As someone who is currently in college and friends with girls of all backgrounds, what shocks me the most is how little my friends know about sexuality or safe sex. It might be because their parents do not talk to them about safe sex or sexuality. Also, most parents are hesitant about the topic because they feel awkward having a conversation about sex. Finally, the upbringing in the home plays a huge factor, because if parents aren’t open to their kids about sex, then teenagers get the wrong information, which will lead to problems down the road. For example, when I went to school, teachers barely spoke about sex. We were taught only about the reproductive system of men and women instead of general sex education.
Here is some basic information that all sexually active college women should know:
First, if you are on birth control and you need to take antibiotics, most girls would not know that taking antibiotics “cancels” out birth control. Some antibiotics can cause enzymes in the liver to increase the breakdown of estrogen, which means that it will be decreasing the effects of birth control. This means that having sex WITH a backup method, such as a condom, is strongly advised. If you have unprotected sex while taking birth control and being on antibiotics, then you are putting yourself at risk. No one wants an unexpected pregnancy!
Some birth control pills contain progestin and some birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin. Birth control that contains both estrogen and progestin are called combination pills (1). An example of progestin-only birth control is the minipill. Examples of combination birth control pills are Yaz or Beyaz.
Before you start any oral contraceptives make sure to have a talk with your doctor/health provider to see which birth control will work best for you and make sure to tell your provider about any medication you are currently taking. Also, always double-check with your pharmacist before taking any new medication.
To go more in-depth about condoms, they come in many types. There are condoms that glow-in-the-dark and condoms that provide a tingling sensation while in use. You can use these condoms for some extra fun in the bedroom with your partner. This is especially great when we’re taking antibiotics, so you can have fun back up method, instead of boring regular condoms.
(P.S.- If you’re going to use flavored condoms for sex make sure that they are sugar-free because if they are sugar-flavored it can throw off the vaginas pH level, which will cause yeast infections.)
If you are going to use eccentric condoms such as glow-in-the-dark or even the ribbed condoms, (2) make sure they are FDA approved for use against unplanned pregnancy and STIs!
Second, most girls do not know that STIs can be transmitted orally. STIs are not just transmitted through anal or vaginal sex.
If you are performing sexual acts while you have any open wounds or cuts in your mouth, then you are at risk for getting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases if ejaculation occurs. But, you just don’t need noticeable open cuts to catch something because of mucous membranes. So there’s always a risk, even if he doesn’t ejaculate!
To prevent this, it is best to ask your partner to wear a condom while you are performing any sexual acts.
Try out flavored lube or flavored condoms so you have a more heightened experience with your partner!
Again, if you’re going to use flavored condoms for sex make sure that they are sugar-free because if they are sugar-flavored it can throw of the vaginas pH level, which will cause yeast infections.
It is also possible to spread HPV through oral sex! It is believed that (3) HPV acquired while performing oral sex is a major risk for oral and throat cancers.
Another STI that can be transmitted orally is Syphilis. Syphilis is extremely easy to transmit via oral sex. In fact, in (4) some areas of the United States, oral sex has been shown to be responsible for as many as 15% of syphilis cases. Although syphilis can only be transmitted in the presence of symptoms, during the primary and secondary stages of the disease, the painless sores it causes can be easy to miss.
So be careful when performing oral sex because you can, in fact, get an STI in the process, unless both partners are checked and are safe.
I recommend getting checked regularly and also your partner. Some testing sites to check are the following:
Third, glycerin in sex products such as lube can cause infections for women. In most lube, glycerin is used to make lubricants slippery. Glycerin is similar to glucose sugar and all women should know that sugar in the vagina is a breeding ground for YEAST INFECTIONS! So read labels of products before buying and make sure it says “glycerin free”. Some great glycerin-free products are (10) Simone’ Glycerine-free lubricant, (11) Pink Indulgence Crème, (12) and Sliquid Naturals: H2O.
No one wants the dreaded yeast infection, which makes you irritated and itchy. That’s not cute at all!
Now there you have it, the three basic things we women should know while having sex!