Getting your sexy on whenever and with whomever you please is considered by the large majority of us to be one of the many joys of life. But assuming you aren't trying to live that parental life just yet, it's so unbelievably important to educate yourself on safe sex practices. It turns out that there are actually quite a few things that could increase your risk of pregnancy that may not be common knowledge.
Come on... I can't be the only one who remembers being scared sh*tless after hearing one of those freak accident stories of girls becoming pregnant from sperm in a hot-tub (I'm sorry to report that this unfortunately could happen, but is so unlikely that worrying about it seems pointless), or from receiving manual stimulation from someone that may have residual semen on their hand (yep, sadly, this can also lead to a surprise pregnancy).
But the good news is that there's no need to drown in pregnancy paranoia because knowledge is power. It goes without saying that our country has a long way to go when it comes to providing and protecting access to the tools and information to ensure as many people as possible are given the means to practice safe sex — and preventing unwanted pregnancies is a big part of that. Here are the things you should avoid doing before sex to avoid getting accidentally knocked up.
1. Opening A Condom With Your Teeth
We get it, sex can and should be totally exciting. But if you aren't looking to invest in a mini-you, then it's super important that you are opening condoms carefully so as not to tear them.
According to the health and wellness site Verywell, tearing a condom package with your teeth isn't the best idea because it's very easy to accidentally make a hole in the latex. If you still think you and your partner might be too flustered in the heat of the moment and are worried about damaging a condom, then it may be a good idea to open one before things get going.
2. Unprotected Foreplay
At this point, we all know that having unprotected sexual contact of any kind — even foreplay — can lead to a ton of STDs. But many people don't know that it is also possible to get pregnant even if your partner doesn't ejaculate directly inside of you. Anytime semen comes in contact with a vagina, there is a chance that you could end up pregnant. The practice of engaging in intimate contact without having oral sex or intercourse is known to some as "outercourse," defined by Planned Parenthood as masturbation, body rubbing, etc. It can oftentimes lead to the male partner climaxing. If semen ends up soaking through and coming in contact with your vag, as unlikely as it sounds, this could result in a bun in your oven.
3. Using Expired Condoms
Always. Check. The. Date. Using condoms that are expired could ultimately lead to an unplanned pregnancy. This is because once a condom is past its expiration date, the latex begins to dry out, greatly increasing the possibility of it tearing. As if that wasn't bad enough, according to Onlymyhealth, the spermicides in some expired condoms could also grow less effective once the expiration date is past.
It's also worth mentioning that the temperatures at which condoms are stored can also decrease their efficacy. The makers of LifeStyle condoms suggest storing them below room temperature in a dry space out of direct sunlight.
4. Using An Oil-Based Lube
Leading up to an imminent sex-sesh you are your partner might be tempted to reach or a bottle of lubricant to get things running smoothly. But before reaching for any old bottle, make sure that if you are using condoms that you do not use an oil based lubricant. Oil-based lubricants — especially those containing mineral oil — are known to break down latex, leading to a much weaker condom. Opt instead for either a silicone or water based lube when using condoms, suggest WebMD.
Practicing safe sex is one of the most important parts of protecting your health and wellbeing. Although taking every precaution can feel like a bit of a chore, just imagine how many more chores it takes to be a parent.
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