Category: safe sex

Too Many Guys Are Relying On The Pull Out Method, So Make Sure Your Guy Wraps It Up

Too Many Guys Are Relying On The Pull Out Method, So Make Sure Your Guy Wraps It Up

Ah, the pull out method, also known as the form of contraception that frat dude you used to hook up with in college used to try to convince you to do in lieu of condoms because those just “don’t feel good.”

If you haven’t hooked up with said dude and haven’t heard of it, the method is pretty self-explanatory. It’s when the dude pulls out before ejaculating during penetrative intercourse, as a way to prevent pregnancy, and it’s growing more and more in popularity. But have you ever wondered to yourself, “Should I use the pull out method?” Well, the simple answer is no, you probably shouldn’t.

But that isn’t stopping people from giving it a shot. In addition to a study released earlier this year, which found teens have been relying on the pull out method more than ever, a newer study found single adult men are also relying pretty heavily on the less-than-reliable form of contraception. The present study, which surveyed 3,700 sexually active unmarried dudes, found that the number of unmarried American men who rely on the pull out method has almost doubled in the 13 years between 2002 and 2015.

Are you more of a hard numbers person? Let me run some by you. In 2002, only a mere 10 percent of unmarried men relied on the pull out method. That’s nothing when it comes to the whopping 19 percent who admitted to doing the same in 2015. Yep, for all you numbers people out there, that’s just one percentage shy of DOUBLE the men using the pull out method.

The study, published by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that overall use of male contraceptives has been increasing. So, that is some good news. But there’s a catch: While other forms of contraception, like condoms and vasectomy rates, have remained the same, the withdrawal method has still increased.

Of course, the increase in the other more reliable forms of male contraception is a step in the right direction in that these men are making an effort to practice safe sex. And of course, practicing the pull out method is better than completely foregoing any sort of contraceptive method whatsoever. Still, the pull out method is definitely not the most effective contraceptive choice.

In addition to having no way to protect you against STDs, the pull out method also leaves a lot of room for error. In fact, according to Planned Parenthood, 27 out of 100 women who use the pull out method get pregnant every year. That’s more than a quarter of women.

So, if there’s anything to remember from this information, it’s to use a condom. Please. I BEG YOU.

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6 in 10 of America’s Single Guys’ Take Responsibility’ for Contraception

6 in 10 of America’s Single Guys’ Take Responsibility’ for Contraception

From the HealthDay Reporter

About six in 10 sexually active single men in the United States are taking responsibility for birth control, government health officials say.

When they have sex, these unmarried males are using a condom (45 percent), vasectomy, “withdrawal,” or a combination, according to a new report released Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the study, the researchers surveyed about 3,700 unmarried and sexually active men, aged 15 to 44.

The researchers found that use of any male birth control method rose from about 52 percent in 2002 to more than 59 percent by 2011-2015.

Male-method contraception was highest (75 percent) among men who had never married, followed by formerly married men (55 percent) and men currently living with their partner (36 percent), said study lead author Kimberly Daniels.

Daniels is a statistician with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

The proportion of guys relying on condoms or vasectomy hasn’t changed since 2002, but use of withdrawal before ejaculation has, Daniels said.

Reliance on pulling out nearly doubled, rising from about 10 percent in 2002 to nearly 19 percent in 2011-2015, the study found.

Asked whether the CDC considers withdrawal a reliable form of contraception, Daniels said it is among the rubric of male methods. Yet as a family-planning tool, the CDC ranks withdrawal relatively poorly, more or less on par with condom use, and far below the effectiveness of the birth control pill for women.

Dr. J. Dennis Fortenberry, chief of adolescent medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, said a “variety of things likely contribute to relatively high levels of [male contraceptive] use.”

Among them, he said, are comprehensive sex education programs, increased emphasis on communication with sexual partners, emphasis on men’s responsibility for contraception, and access to reproductive health services through means such as the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

“The data speak against any return to abstinence-only education for younger men, or creation of access barriers to sexual and reproductive health for all people,” Fortenberry added.


Sexually transmitted disease without symptoms? Everything you need to know about it

Sexually transmitted disease without symptoms? Everything you need to know about it

It has no apparent signs until much later in its development

With no outward symptoms in the early stage, chlamydia remains one of the most common sexually transmitted STDs. This is because it is passed on to partners unknowingly through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex. This silent killer can lead to serious or permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system.

If the infection remains untreated, it can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can cause permanent damage. This can lead to long-term pelvic paininfertility and ectopic pregnancy which is a life threatening condition.


