When things are getting steamy between you and your partner(s), the last thing you want is an interruption; especially one that is self-inflicted. Stopping mid flow to use contraception can spoil the mood but Flavour explains how a momentary pause can be a lifetime of pleasure.
The UK is still ahead of its European peers when it comes to high rates of pregnancy. Figures show that three out of four teenage pregnancies are unplanned. Not to mention the many sexually transmitted infections bought on by ignorance towards protecting sexual health.
Brook is the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25. Chief Executive of Brook, Simon Blake recognises that the cultural difference between the UK and the rest of Europe is that young people in the UK have less respect for their own sexual experiences.
“We must talk more with young people from an early age about feelings, about trust, about communication and about sex,” says Blake.
The best way to show respect for yourself and your partner is to use contraception. With 14 types to choose from there’s bound to be one that works best for you. The most widely used is the male condom because it protects from infection as well as unwanted pregnancies and is 98% effective. Flavour reader Adrian 22, South London says. “I use them all the time as it’s convenient but if they are too tight they can desensitise you a bit.
Many females take the combined or progestogen pill. The side effects can be a downfall and you must be responsible and take the pill everyday to ensure it works effectively. Some girls choose the contraceptive injection, which can last up to 12 weeks. Tracy 24, from Hounslow says, “I choose to go for the injection because I’m really lazy and won’t remember to take the pill everyday. Although I have put on a little bit of weight, but it’s nothing I can’t control.”
Other methods for girls are the IUD’s (or coils), but Tracy isn’t keen on this method. “I find the idea of having a coil inside me a bit scary, but I can see why some people would. I guess it’s just about choosing which method is most convenient for you.”
Being comfortable with your choice of contraception is as important as choosing to have sex. “Brook always advises young people who are sexually active to use a regular form of contraception they are happy with. However, sometimes things go wrong – condoms can split, people make mistakes,’ says Blake, “We want to help young people get their facts straight so that if they are ever at risk of an unplanned pregnancy they have the information they need to sort out emergency contraception as quickly and easily as possible.”
Emergency pills can be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse. If the pill is taken within 24 hours after sex it will prevent 95 out of 100 pregnancies. If taken 72 hours after sex the pill will prevent 58 out of 100 pregnancies.
Flavour believes that the most effective method is taking the time to consider contraception before sex occurs; protecting you and your partner.
For a more in-depth study of contraceptive methods visit www.brook.org.uk
Words by Selina Campbell