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One question we often get asked is “Why should I bother using condoms if my partner and I are using contraception?”
Sex education has not succeeded in teaching people the difference between these two types of tools – so tune in as we try to fill in the gaps.
Firstly, what is contraception?
Contraception has one main purpose – to prevent pregnancy.
There are many different kinds of contraception:
• short-acting; the pill, morning after pill, injections, the patch
• long-acting; the rod, IUDs or
• permanent; Sterilization
Some prevent ovulation, some prevent sperm reaching an egg and others prevent fertilized eggs from implanting on the uterine walls. They don’t prevent the exchange of bodily fluids, which means that STIs can still be transmitted while using contraception.
Condoms (and other barriers) work differently. They are a physical barrier that prevents body fluids e.g. semen, vaginal fluid, saliva, blood from entering your body. While barrier methods help to prevent pregnancy, they also prevent STIs by blocking the body fluids that carry infection.
It’s important to remember that there is no one contraceptive method that’s 100% effective, nor one that suits every individual. Barrier methods can be safely used with all contraceptives e.g. using condoms whilst on the pill. So for reliable prevention of pregnancy and STIs use both a barrier and a contraceptive method.
Head over to the YEAH Shop to find a great range of very inexpensive condoms – you can also by in bulk for massive savings.
Think about which combination of contraception and barrier method works best for you and your body.
Have a conversation with your friends and partners about the importance of preventing the spread of STIs. Make sure they’re aware that condoms and other contraceptives can be used together to decrease any risk of unplanned pregnancy and STI transmission.
Practice some condom negotiation techniques to improve your sexual health communication with your partner.