Sexual pleasure & wellbeing
Practicing safe sex is incredibly important for you health. Sexually transmitted diseases can be very unpleasant and in some cases can be life-threatening if left untreated, so if you’re sexually active then you should act to protect yourself and partners.
Condoms are not just to prevent conception, they also serve a very important role in protecting you and your partners from STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and HIV. There are condoms for both men and women (female condoms are sometimes called femidoms) which both work in very similar ways, however neither is perfect and should be combined with other forms of birth control.
Lubricant can be very important for safe sex even when using a condom to reduce the risk of it splitting. When using lube with condoms make sure to use a water based variety as oil based lubricants can actually damage condoms making them more likely to break.
If a condom breaks while having sex, the next step to prevent pregnancy is to get the emergency contraceptive pill - sometimes called the morning after pill. This pill temporarily stops women from releasing eggs so that there is a much lower chance of conception.
To avoid unwanted pregnancies women can take a daily contraceptive pill (often just called the pill), however this should be used in conjunction with condoms to be most effective, and the pill by itself doesn’t give any protections from STIs.