Ways to Prevent STDs and Pregnancy

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Different methods suit different people. The best choice is what feels right for you and your partner, and what will be most effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STI/STD) and pregnancy.

For those who have penis-vagina sex, the oral contraceptive pill, contraceptive patch, vaginal contraceptive ring, contraceptive injection, and the IUD are all effective methods that can help prevent pregnancy. Because these methods only protect against pregnancy, you can still get an STD (or pass on an STD to your partner). To be completely safe you need to also use a condom. This is called “dual protection” -- when you use a condom and another form of birth control (like birth control pills). Using duel protection the right way, all the time, should make anyone feel safe and proud that they are taking care of their sexual health, because using duel protection significantly reduces your chances of getting an STD or becoming pregnant.

For those in opposite sex sexual relationships (a man with a woman):
There is little to no risk for pregnancy during anal and oral sex- as long as sperm doesn’t make its way into the vagina- but there is still a risk for STDs.

For those who are in same sex sexual relationships (two men together or two women together): There is no threat for pregnancy during anal and oral sex, but STDs are still a concern and partners should consider using protection to prevent getting or spreading an STD.

Dear Auntie, My parents were talking about hepatitis C and getting tested. What is it and how can I get it? Do I need to get tested?

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