Sex is a wonderful way to show the person you love that you love them both emotionally, and physically. However good sex is, safe sex is always better unless you plan on starting a family. If you are not planning on starting a family there are many ways to protect and prevent pregnancy, however, you must always remember that not all contraceptives protect you from STDs and AIDs. The best way to find the best contraceptive for you is to talk to your health care provider.
For men, the obvious is a condom. Condoms help prevent pregnancy and the risk of getting an STD or AIDS, however, they are not 100% effective, and condoms can break. They can also slip off. Another reason that a condom may not work for you is if you or your partner is allergic to latex. However, polyurethane condoms can be used as an alternative. There are also condoms that women can use. They are pouches that are inserted into the vagina, they are usually about 6 1/2 inches long. Two rings hold the condom in place and they can be inserted minutes or hours before sexual activity. Both types of condoms are sold over the counter. Condoms are for one-time usage, do NOT try and re-use a condom!
For women there are many more ways to prevent pregnancy, however many of them do not protect against STDs and AIDS.
Another form of contraceptive for women is the cervical cap. This is a soft rubber cup, which is fitted by a physician to fit comfortably. Spermicide is placed in the cap before it is inserted, the spermicide kills the sperm, preventing pregnancy. However, this does not prevent STDs or Aids. It works for 48 hours and prevents pregnancy even after multiple acts of sexual intercourse. This cap however should be removed after 48 hours to avoid the risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS). After 48 hours the cap can also cause an unpleasant discharge or vaginal odor.
The sponge is sold over the counter and placed into the vagina. It blocks the cervix and contains spermicide. This again does not protect against STDs and AIDS. The sponge can last up to 30 hours and can be inserted into the vagina hours before having sexual intercourse. There is again a low risk of getting TSS if left in for a time longer than 30 hours.
The coil or IUD. This device is made of plastic and copper and must be inserted by a doctor or nurse. The coil is placed in the womb and can be left there for 3-10 years. They are 98% effective, which is close to the effectiveness of the pill. many women choose to use the coil as a contraceptive especially if they are less likely to take the pill at the same time every day.
The pill, is probably the most common form of contraceptive for women, as well as using a condom. However there are many forms of the pill, and what works for a friend or relative may not work for you. Talk to your health care provider to find the best pill for you.
The “pull out” method, is otherwise known as withdrawal. This is a very common practice, especially among teenagers. However, this is a very carefree way to have sex. The reason the pull-out method does not work is simply because of pre-ejaculation. This is a fluid that leaves the penis during intercourse and has a small amount of sperm in it, this can cause pregnancy and the spread of STDs and/or AIDS. Pre-ejaculation occurs at any time and is not as obvious as the sperm that is ejaculated during an orgasm.