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Sexual Health

This is About Genital Herpes

I realized that I was uncomfortable associating myself with genital herpes. Will people think I have it? Why else would someone write about genital herpes and risk that association if they didn’t have it, right? So I pressed on, putting myself at the center of an itty-bitty social experiment that resulted in some pretty big stuff.

The STI Files: Molluscum

Molluscum contagiosum -- a bumpy skin infection -- isn't technically an STI, but can be transmitted through sexual contact. The CDC states that molluscum cases in the United States have been on the rise since 1996.

What Safer Sex Isn't

Maybe you know what safer sex is. But do you also know what it isn't? Take a minute and fact-check your ideas about what can protect you from STIs and what cannot.

What Are Menstrual Cups?

Looking for an alternative to tampons or pads? A user asks about menstrual cups, and we give her -- and you -- the scoop.

Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet

You've probably heard or thought some things about condom use that might be keeping you or others from using them or from using them consistently, and I'm willing to bet you haven't heard everything I'm about to say. Even if you're already using condoms and using them every single time properly, I bet you know someone -- a sibling, a friend, a sexual partner -- who could stand to hear ten great reasons to use condoms.

Chicken Soup for the Pregnancy Symptom Freakout's Soul

What are the early symptoms of pregnancy and when do they start to happen? Why are symptoms not the smartest way to tell if you're pregnant, and how CAN you tell if you are? If you're losing your mind during a pregnancy scare, and finding symptoms everywhere you look, here's some on-target information and a dose of comfort to help you separate the real deal from the hype.

The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method

You already know that no method of contraception is 100% effective to prevent pregnancy. You probably also know, however, that there are reliable methods which are very effective when used properly, and that if you use contraception correctly and consistently, pregnancy becomes a whole lot less likely. But did you know that by doubling up and using two methods, with almost any combination you use, you can get mighty close to that 100% with most combos?

Peeing on a Stick: All About Pregnancy Tests

Choosing a pregnancy test can be pretty overwhelming. This article is designed to give you a general overview of pregnancy tests. It will discuss what a pregnancy test does, the difference between a urine test and a blood test, how to choose a pregnancy test, when and how to use pregnancy tests, and finally what to do after a pregnancy test.

Get With the Flow: All About FAM

The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a means for women to observe the three primary fertility signals: cervical fluid, waking body temperature and cervix changes so that you can be as in-the-know as possible when it comes to your own fertility and menstrual cycle. Find out the basic how-to so you can make the mystery of your own fertility cycle become a lot less mysterious.

All About Abortion

If you're considering or planning an abortion, you need to know what your options are, what's involved before, during and afterwards, and how to consider or make this reproductive choice as best you can. We unload abortion for you so that you can inform yourself to be sure it's the right choice for you, and if you choose it, find out what you need to know to best take care of yourself throughout.

Positively Informed: An HIV/AIDS Roundup

What do you really know about HIV and AIDS? How sure are you that what you know is correct or complete, and how much do you think it matters that you know about HIV and AIDS at all?

Me & HSV

I have genital herpes. Those people you see in the Valtrex commercials, running down a beach with five beautiful women chasing after them? Totally me.

The STI Files: Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, mainly affecting 16-to-35-year old females.

The STI Files: Syphilis

Syphilis has been called "the great imitator" because many of its signs look like other diseases. It is also difficult to know if someone has syphilis because a person might not have any symptoms at all.

The STI Files: Scabies

This disease has bothered humans for thousands of years, but it seems to come and go in unexplainable cycles. Scabies used to be very rare in America, but now it is coming back again.

The STI Files: Pubic Lice

Pubic lice are often spread through sexual contact, though genital contact or sexual intercourse is not necessary for transmission. In a few cases, pubic lice have been spread through contact with bed linens, towels, or clothes because lice can live for 24 hours off a human body.

The STI Files: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

"Pelvic inflammatory disease" is shorthand for any serious bacterial infection of the reproductive organs that are housed in the pelvis: the uterus, uterine lining, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. These infections usually start in the vagina and, when left untreated, can progressively infect other reproductive organs. 20% of PID cases are found in teens, who often are afraid or unable to get reproductive health care. PID can result in permanent infertility and chronic pain.

The STI Files: Gonorrhea

In the United States, approximately 75% of all reported gonorrhea is found in people age 15 to 29.

The STI Files: Cytomegalovirus

One member of a group of herpes-type viruses, CMV is transmitted through body fluids, sexually and nonsexually, and from mother to infant during birth. CMV is also incredibly dangerous for people who are immunocompromised or people with HIV.

The STI Files: Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginitis symptoms among people with vaginas of childbearing age (15-45). However, half the people who meet clinical criteria for BV have no symptoms.

Anal Sex: No Different?

My boyfriend says that anal sex is no different than regular sex. Is that true? He also says we don't have to use a condom? Also, will I still be a virgin if I have anal sex? Will it hurt as much?

10 common Myths, Misunderstandings and Big Ol' Lies About Emergency Contraception

It's amazing that with something as safe, simple, affordable and revolutionary as emergency contraception that it STILL isn't being used by millions of women who could use it, and who would prefer to avoid an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy. In part, that's because so many doctors and clinics still do not inform and educate women about EC. Here's some EC clarity, on the house. Pass it on!

World AIDS Day (2001)

For the past 13 years, people all over the world have used this day to educate, learn, remember and think about and put the focus of the global community for just one day on HIV and AIDS. Saturday, December 1st is no exception.