Sexual Health is very important for college students. There many things to consider like birth control, preventing STI’s, and getting yourself tested for STI’s. As a college student you may not be ready to have a child and you do not want to get a sexually transmitted infection. So have a plan as to how you want to approach your sexual health.
There are many forms of birth control. Women may use birth control pills, patch, vaginal ring, or even a shot to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Many people will also use a male or female condom to prevent pregnancies. These forms of birth control can be very effective when used properly and used whenever you have sex.
While these forms of birth control are great it is important to remember that male condoms and female condoms are the only methods that prevent against STI’s. Using condoms and a hormone based contraceptive will greatly reduce chances of a pregnancy and will protect you from STI’s.
Chart obtained from:
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)
You can get an STI from having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Living on a college campus can put you at greater risk for certain STI’s such as chlamydia, HIV and HPV which are on the rise. It is important to take precautions before having sex in order to avoid STI’s. STI’s can be very harmful to your health.
-HPV can cause some major health problems like cervical cancer. Most types of HPV can be prevented with a vaccine. *This vaccine is offered to both men and women at SU Health Services.
Get Yourself Tested
It is a good idea to consider getting yourself tested for STI’s especially if you have engaged in unprotected sex. Some STI’s are curable so detecting it early can prevent other health issues. Many STI’s are treatable so knowing you have one can help prevent other health issues. You also do not want to spread STI’s so get tested so you can make sound sexual health decisions.
90% of SU students think STI’s are a problem on campus but only 35% of students take advantage of the free HIV test.
Students get one free HIV test per academic year at SU Health Services.
The forms of birth control listed above are great for preventing unwanted pregnancies, but many forms of birth control do not protect from STI’s. If you want to avoid getting an STI you should use a condom. Condoms provide a physical barrier that prevents liquids and diseases from passing through the condom.
For the condom to be effective it needs to be used properly and be used every time you have sex.
Tips for effective use:
Video from planned parenthood on proper condom usage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdSq2HB7jqU&feature=player_embedded#
*Male and female condoms can be obtained at Health services for free! Lubricant is also available for free as well! If you enter health services main doors go to the right. Next to the pharmacy there is a table with condoms, lubricants, and dental dams. Reach inside the bucket and grab what you need!
Safe Oral Sex
STI’s can be transmitted orally as well. Use Dentals dams when engaging in oral sex. Dental dams are thin pieces of square latex that can be placed on the vulva or the anus when the mouth or tongue is used to sexually arouse a partner. Dental dams are usually flavored as well.
*Dental dams can be obtained at health services for free. They are next to the condoms which are right next to the pharmacy in health services.
As college students it can be difficult to plan ahead but you will want to be ready if you are going to have sex. It does not hurt to have some condoms with you if you are going to a party or going on a date with someone special. Whether you have sex or not you will at least be prepared and prevent an unwanted pregnancy or STI.
Planned Parenthood http://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth/
American Social Health Association http://www.ashastd.org/