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effective

I need to better understand how condoms can protect me from STIs.

fox asks:

I'm unclear on how condoms are supposed to be effective in preventing female-to-male contamination during "plain" sex, I mean insertion of the penis into the vagina. Let me explain.

Latex is an effective barrier to virii and germs. I get that. As far as protecting the woman is concerned, I've no trouble believing it works. The STD virii or germs are present in the semen and/or pre-cum; these are "emprisoned" by the condom, don't get out, and don't get into contact with any part of the anatomy of the woman. She's protected. The sweat of the man does not contain these virii or germs and thus no risk with the rest of the skin-to-skin contact. But in the other direction, I don't quite get it.

How to Have Condoms "Interrupt" Sex By No More Than 30 Seconds

My current partner recently got a vasectomy. Because we're also monogamous, well-past six months of monogamy and barrier use, and both are current with our STI testing -- the combination of things and time period I know massively reduces our STI risks -- that means we're not using condoms right now.

This is very unusual for me: in around 25 years of sexual experiences and many partnerships, the vast majority of the times I have had male partners, including long-term partners, there have been condoms. As someone who wants to be able to enjoy her sex life as much as possible, who knows preventing infection is part of that, and also as someone who can't use most other methods of birth control, condoms have been my BFFs.

I've never found them to be the drag some people frame them as. Rather, I often find myself perplexed by folks who frame them that way, even though I know as a sex educator that more often than not, the folks who do frame them that way either a) haven't even used them or

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Are these side effects of the pill...or am I pregnant?

NEED-ANSWERS asks:

Hi, I am on Ortho Tricyclen Lo, and I have been taking them for almost a month now. I am on my placebo pills, but haven't had my period yet. Is that supposed to happen? On day 3 of taking my pills, I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend, and three weeks later I have been feeling very sick, low energy, nauseated and bloated, and have been very moody. I'm hoping it's side effects of the pill, but I'm not sure.

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