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Author Topic:   How long do I need to practice safer sex?
Punktasticchick
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Posts: 2
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Registered: Oct 2003

posted 10-21-2003 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Punktasticchick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although there is a lot of information out there on practicing safer sex, I have yet to find an answer to my question: how long do I need to practice safer sex?

Obviously, if I don't want to get pregnant or have an STD then I will need to use condoms. But what about birth control? My fiance and I are both in college, and have been in a monogamous relationship for two years, both of us had no previous sexual partners and neither of us has any STDs.

We've used condoms every time, but recently I went to the gynocologist to get a perscription for the Nuvaring. I asked if it would be alright to not use condoms with the nuvaring in my situation, she said yes, after a month with it in. But I guess I just need my fears assuaged - can I really do that? It just seems that after hearing about condoms, condoms, condoms it's as if you can't have sex safely without them - EVER. I'm not worried about disease so much as pregnancy - what are my chances? are there ways I can work around my cycle (WITH the nuvaring in!) to make myself less likely to be that 1 in 100 who gets pregnant with perfect use?

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Gumdrop Girl
Sexpert

Posts: 11271
From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 10-22-2003 12:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
having just read a pretty disturbing paper about the health (mis)behaviors that are leading to resurgences in syphilis and HIV incidences, I can't help but feel more and more compelled to stress the importance of condoms.

Aside from total abstinence, the next closest procedure to slash your risk of pregnancy is to use both birth control and a condom. no hormonal birth control is 100%, and condoms aren't 100%. and even together, they're not 100%, but that's as close as you will get and still be able to have coitus.

If, however, you are willing to accept a certain level of risk (and in general, if you are sexually active, you are accepting some level of risk), after you have both had 2 full STD screens come up negative 6 months apart and have been *completely* monogamous during all that time, then we are pretty darn confident that you won't be transmitting STDs. In which case, if you don't mind a few more percentage points of pregnancy risk, you can try "fluid bonding".

in case that was tough to digest, let's break it down:

  • you are using hormonal birth control
  • you have both been screened for STDs twice, 6 months apart, and come up negative every time
  • you have been totally monogamous for the entire time (before, during and after those tests)
  • you are willing to accept that your risk of pregnancy will be higher without the added use of condoms

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  • logic_grrl
    Advocate

    Posts: 5788
    From: UK
    Registered: May 2002

    posted 10-22-2003 03:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for logic_grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
    quote:
    are there ways I can work around my cycle (WITH the nuvaring in!)

    Nope - if you're using a hormonal method of birth control, like NuvaRing, then ovulation will be suppressed. So you won't actually be having a "cycle" where you're more likely to be fertile at one point than another.

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    Punktasticchick
    Neophyte

    Posts: 2
    From:
    Registered: Oct 2003

    posted 10-22-2003 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Punktasticchick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
    hmmm, interesting, I didn't know that about not actually having a cycle.

    Also, yeah, I think I've pretty much decided to go with condoms and nuvaring both, at least for a few months, then see how I feel about the added risk.

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