Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
It is hard to talk about sex without talking about birth control or pregnancy. At Pandia Health, we want women to feel confident knowing they are protected physically and mentally. Sex is better with birth control because it allows those with a uterus to not worry about getting pregnant and instead, just focus on enjoying the experience. ?
As an Adolescent Medicine and Young Adult specialist, Pandia Health’s CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Sophia Yen, is passionate about preventing unplanned pregnancies by delivering birth control to women wherever they have internet and a mailbox. We also provide FREE educational videos on Youtube about birth control.
Comprehensive Sexual Education
We believe access to birth control is a human right. The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the developed world. If more young people had access to comprehensive sexuality education, then we would be able to prevent more unplanned pregnancies. Some schools offer sex ed in elementary school but it is often split along gender lines, with girls in one room talking about periods and body image and boys in another room watching a movie. This is NOT effective in teaching everyone about the multiple facets of sexual education.
It is essential that this education be comprehensive and not “abstinence-only.”
Abstinence-based sex education is “ineffective and unethical.” The basis of this argument is that if an individual does not have sex, they will not get pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases. However, this ideology is also not based entirely in reality. Teenagers are often taught to ignore their natural human sexual desires, meaning they remain ignorant of safe, healthy, and inclusive sexual practices. It is critical that teenagers are provided with a comprehensive education regarding reproductive health to better prevent teenage pregnancy.
Comprehensive education curriculum is centered around discussing sex using positive messages and promoting it as natural, normal, and healthy parts of life. This curriculum takes into account medically accurate information and addresses a wide range of topics such as society and culture (gender roles, diversity, and sexuality in the media), human development (reproduction, puberty, sexual orientation, and gender identity), and personal skills (communication, negotiation, and decision making). Instead of simply going over a slideshow, as is typical with abstinence-based education, comprehensive sex ed may include a demonstration showing how to properly use a condom and more in-depth knowledge regarding the usage of them.
Part of teaching comprehensive sex ed is making it inclusive to people of all genders and sexual orientations. LGBTQIA+ youth need inclusive sex ed that appropriately addresses identities, behaviors, and experiences; if they do not receive this, it could lead to a lack of trust in adults and alienation from their heterosexual peers. The Human Rights Campaign recommends people to “incorporate positive examples of LGBTQ individuals, romantic relationships and families; emphasize the need for protection during sex for people of all identities; and dispel common myths and stereotypes about behavior and identity.” Negative sexual health outcomes are likely to occur as a result of failing to adequately educate LGBTQ-youth so it is crucial to create an inclusive sex-ed curriculum.
Lastly, abstinence-only-to-marriage sets sex education back. According to a Columbia University Public Health Review, “comprehensive sex education programs, have favorable effects on adolescent behaviors, including sexual initiation, number of sex partners, frequency of sexual activity, use of condoms and contraception, frequency of unprotected sexual activity, STIs, and pregnancy.”
Misinformation Regarding Sex
Sex has become so taboo that safety measures can be thrown out the door. It is crucial for everyone, not just teenagers, to understand what it means to be sexually active.
While using a condom will help prevent the transmission of STIs and, to an extent, pregnancy, the success rate is only 82%. Using a condom combined with the birth control pill, which has a 91% success rate, is a better option.
There are also misconceptions in society regarding birth control – it is not only used to prevent pregnancy. Birth control can also treat acne and reduce menstrual pain.
Being sexually active also means understanding your sexual health and your partner’s. While having orgasms and trying new positions is awesome, it is also vital to prioritize your health. Getting tested for STIs is essential — but how often should you get tested? Well, there is no one magic number. Ultimately, it comes down to how many sexual partners you have had and how many your partner(s) have had as well. Essentially, for every new partner you have, you should get tested to prevent spreading any STIs. It is always better to air on the side of caution.
Having sex while on your period is a topic that can be confusing. Some women and men may be uncomfortable with period sex because people assume there is a lot of pain involved. That said, having sex while on your period is not unhealthy and may not be painful – in fact, it can help alleviate cramps! If you are a woman who has sex with other women, having a conversation with your partner(s) about what you are comfortable with is important — let’s face it: period sex can get messy regardless of the gender of you or your partner.
A dangerous myth regarding period sex is that a woman cannot get pregnant if she has penetrative intercourse while menstruating – this is FALSE. The likelihood is lower, but it is still not impossible. Female contraception should be used to prevent unintended pregnancy and condoms should be used to prevent STIs – whether or not you are menstruating.
Pro tip: the FLEX Disc is a great option for mess-free period sex. It is a one-time use period product that is good to wear for up to 12 hours and moves with your body. So if you want to celebrate National Sex Day by experiencing the pleasure of sex while on your period without the mess, consider giving the FLEX Disc a try.
Periods, in general, can often kill the mood for women because of the blood involved. Luckily, birth control can help to make #PeriodsOptional. Skipping your period not only takes care of period sex anxiety, but also eliminates painful periods, reduces anemia (taking the pill = lighter periods = less blood loss = less anemia), and eases the pain of polycystic ovarian syndrome (birth control is often used to regulate periods).
Sex is much more than getting down and dirty with your partner – it involves understanding how to protect yourself and your partner while also prioritizing your comfort.
It is crucial to recognize the importance of consent. Simply put, even if you are in a committed relationship, you still have the right to say “no.” This still applies if you are not in a relationship. CONSENT IS KEY.
Think of it this way: If you were offered tea but didn’t want any, no one should force you to drink it. If you wanted tea one Saturday night but not the next Saturday, that is okay. No one should force you to drink tea – ever.
For information regarding consent and resources available, please check out these links:
- Tea Consent
- Understanding Consent
- Help Your Kids Understand Consent
- Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Furthermore, if you are a college student and have experienced a form of sexual assault, please reach out to your university’s health center for resources. If you are not comfortable doing so, please reference the Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline or National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Additionally, please feel free to contact Pandia Health, and we will directly provide you with resources.
Have Fun Safely
If you choose to celebrate National Sex Day by having lots of sex, it is crucial to engage in safe sex practices and check in with your partner to make sure they consent to the sexual activity, too.
Pandia Health delivers birth control to anyone with the internet and a mailbox. If you are interested in being prescribed birth control, our doctors can do so in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. If you already have an active prescription but want to #SkipTheTrip to the pharmacy, you can have your prescription transferred so that we can deliver it for you.
Celebrate National Sex Day, safely with #PandiaPeaceofMind.
The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.