Safe Sex is Good Sex

Safe Sex is Good Sex

Learn about different types of contraception to help have happy and safe sex…

(reproduced from http://www.durex.ie/explore-sex/articles/safe-sex-is-good-sex/)

Male Condom

Top 4 Plus Points

  • Only need to be used when you have sex
  • Help protect against STIs, including HIV and AIDS
  • Easily available
  • Come in many shapes and sizes to suit everyone

Any bad points?

  • Putting them on can interrupt sex
  • Some people claim condoms reduce sensitivity during sex

Where can I get them from?

Widely available from Pharmacies in Malta and Gozo, as well as on this site. Also widely available in vending machines (please click here for information on NMArrigo vending operation). Of course, we suggest using Durex Condoms, though other brands can be found.

Female Condom

The Plus Points

  • Only need to be used when you have sex
  • Can help protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS
  • Can be put in anytime before sex

Any bad points?

  • Putting them in can interrupt sex
  • Some people claim condoms reduce sensitivity during sex
  • Not widely available

Where can I get them from?

Not widely available.

The Pill

Top 5 Plus Points

  • Sometimes makes a woman’s periods lighter, shorter and less painful
  • Can help with pre-menstrual syndrome/ tension/acne
  • Doesn’t interfere with sex, you still need a condom for STDs
  • Reduces the risk of fibroids (non-cancerous tumours of the womb), ovarian cysts and breast disease

Any bad points?

  • Some women may suffer from nausea, breast tenderness, bleeding between periods, headaches and mood changes. Changing pill may help.
  • May increase blood pressure
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS
  • They have to be taken either every day or 21 out of 28 days on your cycle.
  • Contraceptive protection can be reduced during sickness and while taking antibiotics
  • It is usually recommended to take a different method of contraception during breastfeeding
  • There are also some uncommon but serious side effects which should be discussed with your doctor if you are considering using the pill.

Where can I get them from?

The pill is available from a GP or from family planning clinics with a prescription. It can also be purchased from most pharmacies with a prescription.

Contraceptive Implant

Top Plus Points

  • Doesn’t interfere with sex
  • Can be used if you are breastfeeding
  • Normal levels of fertility return after the implant is removed
  • Contraception lasts for between three and five years

Any bad points?

  • Periods may change, bleeding can be irregular
  • Possible side effects include headaches, acne, tender breasts, weight gain abdominal pain and bloating
  • Very rarely an infection can occur in the arm where the implant is inserted.
  • A small procedure is required to both fit and remove it.
  • Can occasionally be difficult to remove the implant
  • Some women experience depression and mood swings
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS

Where can I get one?

The contraceptive implant is only available from GPs or family planning clinics, because it has to be fitted by a trained doctor or nurse.

Contraceptive Injection

Top Plus Points

  • Doesn’t interfere with sex
  • Can be used if you are breastfeeding
  • It reduces the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease and cancer of the womb.
  • Offers contraceptive protection for 8-12 weeks
  • May reduce heavy, painful periods and help with premenstrual symptoms for some women

Any bad points?

  • Periods may change, bleeding can be irregular (this can continue for several months or as long as the injection lasts)
  • Possible side effects include headaches, acne, tender breasts, weight gain, mood swings abdominal pain and bloating
  • Any side effects will probably last as long as the injection lasts (8-12 weeks)
  • Sometimes fertility can take more than a year to return to normal after stopping the injection
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs, including HIV/AIDS

Where can I get one?

The contraceptive injection is only available from GPs and family planning clinics.

Diaphragms, caps and sponges

Top Plus Points

  • Only need to be used when you have sex.
  • Can be put in at any convenient time before sex.
  • Diaphragms and caps may give some protection against STIs, sponges do not.

Any bad points?

  • Some women have a problem with cystitis.
  • Can take time to learn how to use them effectively.
  • Diaphragms and caps only provide limited protection against STIs, including HIV/AIDS.

Where can I get them from?

Each must be initially fitted by a doctor or nurse at a GP surgery or family planning clinic. Once fitted, they can be bought from pharmacies.

Male and female sterilization

Is a permanent method of contraception and is a surgical procedure where the tubes that supply sperm in a man and the tubes that carry the egg in a woman are cut or tied.
Both are practically 100% effective in controlling pregnancy

Top Plus Points

  • Doesn’t interfere with sex.
  • It is permanent.
  • Male sterilisation is a quick and simple operation with less chance of failure than female sterilisation.

Any bad points?

  • Both procedures are permanent and, though possible, cannot be easily reversed.
  • It can take from two months for all sperm to disappear from the semen, so extra contraception must be used before you have a semen test to confirm there are no sperm left.
  • The tubes may rejoin and fertility may return (this isn’t common).
  • Don’t protect against ANY STIs, including HIV/AIDS.
  • Female sterilisation usually involves a general anaesthetic, male sterilisation usually requires a local anaesthetic.

Where can I find out more?

Because this is a surgical procedure it must only be performed by a trained doctor. However, family planning clinics, sexual health clinics and GPs will be able to give you more information..

(Draft : more coming later..)