Sexual Health

Healthy Sex - Birth Control

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3 minutes - Article

It’s important to keep yourself protected from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.

By Elder Connie Forbister

There are many different types of contraceptives that can help keep you protected from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancy.

The Pill

There are several different types of birth control pills that prevent unwanted pregnancy. The pill DOES NOT protect against STIs, so you will need to use it in combination with another type of contraceptive that does protect against STIs.

The most common combination is the pill plus a condom when engaging in intercourse. Because there are so many different brands and types of birth control pills to choose from, it is important to talk to a doctor about which type is best for you.

Condoms

There are two types of condoms: condoms for penises, and condoms for vaginas. Condoms for penises simply fit over the penis, with a little air bubble at the time for sperm to collect in once the person ejaculates.

These can be bought in many stores and are often distributed for free at many community centers or shelters. You can also ask your social worker (if you have one) to provide you with condoms or to direct you as to where you can get them.

Vaginal condoms fit inside the vagina, and are not as widely available as penis condoms are. Both types of condoms can protect against STIs and unwanted pregnancy.

Plan B

Emergency contraception, also known as Plan B, is a one-time pill that a person with a vagina can take to prevent unwanted pregnancy in case of accidental unprotected ejaculation from a person with a penis. This is not meant to be used as continuous birth control, and it can cause serious damage to reproductive organs, so it is important to be using contraceptives all the time, every time. Plan B does not protect against STIs.

The above are just a few of the most common forms of contraception available, but it is still a good idea to talk to your doctor about other available types that may be better suited for you and your lifestyle.

(photo credit: unsplash.com)

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