Safe Sex Guidelines and Reproductive Health Tips

Dr. Mariam Iqbal

3 min read

safe-sex-guidelines

Sexual and reproductive health are a matter of grave concern, for both the partners. Whilst there is nothing as completely safe sex, however, there are certain steps that can make sex safer and therefore prevent any sexually transmitted diseases and avoiding unwanted pregnancies. 

Due to different informative campaigns, people are getting awareness of the safe sex guidelines. The access to this information is getting better too. Everyone partaking in this activity should be aware of these measures so they can protect themselves from any disease or repercussions of any sort. 

First course of action is of course, complete honesty. Be upfront about your health and your practices with your partner. It is best advised to be discrete about your partners as well.

However, these measures have the basic premise that both partners are being completely sincere in their commitment, and thus are risky. Better option is to have this discussion and agreement alongside following safe sex guidelines. 

We have cataloged all such measure that can help you to stay safe and not put yours or your partner’s sexual health at a risk.

Get STBBI (Sexually Transmissible and Blood Borne Infections) Screenings:

It is important to get the screenings done to rule out any disease before engaging in intimate activities. However, this practice should not be an affront to anyone, rather, it is just a precautionary measure, recommending which is nothing personal. 

Therefore, convince your partner to have the screening done as it beneficial for the health of both the stake holders. For getting the tests done,  visit your healthcare provider and have the necessary proper screenings done.

Moreover, try having these tests done regularly as many infections show physical signs weeks after getting it.

Explore Your Contraceptive Options:

Having a birth control plan is one of the most important safe sex guidelines. Nothing works 100%, however, the probability of getting pregnant does decrease significantly. 

1.Condoms:

The most convenient birth control option are condoms. They not only act to prevent pregnancy, but rather are the only contraceptives that also prevent against STDs. However, the natural condoms are generally not efficient prevention against HIV and other STIs. 

Moreover, it is important to use condom every time you have sex, and a new one every time! Another great thing about condoms is that they are readily and cheaply available, and they do not change the hormonal cycle. 

There are also female condoms present, commonly known as diaphragm. These are placed high in the vagina to act as a barrier during sexual intercourse. However, many prefer using it with spermicide (which kills the sperms) for stronger protection. 

But, both of these condoms should not be used together as they become counterproductive.  

2- Birth Control Pills other hormonal contraception methods:

Combined hormonal methods like birth control pills release two hormones (estrogen and progestin) to prevent pregnancy. This type of contraceptive prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation. Birth control pills should be taken same time every day for it work most efficiently. With the proper use, the effectiveness is 99%. 

3- IUDs:

Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a small T-shaped device that is put into a person’s uterus by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or midwife in their office. The IUD stays in place for 3 -10 years or until it is removed by a health care provider. 

IUDs work well and people like them because they are highly effective for prevention of pregnancy without needing to take a pill every day or to rely upon or a partner to wear a condom. They are an excellent choice for people who cannot take hormones.

4- Other hormonal contraceptives:

There are other forms of hormonal contraceptives as well. Shots or injections are great for those women who are liable to forget the pill. One shot is sufficient for around 2 to 3 months. 

Patch is also available that needs to worn for 3 weeks and then removed for a week for the cycle to complete. It can be worn anywhere other than breasts or irritated skin. 

Birth control ring is also a hormonal contraceptive which is worn inside of the vagina. However, it needs to be taken out to have sex and then put back into place. This is slightly less efficient as it relies on people to remember to put it in and out, which might not always be the case, hence other approaches might be a better alternative

4- Natural methods:

The most famous natural method is the pull-out or the “coitus interruptis” method. It is when the man doesn’t ejaculate inside the woman’s vagina. However, it is the least effective methods.Another approach is abstinence. Either you and your partner forgo sex, or at least penetrative sex. 

However, natural methods are only partially effective in the safe sex guidelines as they do not entirely prevent pregnancy or STDs for that matter. 

Knowing Your Reproductive Health:

Knowing about your reproductive health is vital. Also practice safe sex guidelines yourself, do not merely rely on your partner. Knowing what’s healthy and normal and what’s not is very important. Do consult your health care provider if you feel like something’s not right, for example, if you feel more discomfort than you should during sex, if you are experiencing post-coital bleeding.

 Keep a check on the vaginal discharge if it is itchy and inflamed, then it might be a sign of a candida infection. An irregular period can be a sign of an underlying hormonal problem or PCOS which can cause a lot of other health complications.

Always keep it in check and never be ashamed to discuss it with your healthcare provider. Your health is important and should always be your top priority. Reproductive health is nothing to be ashamed or shy of.  

To learn more about safe sex methods, you can consult your doctor. You can also book an appointment with a Top Gynecologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your  concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Mariam Iqbal - Author Dr. Mariam Iqbal is a fellow of the ‘College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan’ (FCPS) and holds a Masters certification in Hysteroscopy from the Keil School of Endoscopy, Germany. She has over 14 years of experience in the field of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. She is currently working as a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Hameed Latif Hospital and has been part of the ‘Minimally Invasive Gynaecological Surgery Unit (MIGSU) team’ and Rashid Latif Group of Gynaecologists. She offers a variety of treatment plans that will best fit your lifestyle needs.