Healthy sex involves being safe from negative physical consequences. You need to know how to protect yourself and your partner from serious health problems, such as sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs), injury, and unwanted pregnancy. It is important to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest information about disease prevention and birth control.
- Read books, pamphlets and brochures from your local health department or library.
- Check out the information on reputable health education web sites.
- Regularly visit and talk with your health care provider.
- Learn about risks, options, and self-care exams
And then, make wise decisions so that you can do all that is possible to minimize the risk of something negative resulting from your lovemaking.
To test your knowledge of health risks involved in sexual activity, read through the following HealthySex Risks Checklist. This list does not cover all the risks involved in sex.
Everyone should know these facts, DO YOU?
- There is no method of contraception that is 100% effective.
- A woman who does not use any form of birth control has an 85% chance of getting pregnant within one year.
- For birth control methods to be effective, they must be used correctly and consistently.
- Taking medications, such as antibiotics, can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
- When used correctly, condoms (rubbers) can greatly reduce the risk of pregnancy and STDs, such as Herpes, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Hepatitis B, and AIDS.
- About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. currently have an STD/STI, more than half are youth ages 15-25 years old.
- About 50% of all people will get an STD/STI at some point in their lifetime.
- Every year, there are about 20 million new cases of STDs/STIs, some of which are curable.
- STDs can be passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal or oral intercourse.
- Some STDs, such as syphilis and herpes, can be passed through kissing.
- Birth control pills and diaphragms do not protect against STDs.
- Though the likelihood of getting genital warts can be decreased by condom use, contagious warts may exist elsewhere (such as on buttocks, inner thighs, outer lips).
- Dental dams or plastic wrap need to be used in oral sex to prevent the transmission of STDs.
- For additional protection against pregnancy, latex condoms can be used in conjunction with a spermicide. (However, if a person is allergic to spermicide, the resulting irritation can increase the potential for sexually transmitted infection).
- When using a latex condom it is very important that you DO NOT use an oil-based lubricant (such as massage oil, baby oil or Vaseline). Oil can damage the latex very quickly destroying the condom. (Use water-based lubricants, such as Astroglide or K-Y jellie or liquid instead).
- Many people with STDs, such as Gonorrhea, HIV+, Chlamydia, and Herpes, show absolutely NO visible symptoms.
- Medical tests can determine if you or your partner have an STD.
- Some STDs can be easily treated and cured.
- Some STDs may stay in the system causing health problems or requiring medications forever.
- Some STDs, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, can cause sterility in a man or a woman, rendering them unable to ever conceive a child.
- The more sexual partners you have the greater your risk of acquiring an STD.
For more statistics, visit the Center for Disease Control website.