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College Health:
Sexual Health

 

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People make lots of decisions about their sexuality during college, including whether to abstain from sexual intercourse or to become, or to continue being sexually active. Other sexuality issues that decisions are made about are the gender of partners, the type of contraception to use, and the intensity of the relationships. You should never let others pressure you into having sex if you don't want to. It should always be your decision to have sex. This goes for the first time, and every time.

 

What do I need to know if I'm sexually active, or if I'm thinking about becoming sexually active?

Talk to your partner about birth control

If you are in a heterosexual relationship (you're dating male(s), talk about birth control options (condoms, birth control pills, hormone injections, IUDs, implants) and also talk about what you would do if it failed. If you feel that you can't talk to your partner about these issues, then you should rethink whether or not you should be having a sexual relationship.

 

Go to your college's student health center

Find out about what methods of birth control the health center offers to students, how much they cost, and what types of counseling and services are available for young women who have either a planned or unplanned pregnancy. Make sure you receive confidential, non-judgmental services.

 

Here are some questions to ask at the health center:

Emergency Contraception

If your birth control method fails, (for example; the condom broke, or you didn't use one) you have an option called emergency contraception, also known as the “morning-after pill”, or "EC".

 

Emergency Contraception (EC):

Sexual Orientation

College can be a time when some people try to figure out their sexual orientation. It's also a time when some people decide to “come out”. Many colleges have support groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students. There are also counselors available at your student health center if you wish to talk with someone confidentially.

 

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Written and reviewed by the CYWH Staff at Boston Children's Hospital

 

Updated: 2/1/2013

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