  • SYMPTOMS:Chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called chlamydia trachomatis that is spread through incidental contact, sexually or orally.
  • Affecting both sexes, women can get chlamydia in the cervix, rectum or throat while men can get chlamydia in the urethra (inside the penis), rectum or throat as well.
  • Newborn babies can acquire chlamydia from an infected mother during childbirth and while it may not be common, one can get the infection in the eye through oral or genital contact with the eyes.
  • Those at the highest risk of infection are sexually active young adults especially women under the age of 25, women with multiple partners and gay men.
  • According to, infection rates are highest among younger women partly because their immature cervical cells are more vulnerable to infection.
  • One of the most common myths about chlamydia is that it cannot be cured. Not so. Antibiotics can be used to rid the body of this infection.

With no apparent signs until much later in its development, the following symptoms may become noticeable weeks after infection.

Men experience small amounts of clear or cloudy discharge from the tip of the penis, painful urination, burning and itching around the opening of the penis and albeit less common, pain and swelling in one or both testicles.

Women on the other hand experience abnormal vaginal discharge that may have an odor, bleeding between periods, painful periods, abdominal pain with fever, pain when having sex (dyspareunia), itching or burning in or around the vagina and pain when urinating. In some instances, the infection may spread to the fallopian tubes causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The symptoms of PID include fever, severe pelvic pain, nausea and abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods.

When a person is infected in the anus, the main symptoms are discharge, pain and bleeding from that part of the body.

For those who may have contracted chlamydia orally, one may notice a sore throat, cough or fever.


Doctors use lab tests to determine whether one is infected or not. They may ask you for a urine sample to check for the presence of the bacteria or a vaginal swab in women, and at times a sample from the urethra in men. If one is suspected to have an infection in the throat, that is swabbed too.


Depending on the severity, the doctor will prescribe the recommended dosage of antibiotics which must be followed to the tee and one should refrain from sexual activity to avoid reinfection.

But good news is, the infection should clear up in about a week or so after treatment.

However, women with severe chlamydia may be put on pain medicine and intravenous antibiotics (medicine given through a vein).

Once treatment has commenced it is advisable to be re-tested after three months to be sure the infection is cured.


Risky behaviour and porn fuelling rise of STDs among teens?

Risky behaviour and porn fuelling rise of STDs among teens?

Risky behaviour and porn fuelling rise of STDs among teens?

Middle-class children typically view porn by the age of 12 and engage in their first sexual activity the following year, according to a study.

It found that the younger they began viewing sexually explicit images, the earlier they went on to engage in sexual activity.

Young women who regularly watched more porn than average were more likely to have higher numbers of sexual partners.

The research was carried out mainly on middle-class students from the University of Buckingham. A total of 42 women and 31 men aged 18 to 25 answered a questionnaire on their porn-viewing habits and sexual behaviour in the previous six months.

The study found that on average, those who had started viewing sexual imagery from the age of 12 onwards had their first sexual encounters the following year.

Sexually risky behaviour – including having multiple sexual partners and sex at a young age – is thought to be fuelling a rise in sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers and young adults aged 15 to 24.

The material used in the study included films, TV or pictures depicting actual or simulated pornographic scenes or nudity, as well as explicit adverts and music videos. Sexual activity was defined as including kissing and foreplay but stopping short of intercourse.

The youngest a respondent reported first looking at pornography was six.

The researchers said the age at which participants were first exposed to sexually explicit material predicted how likely they were to engage in sexual behaviour at a younger age for both men and women.

While women who actively sought out pornography had higher numbers of sexual partners, those who viewed sex scenes incidentally – such as in a TV show, film or music video – were not found to be more prone to risky sexual behaviour such as engaging in one-night stands or not using contraception.

Full intercourse happened on average by the age of 16 in the sample, although one respondent reported first having sex at 13.

As adults, the respondents had on average 12 sexual partners, with the highest number reported being 60. One respondent admitted having 48 one-night stands.

Watching porn frequently was not found to lead to a higher number of sexual partners for adult men.

The authors said that the age at exposure was a more significant factor than the quantity viewed in adulthood.

Elysia Walker and Dr Emily Doe, from the University of Buckingham, presented their findings yesterday at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology.

Miss Walker said “this was a very middle-class sample”, adding that further research was necessary to see whether there was a similar link in different social classes.


HIV PrEP for adolescent men found to be safe, effective

HIV PrEP for adolescent men found to be safe, effective

HIV PrEP for adolescent men found to be safe, effective

(UPI) — A recent study found the use of preexposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for the prevention of HIV in adolescent, sexually active men is safe and effective.

The study, published today in JAMA Pediatrics, tested the safety and efficacy of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine, or TDF/FTC, in adolescents for HIV PrEP, which was approved for use in adults by the FDA in 2012.

