Practicing safe sex means that you protect yourself from acquiring sexually transmitted Infections (STIs) or becoming pregnant during sexual intercourse. Sexually Transmitted Infections include Chlamydia, genital warts and Gonorrhea. The symptoms can go undetected and in many cases lead to sore genitals and infertility.
If you are sexually active or thinking of having sex, there are many ways in which you can protect yourself. First, make sure that you do not have casual sex and always use a condom during sexual intercourse, including oral and anal sex. Contraception is also recommended as a safe sex practice for women. This will not prevent against Sexually Transmitted Infections, but will reduce the risk on an unwanted pregnancy.
It is important that you speak to someone around safe sex practices. Health professionals, whether a GP or nurse at a family or sexual health clinic will be able to advice and suggest safe sex practices and methods of contraception to best suit you. Alternatively, speak to a parent, teacher or a trusted adult.
If you think that you have a sexually transmitted infection, make sure that you and your partner are tested and avoid having sex until you are treated and you are clear from infection. It is important to remember that sexually transmitted infections are treatable, as long as they are detected before serious damage occurs. Also, any information you give at clinics is treated with confidentiality and in a non-judgmental way. Do not leave it until it is too late and speak to a trusted adult for support and advice.