Summer Health Advice Guide
We’ve got you covered this summer for all your local sexual health advice and information! #hashSHAG
- Where can I get free condoms?
- Where can I get the Emergency pill?
- Understanding consent
- What should I do if I had unprotected sex?
- How can I avoid getting pregnant?
- How can I avoid getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI)?
“Don’t be silly, wrap your willy!”
Some people say "condoms spoil sex for me" as an excuse not to use condoms, but did you know that there many different types of condoms you can try which can make having safer sex fun and enjoyable:
- Chocolate? Strawberry? Cola? Blueberry? A taste sensation!
- Ribbed? Dotted? Warming? Cooling? Increase the pleasure for you and your partner!
- Longer lasting:
- Something to help you go for longer and delay ejaculation? There’s a condom for that too!
- Small to Large and everything in between – find the one that fits and feels comfortable!
- If you like a thinner condom for that closer feel, it’s just as safe as a thicker condom!
- Allergy friendly:
- Use a latex free condom (not made from latex) and join in on the fun!
Partner won't use condoms? Get some more information here.
You name it, condoms have got you covered!
Condoms act as a barrier method to protect you and your sexual partner from catching a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), so it’s important to use a condom every time you have sex, whether vaginal, anal or oral sex.
All types of condoms are available to buy from a shop or (online from known providers such as Pasante , Durex or Mates), however you can also get some free condoms from Pharmacies, GPs and many young person’s services and youth groups through the ‘Get it On Condom-Card’ scheme.
"Check it… then wrap it"
☐ Is it in date?
☐ Does it have the BSI kitemark or CE mark? (this means it has passed certain tests and is of good quality)
☐ Does it have any holes or punctures?
☐ Is it a new (unopened) condom?
If you have had sex without a condom, or you are worried that your contraception has failed, you can get emergency contraception, often called the emergency pill, morning after pill or EHC.
It’s really easy to get the emergency pill if you need it, or you are worried and want to talk to someone. It’s all confidential and health professionals will not judge you.
You can get the emergency pill from:
- Free from many Pharmacies (pop in or you can contact the Pharmacy first if you'd prefer to check that a Pharmacist is availble)
- Free from your GP Surgery
- Free from a Sexual Health Clinic
How soon after sex can I take emergency contraception?
It is really important that you get emergency contraception as soon as possible following unprotected sex, i.e. without any contraception - as it works best to stop pregnancy the sooner it is taken.
There are three types of emergency contraception.
- Levonelle: A pill taken up to 72 hours (3 days) after having unprotected sex. It is available from most pharmacies, your GP and in sexual health clinics.
- EllaOne: A pill taken 120 hours (5 days) after having unprotected sex. You can get this from your GP or sexual health clinics.
- The coil (A small, flexible contraceptive device that is shaped like the letter T and is inserted into the womb): It can be inserted up to 120 hours (5 days) after unprotected sex but may also be used beyond that timescale in certain circumstances. This is available from our sexual health clinics. This is the most effective type of emergency contraception.
Consent in sex is very important. It means that everyone involved in the sexual activity wants to be involved.
- Even if someone hasn’t said no, that doesn’t mean you should assume that they want to have sex.
- If someone has been drinking alcohol, or taking drugs, they may not be able to consent to sex.
- If someone is asleep or unconscious, they cannot give consent.
It’s always best to ask.
It’s ok to change your mind
If someone had given consent, but during sexual activity has changed their mind, it’s not okay to continue.
The Disrespect Nobody website provides advice, support and more information about consent, rape, abuse and the law.
“If in doubt, check it out”
Sex without using a condom is called unprotected sex, which means that you may be at risk from getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or pregnancy. If you have any worries, you can talk to a Pharmacy, GP, College Nurse or a Sexual Health clinic.
- If you have never had an STI test, and you are worried you have put yourself at risk, you can request a test for Chlamydia online.
- If you are worried about getting pregnant, you can get the emergency contraception pill.
