Center for Young Women's Health

Making Healthy Sexual Decisions:

Talking With Your Partner


 Intro  Emergency Contraception
current guideTalking With Your Partner  Sexual Orientation
 Getting Advice & What to Ask  Quiz: Are You Ready for Sex?

Before you decide to have a sexual relationship, talk with your partner about whether having sex is what you both want.

  1. Ask about his or her sexual history, including if he or she has had any STI's.
  2. Talk about what kinds of STI prevention methods you are planning on using.
  3. If you are in a heterosexual (straight) relationship, talk about birth control (condom, birth control pill, injection hormones, the "patch", the "ring", or IUD) and 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.
  4. Be open and honest about whether you or your partner have been, or will be sexually involved with other people. Remember, the risk of getting an STI or a virus that can cause cancer or AIDS is increased if you or your partner(s) is having sexual intercourse with other people. The more partners, the greater the risk!
  5. Talk to your primary care provider about methods of birth control that are right for you, and about how to prevent STI's.

Don't forget that a female can get pregnant at ANY time if she has sex with a male without a condom, or if she is not using birth control correctly. To lessen the chance of pregnancy and STI's, you should use a latex condom every time you have sex, from start to finish. The only way to absolutely prevent getting pregnant or an STI is to not have sex.


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


Updated: 5/23/2013

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