Shuga Down South



Always use a condom

Here's what you need to know...

Having sex is as natural as breathing.The only difference being: having sex should always be a choice, whereas oxygen is a full-blown necessity. Straffing, pomb, Netflix and chill, getting down and dirty; whatever you call it, sex can be good when you’re doing it with the right person. Those are some solid foundations. HOWEVER, for sex to be right you got to keep it safe.

Drawing for a condom and strapping up right has plenty of perks. The worries of HIV, STIs or unwanted pregnancies can be banished from your mind. In the heat of the moment, using a condom may not be the first thing to cross your mind, but thinking twice may be the best decision you ever made.

You can’t tell someone’s status by looking at them. Sure, you may think you have nothing to worry about, but you can never be 100% sure. Wearing a condom can keep those lingering fears away. Even if you have both been tested, as much as we trust the people in our lives, you should never take a risk when it comes to your personal health.

“We’re together. It’s chilled, they wouldn’t be with anyone else”. Maybe; but life has a weird way of surprising you, and when it comes to sex, surprises in the bedroom are cool; surprises in the sexual health clinic are definitely not. Having sex with multiple people means that you’re not only having sex with your partner, but essentially, you’re having sex with all of their romps too.

Condoms are the only way to protect yourself when having sex. PERIOD.

However, contraception is not limited to condoms when thinking about family planning…The world of reproductive health is more advanced than the latest Iphone. IUDs (the coil), the implant, the pill and other forms of female contraception can be a girl’s best friend when it comes to staying baby-free. Babies are hella cute. No one is denying that. However, having a kid should come on your own terms, and when you’re truly ready.

An IUD, also known as the coil, is a small T-shaped device placed in a girl’s uterus. It may SEEM like a scary procedure; in reality, it is anything but. Having one of these magical devices put in place is one of the best ways for girls to look after their reproductive health, and can last between five to ten years! The coil kicks in as soon as you have it fitted. Importantly, it can be removed whenever you want and your baby-making skills are back in action straight away. Oh did you know it can also serve as a form of emergency contraception for up to five days after having unprotected sex? The list goes on…

The implant, on the other hand, is a little matchstick-sized rod in your arm that protects you for 3 years with nothing else to remember. Like the coil, it can come out whenever you’re ready.

The pill can also be used for those wanting to avoid pregnancy. Take one every day and you’re all set. If you do have unprotected sex and are worried about getting pregnant, then taking the morning after pill (emergency contraception) within five days can act as an effective way of preventing pregnancy. HOWEVER, you need to get tested too. Don’t forget, the morning after pill is not a once off – it needs to be taken every time you have unprotected sex, so best to get on a regular contraceptive and free yourself from all of that stress.

Female contraception is great. Yet, it should always be used alongside condoms and not instead. Only condoms (male or female) can prevent the spread of STIs and HIV, so make sure you stay safe fam.

There are loads of ways to stay safe when it comes to sex. One that sometimes gets overlooked though is talking. Let your partner know how important safe sex is to you. If they’re as cool as you think they are, then they’ll get it and it’ll be important to them too. Talking is a good way of establishing how comfortable you both are with what’s going down. There’s no need to dive into sex. Sex is a multi-layered activity. You can have sex without having sex.

If you want more information, check out these useful links below:

- MSI: 'Choose Your Method'

- Condoms dos and don't'

- Get to know your condoms

- 5 forms of non-hormonal contraception

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