One of the changes that men and women undergo as they reach adolescence is that being in charge of their own sexual and reproductive health becomes a responsibility.
For many years, however, much of this has been delegated to women, who are the ones who would have to assume the most immediate consequences of an eventual pregnancy. Knowing the body and its care, being prepared for the beginning of a sexual life turns into a responsibility, as well as the prevention of diseases and pregnancies.
While it is true that no one wants to suffer from a sexually transmissible disease or infection, the greatest concern of those who become sexually active is usually the prevention of getting pregnant.
Having knowledge of sexuality and what is related to its care and the limits that should be set to have a healthy relationship, make the difference to have a fulfilling sex life.
Sexually transmissible diseases (STD)
Sexually transmissible diseases (STDs) or sexually transmissible infections (STIs) are transmitted from the exchange of fluids resulting from sexual contact. Most of them do not pose a major risk and can be cured with treatment. However, they can have serious implications if left untreated.
Many people are exposed to suffer from this type of disease, especially young people between 15 and 24 years of age, and although many people feel ashamed or guilty about suffering these infections, they are comparable to other infections that can be treatable and, most importantly, can be prevented. Learn more about how to better take care of your sexual and reproductive health.
The only method of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases or infections that is 100% safe is to avoid any type of sexual contact, whether vaginal, anal or oral. However, there are other alternatives on the market that reduce the probability of contracting them, the most effective being barrier protection methods.
Learn about the different prevention methods and how they can help you protect your sexual health.
- Methods of barrier protection. Refers to condoms or which prevent direct contact between bodies and fluids, thus preventing transmission or pregnancy. There are both male and female condoms.
The other preventive methods prevent pregnancy from occurring. The most common are:
- Birth control pills. It is a hormone medication, taken once a day, and is effective if taken consistently on time.
- Hormonal subcutaneous implant. It is a thin, flexible implant that is placed under the skin and lasts for three years.
- Injection of progestin. This injection contains a hormone that prevents the eggs from being released and it is administered every three months.
- Transdermal patch. The patch contains hormones that are absorbed through the skin and prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. You wear a patch once a week for three weeks and during the fourth week you don’t wear it to allow menstrual bleeding occur.
- Contraceptive vaginal ring. Preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs, the ring is placed in the vagina for three weeks and removed for a week.
- IUD. It is a device that is placed inside the uterus during a medical consultation. Its effective term is five years.
Other than protecting against unintended pregnancy, some hormonal-based contraceptive methods such as the pill, the patch, the ring, the injection, and the implant or the IUD can bring benefits to sexual and reproductive health such as: reducing menstrual cramps, making your period lighter, and regularizing the period.
You may also be interested in: Why should there be mutual consent in a sexual encounter?
There are many myths surrounding the use of condoms and the way people may feel when they use them. Nevertheless, it is always important to keep in mind that this is one of the most effective methods for the prevention of STDs and pregnancies.
Natural methods such as having sex according to the fertile days of the menstrual cycle or temperature control are not very reliable, and the same applies to practices such as using a condom when ejaculation is about to occur, since pre-seminal fluid also poses a risk. Avoid taking any risks!
In the #YoDigoNoMas Movement we provide sex and sexually transmissible disease or infection preventive methods education for you to learn how to care for your sexual health and have the tools to identify if you or someone in your environment is being sexually abused and how to prevent this scourge. Learn more about the Movement and join our cause.