According to a Statistics Canada study, 3/10 young adults did not use a condom the last time they had sex. Having sex without a condom increases your risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS. After years of decline, STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis are on the rise. Not all STIs will have symptoms, so getting tested and protecting yourself is key to keeping you safe. Learning about sexual health will help you make informed choices and protect yourself.
Talk with your partners before engaging in sexual activity, and consider the importance of informed consent to prevent sexual assault.
Keep in mind ways to protect yourself, such as the following:
- Condoms are the only form of barrier birth control that help protect you from STIs by preventing the transfer of bodily fluids between sexual partners.
- Even if you are using another birth control method, no method is 100% effective, so using condoms as well will help increase your protection against STIs and pregnancy.
- Non-latex condoms are available if you have a latex allergy.
- Condoms are relatively disposable, inexpensive, effective, hormone free and available without a prescription.
- There are condoms available in many sizes, textures and even colour, as well as for men and women.
- Condoms can be easily acquired from pharmacies, grocery stores, Health Services, and even many washrooms. Learn about how to put on a condom at the Government of Canada Public Health website.
You can get tested for STIs and access birth control at Health Services. Call us at 519-888-4096 to make an appointment. Because STIs often have no symptoms, routine testing is an important part of taking care of ourselves. If you find out you have an STI, it is important to inform any current or previous partners to prevent further spread of STIs or complications.