about 1 in 2000 and for the latter is about 1 in 200, for more than 99% effective.
It is important to keep the safety of your partner and yourself first, because the risk otherwise is just too huge to be worth it. So, take steps to make sure that you can live your life according to your preferences and be safe till you are ready to have a child.