In the words of Jay Leno: “For the first time in history sex is more dangerous than the cigarette afterwards.” He raises a good point! So if you are considering getting it on at some stage then pay attention or you might find yourself in STI-land faster than you can say, syphilis.
Sex might be a two way operation but it really calls for each individual to make their own decisions before getting under the covers. No one can tell you what to do; you are the only one that can decide what is right for you. Whatever you decide, stick to your guns and respect the decisions others make too.
If you are having sex, be smart about it, protect yourself. You wouldn’t go out in the rain without a coat so why have sex without protection - and by the sounds of it having a head cold beats having chlamydia.
There are many forms of contraception but like any form of medical intake, everyone is different so just because your friend uses one form it doesn’t mean it will suit you.
There’s a lot of choices out there for you:
Condom, The Pill, The Mini Pill, Diaphragm, Coil, Injectable, Natural, Patch, Female Condom, Implant, Intrauterine System (IUS), Morning After Pill
Information on all can be sought from the medical centre here on campus or on www.thinkcontraception.ie
Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the increase year in year out. Student populations are particularly prone to STI’s.
There are oodles of infections you can get such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Genital Warts, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Pubic Lice (Crabs), Thrush, Trichomonas, Vaginalis - wait, there’s more - Molluscum Contagiosum, Syphilis, Scabies, Hepatitis B, Bacterial Vaginosis, HIV and AIDS , Herpes, Hepatitis A, oh yes, and a whole host of non-specific infections!
We aren’t doctors by any means so if you even think you might have an STI then go to the doctor or to the STI Clinic. The most common signs that you might have an STI are:
- Unusual discharge from penis or vagina
- Pain when peeing
- Unusual sores or blisters in the genital area
- Itching or irritation in the genital area
- Pain during sex
Remember that some STIs show no visible symptoms. You won’t always know if you need a check-up.
If you are sexually active and you or your partner might be having sex with someone else you should plan to have a check up every 6-12 months.
If you’re going to an STI Clinic here’s a heads up on what to expect:
- If you’re a guy - You will be asked not to urinate for at least four hours before your appointment and may have a throat swab, penis swab and anal swab.
- If you’re a girl - You may have a throat swab, vaginal swab and a cervical swab.
Our local STI/GUM Clinic is in the regional hospital. Phone 061-482382 for an appointment. Don’t worry this service is free and 100% confidential.
P.s. Embarrassment is for the embarrassed, not for the person who chooses to be smart about looking after themselves in terms of sexual activity. NEVER be embarrassed about getting checked – EVER!
At the end of the day, you have to look after yourself because no-body else will do it for ya!
Please check out www.yoursexualhealth.ie for a more comprehensive guide to STI’s and their symptoms.