Women's Sexual Health and Welfare Info
For simplicity this page refers to women's sexual health, however, what we mean by this is sexual health information for people with biologicaly female genitalia. Some men have vaginas and some women have a penis, this does not make them any less of a man or a woman but it does mean that the suitable sexual health advice may differ from other men and women.
Sexual health is not all about your genitals, it also involves your thoughts, feelings and emotions about sex and relationships. It affects us all, as we are all part of a sexual society. It's not just about when things goes wrong (e.g. catching an STD) it is also about pleasure, excitement and sometimes love.
University is the time when many people start to explore their sexuality and experiment with what they like, it can be a new and exciting time but can also feel daunting.
Good sexual health is about respecting yourself and your partners as well as having a fun time. Never feel pressured into sex, it is your body and your choice. Everyone is equal and should be respected.
Safe Sex Practises
Condoms aren't just for penises; they can also be used with sex toys. There are a large variety of sex toys availble on the internet and on the high street, but be careful when choosing which ones to buy - many sex toys contain toxic chemicals, including plasticizers that can lead to infertility, hormone imbalances, and other health problems (see here for more info). There are condoms available in the SU.
We have compiled a quick check list for condoms:
- Make sure the condoms have been/are stored in a dry place - not too hot or too cold.
- Wash your hands so that they are not greasy - as grease/oil can cause condoms to split
- Check that the condom package is not damaged (e.g. holes and tears)
- Make sure that the condom is not passed its use by date.
- Open the packet carefully - don't tear the condom with your teeth or fingernails
- Use water-based lube (e.g. KY Jelly or Liquid Silk) rather than oil-based lube (e.g. vaseline or baby oil) which can cause condoms to split.
Dental Dams are small square sheets of flavoured latex used for protection when preforming oral sex on a partner. While there are many reasons why you might not want to use dams, there is always one good reason why you should; they protect against STDs (but not pregnancy). The LGBT society is working on having dental dams available along side condoms at the SU, however, untill then condoms can be easily alterered to make a dam by cutting up one side and removing the tip untill a square/rectangle shape is left.
STDs such as Syphilis, Herpes and Gonorrhoea can be easily caught through oral sex, as well as HIV (although this is rare). Oral sex is more risky if you have open cuts of ulcers in or around the mouth area, recently bleeding gums, a sore throat, tonsillitis, gum disease or even a recent trip to the dentist. To try and reduce the risk avoid brushing or flossing your teeth for 30 minutes before oral sex and use a dental dam.
If you are worried about having caught an STD then book an apointment at one of the Sexual Health Clinics in Northampton.
For a more comprehensive guide check out this free PDF, the contact information is not for this area but the rest of the information is correct.