“PrEP is used to prevent HIV by using a pill that is normally used to treat HIV,” Dr. Sybil Hosek, a clinical psychologist at the Cook County Health & Hospitals System’s Stroger Hospital in Chicago, told UPI. “It’s a pill we’ve actually been using in HIV treatment for decades in adults with HIV. The most common side effects include start up syndrome where 10 percent of patients experience nausea and upset stomach when they start the PrEP. It’s a really safe medication.”

TDF/FTC has been approved for use for treatment of HIV in men under 18, but not for PrEP to prevent infection.

Researchers designed the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions113 as a phase 2 safety study for adolescent men who have sex with other men age 15 to 17 in the United States.

The study included 78 male participants with an average age of 16 who were recruited from adolescent medicine clinics and community partners in six U.S. cities. All participants had negative HIV test results but were considered at high-risk for infection.

“It’s always difficult to recruit adolescents into any study with all the issues around parental consent,” Hosek said. “In this case, we had to find adolescents at risk for HIV and that’s a smaller group. Adolescents were allowed to consent for themselves because study sites agreed if there were local laws allowing for HIV prevention services and STD prevention services for adolescents without parental consent, then the same would apply.”

Hosek said that many of the study participants had not discussed their sexual orientation to friends or parents, and many identified as bisexual or questioning, not gay.

“Each clinic did recruitment differently, many on social media, Facebook and other sites, community organizations, and gay pride events,” Hosek said. “Social media was the most productive way to find people to recruit by far.”

Generally speaking, adolescent studies follow adult studies in order to gather more data and make sure there aren’t different side effects for younger patients, Hosek said.

Over the 48-week study period, there were 23 sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in 12 participants. Three participants acquired an HIV infection during the study.

Most of the participants had detectable PrEP drug levels throughout the study, with more than 95 percent of participants having detectable levels over the first 12 weeks of treatment with declining levels after.

“Consistent with the development of adolescents, they struggled to take a pill every day,” Hosek said. “They need more support than adults to adhere to taking a pill every day. This is expected in adolescents and for all types of medications. We see this in girls and birth control.”

The study found adolescents taking the PrEP for prevention was safe and effective, and did not increase risky behavior as a result. Adherence was the biggest obstacle the participants faced, researchers reported.


Bacterial Vaginosis-Causes and Prevention

Bacterial Vaginosis-Causes and Prevention

Bacterial vaginosis happens when there is a disturbance in the ratio of the harmful or bad bacteria (anaerobic) and good bacteria (lactobacilli) living in the vagina. Scientists have not yet found the precise bacteria that is the reason of the contamination.

However, they have faith in it that bacterial vaginosis is the result of the combination of various types of the bad (anaerobic) bacteria. Moreover, the pH of your vagina has shifted from the typical acidic condition of 3.5-4.5 to more than 4.5 which is not such an acidic condition.

This pH is a favorable condition for bad bacteria to grow and flourish in the vagina. This infection can happen in any woman, but pregnant ladies and sexually active women are more prone to have this bacterial infection.

Women with bacterial vaginosis have the threat of having sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV if presented to the infection causing them. Furthermore, ladies with bacterial vaginosis infection have the danger of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

Threateningly, bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis may also affect the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. So, it is crucial to treat bacterial vaginosis to lessen the threat of STDs and other issues related to the female reproductive system.

Increased number of bad bacteria causes awful side effects like swelling, tingling, paining and burning sensation and release of watery discharge followed by the obnoxious smell in some cases. Itching followed by a burning sensation may likewise happen inside and outside the vaginal region.

Not all ladies with bacterial vaginosis have these side effects. There are some cases that women may not realize that they have bacterial vaginosis because they have do not experience any manifestation or indication at all.

We can diagnose this bacterial infection by various examinations and lab tests. In these lab tests, vaginal discharge is examined to check the balance of good and bad bacteria.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

An accurate reason for this vaginal condition stays obscure since various kinds of bacteria regularly live in the vagina. Resultantly, deciding why overgrowth of certain bacteria happen is still not clear.

In spite of the fact that the reasons for this condition are still vague, certain elements may expand the danger of building up this condition. Some of these are:

  • Usage of oils in shower

Utilizing oils in your shower is one of the many reasons for bacterial vaginosis. While using shower oils may be a relaxing factor for you, they will not enable you to free from the nasty smell that bacterial vaginosis may cause.

Oils trap microscopic organisms and give an absolute favorable condition to develop and grow. Utilizing a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil may be helpful as it is antiseptic and can relieve the pain and symptoms of the infection.

