Sexual Health 101: Everything You Need to Know About Contraception And More

By: Moboluwarin Ogunleye

“It’s the weekend! …” You know where that ends.

However, before you do, perhaps read this first. Sex is like math: you only need to know the basics to get by, but it’s always helpful to brush up on your skills every now and then.

It’s a natural part of life, but it is important to be safe and stay healthy. It can be a lot of fun, but it is also a serious matter. That’s why it is important to learn about sexual health and how to stay safe.

Sexual Health

Sexual health is defined as a condition of physical, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality. It is critical for people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations to do so. It encompasses reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), sexual violence, sexual pleasure, and sexual identity.
It is important for many reasons, some of which include:

  • Have a sexual life that is both healthy and rewarding.
  • Reduce your chances of contracting an STI.
  • Protect yourself from sexual assault.
    You should feel comfortable with yourself and your body.
  • Make educated choices regarding your sexual health.

There are many ways you can improve your sexual health, some of which include:

  • Obtain an HPV and other STI vaccination.
  • Get STI testing done on a regular basis.
  • Discuss your sexual health with your partner(s).
  • Set limits and convey your requirements.
  • If you have been a victim of sexual violence, get help.
  • And lastly, use condoms and other contraceptives every time you have sex.


Contraception is a procedure or piece of equipment that prevents pregnancy by interfering with the fertilization or implantation process.

Contraception comes in numerous forms, including hormonal, barrier, intrauterine, natural, and emergency. Condoms, for example, provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Contraception is essential for women who want to regulate their fertility, plan their family size, space their pregnancies, or avoid unintended pregnancies. Some common forms of contraceptives include:

Barrier Methods

Barrier contraceptives are a type of birth control that works by putting a physical barrier between the sperm and the egg. They also lower the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) by preventing contact with the skin and fluids of another person. The following are some of the most frequent barrier methods:

External Condoms: These are tiny pouches that are worn over the penis during sexual activity. They collect the fluid from the penis and prevent it from entering the vagina. You should note that when used perfectly, condoms are about 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. Typical use is about 87% effective at preventing pregnancy. They can tear, leak, or slip off. Now that you know that, you can go play with your chances. If you are interested, you can get condoms from your local pharmacies, which are mostly available for free from your health commissioners.

Internal Condoms: These are designed for women. Internal condoms are pouches made of polyurethane that are worn inside the vagina. They cover the cervix and the vaginal walls, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. When used well, they are 79% effective. They are 79 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used as directed. They also provide protection against STIs. You can acquire them without a prescription online or in stores and you can sometimes get them for free at clinics.

Diaphragms: These are also for women. They are reusable rubber cups that are inserted into the vagina before sex. They protect the cervix by preventing sperm from accessing the uterus. For optimal efficiency, which is 88 percent with typical use, you must combine them with spermicide (a substance that destroys sperm). They do not protect you from STIs. You must obtain a prescription from your doctor and have it fitted to your specific measurements.

These are some of the barrier contraceptive options available to you.

Each approach has advantages and disadvantages, so while making a choice, consider your tastes, needs, and lifestyle.

For added protection, you can combine multiple approaches, such as using condoms with spermicide or diaphragms. For more information and instructions on how to utilize barrier methods effectively and safely, speak with your health care practitioner or visit a clinic.

Hormonal Methods

Hormonal contraception is a type of birth control that employs hormones to prevent pregnancy. Hormones are natural compounds that govern reproductive system functions such as ovulation and menstruation. Hormonal contraceptives function by altering hormone levels in the body, preventing ovulation from occurring. They also thicken the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. In addition to that, the uterine lining thins, making it less likely that a fertilized egg will implant. They are classified into several categories, including:

Implants: These are tiny rods containing just progestin. A doctor inserts them beneath the skin of the upper arm. They can last up to three years. They are more than 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used as directed.

IUDs (intrauterine devices): A health care worker inserts these little T-shaped devices into the uterus. Some IUDs contain solely progestin, whereas others contain copper as well. Depending on the type, they can endure anywhere from 3 to 10 years. They are more than 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used as directed.

Pills: An example of this is your Postinor pills. These are tablets that contain either estrogen and progestin or just progestin. They are both taken orally every day at the same time. They are 91 to 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used as directed. While they have numerous advantages, some of which include reduced menstrual bleeding, reduced risk of ovarian cancer, and others, they also have some drawbacks, such as nausea, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, breast discomfort, spotting, and decreased libido.

Some people’s risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, liver tumors, and breast cancer is increased. The failure to defend against STIs Requiring a prescription and regular appointments with a physician are additional factors to consider too. Certain drugs or supplements may have an effect on their effectiveness. Sexual health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. You can enhance your sexual health and stay safe by following the advice in this article.

Talk to your doctor or another health-care provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding your sexual health. They can assist you in obtaining the necessary information and care.

Leave a Comment