Are you thinking about having sex?
It is normal to wonder about having sex as you develop close friendships. If you are under the age of 16 or are thinking of having sex with anybody younger than 16, you need to know that sex is not legal until you and your partner are both 16 years old. You also need to ask your partner if he/she wants to have sex with you. This is called consent.
If you and your partner both want to have a sexual relationship, it is important to get information to guide your decision about taking the next step in your relationship at this time. Accurate sexual and reproductive information can help you to consider your choices and guide your decisions when you;
Are you having sex?
It is normal to have sex within a close relationship. It is also important to know the facts about sexual decisions and their consequences. Accurate information about sex and reproduction will help you to make good decisions that will take care of your relationship and your partner. You can enjoy sex and avoid unplanned pregnancy and/or a sexually transmitted infection if you make good decisions.
If you and your partner are having sex without contraception you are likely to become pregnant and/or become parents. If you are having sex without a condom, you greatly increase your risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection.
There are many types of sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, pubic lice and scabies. Both guys and girls can catch these infections. 70% of the time there are no symptoms but they don’t go away without medical treatment and you can pass them to your next sexual partner. Medical professionals can diagnose and treat sexually transmitted infections and will contact your previous sexual partners confidentially.
Talking to a sexual health expert is the best way to be sure you get accurate sexual health and reproductive information so you can make the best decisions. They will provide the information you need to choose the most suitable contraception and can check and treat sexually transmitted infections.
If you attend a secondary school that has a school health nurse, this is your nearest free sexual health expert. If not, contact your local free sexual health clinic or doctor. Sexual health clinics and doctors are free for youth. Family planning, some clinics and doctors can also immunise you against some strains of human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. The HPV vaccine provides protection against some of the viruses that cause genital warts and cervical cancer.
Sexual health clinics in:
It is important to be aware that not everybody you talk to has the correct information and websites provide general information that may not be specific to your situation. A sexual health expert will guide you in your specific situation. If you:
Some websites provide information and answer common questions about youth health and well-being including sexual health. The following sites are recommended: