Safe Sex

By Hannah Burnett 8S

Why Safe Sex is Important

Safe sex is important because it means unwanted pregnancies do not happen and prevents the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STD's and STI's) such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia, which can cause infertility and possibly be fatal.


Various Contraceptive Methods

Some temporary contraception methods are:

Contraceptive caps and diaphragms

Male and female condoms

Combined pills and progestogen-only pills

Contraceptive implants, injections and patches

Intrauterine devices and systems (IUDs and IUSs)

Vaginal rings


There are a few more a permanent contraception, but I am only going to look at these temporary methods,

Explanation of Each Method

Contraceptive caps and diaphragms

A contraceptive cap is a circular dome made of thin, soft silicone. It is inserted into the vagina before sex and covers the cervix so that sperm cannot get into the womb. You need to use spermicide with it, and the cap needs to be left in place for 6 hours after sex, and then can be removed, washed and re-used. Caps come in different sizes, and must be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse.
Contraceptive diaphragms are very similar to caps, but are a different design. They still need to be left in for 6 hours after intercourse, and can be re-used. They also come in different sizes, so you must be fitted for the correct size by a trained doctor or nurse.

Male and female condoms
Male condoms are probably the most common and well-known forms of contraception. They are made from very thin latex and is worn over the penis to stop a man's semen from coming into contact with the uterus.
Female condoms, are less common and are worn inside vagina to prevent semen from getting to the womb.

Condoms are the only method of contraception that protect against pregnancy and STI's & STD's


Combined pills and progestogen-only pills

Combined pills stop an egg from being released from the ovaries in women. For some pills, it needs to be taken everyday for 21 days, and then not take be taken for 7 days, and in others it needs to be taken everyday. There are different pills with different hormones in them.

Progestogen-only pills thickens the mucus in the cervix which stops sperm reaching an egg. It can also stop ovulation, depending on the pill that's taken. There are two types of pills and two different ways to take them. The three-hour pill must be taken withing three hours of the same time each day, and the 12-hour pill must be taken withing 12 hours of the same time each day. They each have different hormones as well.


Contraceptive implants, injections and patches

Implants are a small (about 40mm) flexible tube that's inserted under the skin of your upper arm. It lasts for 3 years and stops the release of an egg and thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining.

There are two type of injections; one that lasts for 12 weeks and one that lasts for 8 weeks. The injection thickens the mucus in the cervix, thins the womb lining and stops the release of an egg.

Patches are about 5cm x 5cm and deliver hormones into the body through the skin. It contains the same hormones as the combined pill, and works in the same way.


Intrauterine devices and systems (IUD's and IUS's)

IUD's and IUS's are very similar.

IUD's are small T-shaped plastic and copper device that's inserted into the womb by a doctor. It stops the sperm and egg from surviving in the womb or fallopian tubes, and can also prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. They can last for 5 to 10 years, depending on the type.

IUS's is almost identical to an IUD, but is made of only plastic.


Vaginal rings
A vaginal ring is a small, soft plastic ring about 4mm thick and 5.5cm in diameter. It is placed inside the vagina, and left there for 21 days. Then it is removed and another one is inserted 8 days later. The ring releases hormones that prevents ovulation and thins the womb lining so an egg most likely won't implant there.


Reasons Why Contraception is Important

Contraception is important because it means that women do not get unexpectedly pregnant. Furthermore, some of the most common types of contraception (condoms) also protect against STD's and STI's


Information About Types of STI's and How They are Contracted

SDI stands for sexually transmitted infection.


Genital Herpes

Herpes is contracted when a person has unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone who has the disease. There are usually no symptoms or very mild symptoms that go unnoticed or mistaken for another skin condition. When obvious symptoms do occur, there are typically blisters.


Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is contracted when a person has unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone who has the disease. Some men have no symptoms, however common symptoms in men include a burning sensation when urinating, a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis or sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles. Most women don't have any symptoms and even when they do, they are often mild and can be mistaken for something else. Symptoms of rectal infection in both men and women may include discharge, itching, soreness, bleeding, or painful bowel movements. But sometimes infections may cause no symptoms. Infections in the throat may cause a sore throat, but usually cause no symptoms.


Chlamydia

Chlamydia is contracted when a person has unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone who has the disease. Men and women usually don't have any symptoms, but if symptoms are present in women they may include: unusual vaginal discharge, a burning feeling when urinating, pain during sex, bleeding between periods or after sex and lower abdominal pain. If symptoms are present in men they may include: a discharge from the penis, pain when urinating and swollen and sore testes. If left untreated, Chlamydia can cause chronic pain and infertility in women and cause pain and swelling in one or both testicles in men.

Bibliography





  • "Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 27, 2013. viewed Tuesday 8th of September 2013 http://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm