Do you have a new partner? It’s time to start off on a clean slate. Before you have sex for the first time, there are certain topics that should be covered; HIV and STI testing as well as contraceptive methods are essential questions to ask. You may not realise it straight away, but this conversation is strengthening your relationship.
Here are four topics that you need to discuss before you have sex.
1. Sexual history
As awkward as it may be, it’s essential that you sit down with your partner and discuss your sexual history. How many partners have you had? When was the last time you were tested for STIs? Have you ever contracted an STI? Answering all of these questions truthfully is critical for a healthy relationship.
It’s a good idea to have HIV and STI testing together so that you can start off your relationship with the peace of mind that neither of you will contract an STI.
It’s also essential that you chat about your partner’s future plans about whether or not they want to start a family – you both need to be on the same page. If you do want to start a family and become pregnant, all Marie Stopes clinics in South Africa offer a comprehensive pregnancy care service.
2. Safe sex and contraception
Before you become intimate, discuss both of your preferred methods of contraception. (Read this article about the different types of contraception if you’re unsure.) Long-acting, short acting, barrier methods – make sure you know your stuff.
Is your partner seeing someone else? Not all people agree on what a ‘committed’ relationship means. If you’re not planning to be in a monogamous relationship, tell your partner upfront so that they are fully aware of the situation and the risks that are involved.
4. Sexual health
Your sexual health encompasses much more than STIs. Any medical conditions you may have that can affect your sex life. It may be difficult to discuss, but it’s important. Medical conditions can include erectile dysfunction; endometriosis; dyspareunia and Peyronie’s disease. Be open and honest.
It’s not easy to deal with an unintended pregnancy if you’re not ready to become parents. If it does happen and you feel it’s best to terminate the pregnancy, you can be assured that you’ll receive a safe abortion at any one of our clinics or HCUs based at all three of Dr. David Kathan’s Cape Town clinics:
Have you enjoyed what you’ve read? Find many more informative articles about your sexual and reproductive health in our sexual health blog.