The first and foremost rule of sex is to draw your boundaries. To understand the kind of protection you are going to use in your sexual relationship, it is important for both partners to understand each others’ expectations. A relationship in which both partners are not looking towards having children but are committed to a monogamous relationship may prompt you to guard against pregnancy but not necessarily use a condom. The risk of sexually transmitted diseases though still remains with birth control pills. According to gynaecologist Dr. Kaamna Mohan, condoms offer good protection against pregnancy and some protection against sexually transmitted infections.
Barrier contraception, say experts are a highly effective way to ward off diseases that can be transmitted sexually. Some of the commonly used barrier contraceptives (which means using a physical barrier during sexual intercourse) are vaginal diaphragms in women and condoms in men. Several dangerous diseases like genital warts and even cervical cancer can be prevented to a large extent by the use of these barrier contraceptives. These diseases are commonly caused by a virus known as the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. This virus is known to be transmitted during intercourse and an interesting anecdote has it that cervical cancer has never been known to occur in nuns.
In the day and age in which we live today, multiple sexual partners is a commonly observed phenomenon. But this is also highly detrimental to sexual health. Dr Mohan says, "Many people do not realise the emotional and physical toll of having multiple partners. Not only does it increase the chances of contracting AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) it also becomes a leading cause of the proliferation of other sexually transmitted diseases."
While the new age is all about embracing your sexuality and being free, the dangers of unhealthy sexual habits are several and immense. The most potent tool in our arsenal against these various threats is knowledge. Armed with the knowledge of what can happen and how to guard against them, we can proceed to engage actively with prevention. And prevention, as traditional wisdom rightly points out, is better than cure.
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