Contraceptives and safe sex
All the joys of (safe) sex.
Alexander Pan avatar
Written by Alexander Pan
Updated over a week ago

Contraception is all about preventing pregnancy, so y'all can go have all the sexy fun you want without worrying about making a new human being that'll be due in nine months. In addition to pregnancy prevention, some contraceptives also help prevent STI transmission, so it's a two-for-one deal. Now keep in mind that no form of contraception is 100% effective, though some methods are more effective than others.

The different types of contraception available include:

  • Male condom - A balloon looking rubber sheath that's worn on an erect penis. It collects all the sperm and stops it from entering the vagina. Perhaps the most common form of birth control, it's also 98% effective provided that you use them correctly. Key word: correctly.

  • Diaphragms - A soft silicone cap worn inside the woman's vagina to cover the entrance to the uterus and stops sperm from getting in and fertilising an egg. It can be used any time, is reusable, and up to 94% effective if used correctly.

  • The pill - There are actually two different types of contraceptive pills for women. First is the combined pill containing a hormone combination which stops a woman's ovaries from releasing an egg each month and is about 99.7% effective. Taken daily.
    The second is the progestogen-only pill which changes the mucus at the entrance of the uterus so sperm can't get through. Also taken daily and about 99.7% effective.

  • Emergency pill - Known as the 'morning after pill', this is is for those cases where you had unprotected sex or the condom broke during sex. Available from the chemist with no prescription, you must take this within 72 hours after your night of unprotected sex.

  • Vaginal ring - A flexible plastic ring inserted high into the vagina that contains the same hormones as the combined pill and works in the same way. Unlike the daily pills, this stays in place for three weeks before removed for a week for the regular monthly bleed. 99.7% effective if used perfectly and correctly.

  • Contraceptive injection - An injection given to women every 12 weeks and works similarly to the pill.

  • Intra Uterine Device (IUD) - A small contraceptive device placed into the woman's uterus that lasts about five years and affects sperm survival in the uterus so they cannot reach the egg to fertilise it.

  • Pulling out - As it says on the tin. The bloke pulls out before finishing inside the lady's vagina. It's a hit and miss method - literally - and not foolproof as two out of every 10 women get pregnant using this method, so please know that this is not a good idea.

That's the lowdown on contraceptives. If you want to know more about sexual health, getting sexual health checks, and consent, we've got you covered right here.

We have a team of nurses who can help you find your nearest sexual health clinic if you don’t want to talk to your family GP about contraception or anything related to sexual health. Don't worry, conversations are confidential so you don't need to stress about anyone else finding out.

Just remember that age of consent laws exist in Australia and must be followed. Age of consent is the age where a person is considered legally competent to agree to sexual activity with another person. If someone engages in sex with someone under the age of consent it is illegal. In Australia, the age of consent varies depending on the state or territory:

  • ACT - 16 years

  • NSW - 16 years

  • NT - 16 years

  • QLD - 16 years

  • SA - 17 years

  • Tasmania - 17 years

  • Victoria - 16 years

  • WA - 16 years

It's important to note that the state of Victoria has passed affirmative consent laws, which introduces changes including:

  • Additional language to the section of the legislation dealing with consent in order to align it more closely with the affirmative consent model, which puts the onus on the accused person to confirm they have received consent, rather than scrutinising the behaviour of the victim-survivor.

  • Outlining that 'stealthing' - removing or not wearing a condom without a partner's knowledge - is a breach of consent.

  • Altering sexual offending laws related to intimate images - which includes distributing or threatening to distribute these images - and penalties for breaking these laws have been increased.

Related reading:

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Information sourced from: Health Direct, The Womens, NSW Health, and Reach Out.

Image credit: Mean Girls

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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