  • Clothing

Wearing tight garments that trap dampness around your private parts is one of the real reasons for bacterial vaginosis. Harmful microscopic organisms (bacteria and virus) multiply their growth and causing the awful odor and indications.

It ought to be noticed that consistent wearing of tight fitting attire like pants or jeans can add to bacterial vaginosis. If you have precluded all other reasons for bacterial vaginosis, your clothing might be the reason.

  • Medications

Certain medications like antibiotics execute the good bacteria and other microorganisms in your body as well. Remember, if you are taking such medicines for a cough, cold or other illnesses then you must know that the good bacteria in your body, including your vagina, are being executed.

Subsequently, it is putting you in danger of having bacterial vaginosis. Supplementing with probiotics, for example, Lactobacillus can help reestablish your bodies normal flora.

  • Eating routine

Diet assumes a noteworthy part in deciding your body’s pH levels. You could be making an unbalance nursery for bad bacteria that may cause bacterial vaginosis by consuming too much acidic food.

Focus on what you eat and search for foods that are alkaline and certain recipes that advance a decent sound pH level in the body.

  • Ignorant towards proper hygiene

The greatest no-no ladies can do in the toilet is washing and wiping from back to front. It should be to wipe from front to back as to not spread microscopic organisms and germs from the anus to the vagina.

If you are going for cleaning and wiping from back to front, there may be the chances that the fecal remains go into your genital areas. This may result in the increased awful microorganisms which will at last results in unpredictable and convoluted vaginal contamination

  • Vaginal douching

Douching is never at any point a conventional practice. There is no medical advantage to pick up from douching. In truth, it can only be detrimental. Douching strips of the vagina of every single good bacterium same as using antibiotics.

So, freeing your vagina of every single great and beneficial bacterium enables the awful microbes to regroup and take over rapidly. Terribly, douching can push those awful microbes deeper inside your body, causing contamination in womb or uterus.

Preventions that should be taken for bacterial vaginosis

  • Fortifying the immune system

A decent, healthy eating routine can surely help to strengthen the immune system. You must have 5 to 6 portions of veggies and fresh fruits in combination with lean meat, nuts and a lot of beans.

Cut down fats and artificial sweeteners from your diet. Likewise, taking a multivitamin supplement will strengthen your overall body framework.

  • Rebalancing the Imbalance

If you have bacterial vaginosis, the pH level of your vagina will be alkaline. To move this back to somewhat acidic, include some apple cider vinegar to a bath tub and sit in it for approximately 20 minutes.

Adding valuable microscopic organisms directly to the vagina can likewise help as this will duplicate rapidly, in the warm conditions. To do this, absorb a tampon in probiotic yogurt and let it sits on vagina for few hours.

This works since probiotic yogurt is rich in useful and good bacteria. Utilize warm water to clean the outside of your vagina. You don’t have to use a cleanser. Indeed, even mild cleanser can cause contamination or aggravate your vagina.

  • Suitable clothing

Constantly wearing tight apparel can make a greenhouse like condition for harmful bacteria in the vagina. Undergarments made of synthetic material can be the culprit. Instead, wear cotton underwear or cotton lined pants to ensure the proper ventilation to the vagina.

  • No to douching

Douching expels a portion of the ordinary and beneficial microorganisms in the vagina that shield you from the disease. This may raise your danger of bacterial vaginosis. It might be likewise to recur bacterial vaginosis even after treatment. Specialists do not prescribe douching.

  • Practice safe sex

It is one of the most important preventive measures that you can take. Have safe sex. Some of the tips to practice the safe sex are:

  • Use condoms

Condoms are an ideal approach to anticipate bacterial vaginosis or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) when you have intercourse. Ensure to put on the condom before the penis touches the vagina.

  • One man and one woman show

Engaging in sexual relations with only one accomplice can bring down your hazard for bacterial vaginosis and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Be reliable to each other. That implies that you just engage in sex with each other and nobody else. […]

Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of Genital Warts

Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of Genital Warts

Good news is, the genital warts often go away with time but the bad news is, there is no treatment that can eradicate HPV infection.

Appearing as a kind of lesion that is flesh colored and feels like soft bumps, according to medical practitioners, genital warts are caused by certain strains of Human PapillomaVirus (HPV). Unknown to many sexually active people, HPV remains the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection.

While condom use may decrease the risk of HPV transmission during sexual activity it does not completely prevent HPV infection. Although not as serious as other sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts are especially dangerous for women because some types of the HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.

Typically found in the areas around the penis, anus, scrotum, vagina or vulva, they are difficult to diagnose as they hardly cause pain and are extremely small.


