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Safe Sex

If you decide to have sex with your partner, it’s important to practice safe sex. This means always using barriers such as condoms during sex, because when you exchange bodily fluids (such as semen or vaginal fluids) with your partner there’s a risk of pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection.

If you have unsafe sex - that is, sex that involves an exchange of bodily fluids - there's a risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy for you and your partner.

You can catch STIs through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, and even through skin-to-skin contact with your partner in some cases. It's therefore essential to wear a condom, and/or to use a dental dam for oral sex, to reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting an STI. Condoms are the only form of contraception that can also prevent STIs, so even if you and your partner are also using another form of contraception such as the Pill, you should use this 'barrier method' too.

Protecting yourself and your partner from STIs and unplanned pregnancies is a shared responsibility. Both men and women should take the initiative and provide their own forms of contraception and protection. You can buy both male and female condoms from supermarkets and pharmacies (although male condoms are much more 'popular' in Australia), through you will probably have to visit a pharmacy for dental dams. There's more information about these on our contraception page.

Because it's so important to use a condom, it's worth talking to your partner about them before your relationship starts to involve sex. That way you can make sure you and your partner agree about what methods of contraception and protection to use, and can get them ready ahead of time. Some men dislike wearing condoms, so it's worth talking about the issue with them before you have any sexual contact with them, because they need to know that if they don't use a condom you won't be having sex with them - for their protection as well as for yours!

(Department of Health) WA HealthLink to WA Health website in a new window

 
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