If you are not ready to have a baby, and want to avoid pregnancy, then it’s important to use a condom when you have sex. Condoms act as a barrier method and any sperm and pre-cum is captured inside the condom and will prevent the sperm from entering a woman’s vagina.
Want something that works for longer?
If you are looking for contraception that you can 'fit and forget' about, then there are many different types available which are very effective in preventing pregnancy. Our handy guide covers the what, how, benefits and those worries you may have... it might not be what you think so it's worthy of a closer look.
Going 'Double Dutch'?
Going 'Double Dutch' means using two types of contraception at the same time; the male uses a condom and the female uses another type of contraception, like the coil. This makes sex even safer as condoms will help to prevent you from getting an STI as well as pregnancy, however if using a condom incorrectly then condom can fail but the coil will still help to prevent pregnancy.
Don’t be fooled! MythBuster
Withdrawal before ejaculation – Pre-cum (fluid that comes out of the penis before ejaculation, often to help lubricate the penis) can contain sperm, therefore this is not a reliable method.
You can’t get pregnant first time you have sex - This is not true. You can get pregnant even if it’s your first sexual intercourse.
Using cling film - Many people think that wrapping cling film, or other types of plastic barriers (such as crisp packets) around the penis will work the same as using a condom. This is not true.
Condoms are tested to high standards so that they are safe to use during sex. When choosing condoms, check whether they are marked with British and European safety standard marks. The CE and Kite marks demonstrate that the condoms are safe to use.
Having sex while on a period - Sperm can remain in a woman’s body for five days after sex. Even if you are on your period, your ovulation cycle can still be irregular and which means you could be at increased risk of pregnancy (ovulation is when your body releases egg cells). This is therefore not a reliable method.
Using two condoms - Many people think using two is better than one, but not when it comes to condoms. Two condoms will rub against each other and this can weaken or break the condom.
Condoms – it’s still the number one, but you can make having safer sex fun!
STIs are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital, oral or anal contact. This means you can get an STI even through a blow-job or fingering.
Condoms act as a barrier method to protect you and your sexual partner from catching an STI, so it’s important to use a condom when you have sex.
Chlamydia is still the most common STI in 16 to 24 year olds. A simple test will tell you if you have Chlamydia and, if you do, you can get treated with tablets from a clinic or we can help you find a GP or Pharmacy that can provide treatment.
(Don’t worry, we send it in a plain parcel that fits through your letter box, so no one can tell what it is).
There are other things you can do to help prevent an STI:
- If you are drinking alcohol or taking drugs, you may not remember to use a condom at all or how to use a condom correctly
- Talk to your partner, if neither of you have ever tested, you may want to test before having sex
- If you are having unprotected sex with multiple partners, make sure you get tested regularly.
Teenage Pregnancy Support
Finding out you're pregnant when you're a teenager can be daunting, especially if the pregnancy wasn't planned, but help and support is available.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities
There are several local projects that you can get in touch with which are specifically designed for young people who are exploring their sexuality or who identify as LGBT.
Breakout Youth is a project for young people aged 11 to 21 (up to 25 if additional needs are identified) who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender or unsure of their gender or sexual identity.. Breakout Youth offers confidential one to one support and weekly social groups that meet at safe locations in Hampshire. If you are a young person who needs confidential advice and support, or would like to meet others going through a similar experience then contact staff at Breakout.
What happens when I come in for my appointment at a sexual health clinic?
Our staff are here to make your visit to our services as easy as it can be – you may have lots of questions, such as is the service free, do you need to bring anyone with you, will we tell your parents or guardians?
How do I make an appointment to a sexual health clinic?
You can book an appointment online here or by calling us on 0300 300 2016.
We also offer young people’s drop-in services at some of our clinics. Browse our clinic finder.
Can I talk to someone online?
No Limits offer confidential information, advice and support to young people. You can call, email, drop in and see them or you can talk to them online via online chat.
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