Genital warts and HPV infection are transmitted primarily by sexual intimacy and the risk of infection increases as the number of sexual partner’s increases.

According to studies, there are more than 100 types of HPV that specifically affect the genitals. Of these, more than 40 types can infect the genital tract and anus (anogenital tract) of men and women causing genital lesions known as condylomata acuminata or venereal warts.

A subgroup of the HPVs that infect the anogenital tract can lead to precancerous changes in the uterine cervix and cervical cancer. HPV infection is also associated with the development of other anogenital cancers. The HPV types that cause cervical cancer have also been linked with both anal and penile cancer in men as well as a subgroup of head and neck cancers in both women and men.

The most common HPV types that infect the anogenital tract are HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 (HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, and HPV-18). Although other HPV types can also cause infection. Among these, HPV-6 and HPV-11 are most commonly associated with benign lesions such as genital warts are termed as ‘low-risk’ HPV types. In contrast, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the types found most commonly in cervical and anogenital cancers as well as severe dysplasia of the cervix. These belong to the so-called ‘high-risk’ group of HPVs. Other HPV types infect the skin and cause common warts elsewhere on the body. Some types of HPVs such as HPV 5 and 8, frequently cause skin cancers in people who have a condition known as epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV).


These fleshy bumps that have a corrugated cauliflower like appearance in many cases do not cause any symptoms and sometimes go unnoticed due to their varying size.

They are associated with itching, burning, vaginal discharge, bleeding or tenderness. If they become enlarged they can be very uncomfortable and even painful.

It is also worth noting that genital warts may also appear on the lips, mouth, tongue or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person.


Good news is, the genital warts often go away with time but the bad news is, there is no treatment that can eradicate HPV infection. To relieve painful symptoms or minimize their size, your doctor can prescribe any of the following over the counter medication. Imiquimod (Aldara), podophyllin and podofilox (Condylox) and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). If visible warts do not go away with time surgery may be the next best option to remove them. This can be done through electrocautery or burning warts with electric currents, cryosurgery or freezing wartslaser treatments, excision or cutting off warts or through an interferon injection.


The sure way to avoid contracting genital warts is through abstinence. Another way although controversial due to the negative side effects and ingredients used in making it, a vaccine by the name Gardasil is available against common HPV types associated with the development of genital warts, cervical and anogenital carcinomas


14 Sex Questions From Millennial Women, Answered By Experts

14 Sex Questions From Millennial Women, Answered By Experts

For the month of September, Bustle’s Sex TBH package is talking about sex, honestly. We’re delving into how women approach the things they’re taught to be shy or embarrassed about in the bedroom — and, in doing so, we’re liberating people to live their best (sex) lives. Let’s do […]

How to have anal sex

How to have anal sex

Everything you wanted to know about anal sex – from top to bottom If having anal sex was as easy as it appears in gay porn, I’d probably give up Netflix, f**k and get f**ked every day instead. But as Katy Perry solemnly sings; ‘it’s not like the movies.’ […]

Safer sex on campus starts with you talking about sex

Safer sex on campus starts with you talking about sex

Helpful advice from Kat Nantz, Sexual Empowerment Coach

Many students will spend a good deal of time this year thinking about sex. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter and everyone must decide for themselves what kind of sexual activity, if any, they want to pursue. But all of us should learn to discuss sex frankly and honestly.

Talking dirty

“It takes time to learn new skills, and having/talking about sex is a skill — one that most of us were not taught!” said Kat Nantz, a local Sexual Empowerment Coach. Nantz offers workshops and sessions to help people “explore and deepen their relationship to personal power and sexual fulfillment.”

“The dominant cultural point of view about sexuality tells us that sex is dirty, private, and shameful,” said Nantz. “Most of the work that I do is around supporting folks in dismantling the toxic messaging we’ve received about sex so that people can begin to create a relationship with their sexuality that is empowering, fulfilling, and holistic.”

The first step is to figure out how sex actually works — and to dispel the myths that surround it.

“Knowledge is power,” said Nantz, “Get informed. Educate yourself about anatomy and how our bodies work.

Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on sex being performative and goal-oriented. Challenge this!

I encourage young people to explore a more expansive definition of sex, one that does not completely focus on penetration and orgasm as the end goal. Sex is about pleasure, discovery, connection, and consent!”

Start talking about sex, awkward as it may be.

“Find a safe space to explore and expand your comfort zone. This could be with yourself at home in the mirror saying words that make you uncomfortable, a trusted friend, a course that offers a safe space to openly talk about sex” — or the Wellness Centre on campus (which supplies free condoms and lube). “It takes an act of courage to open this sort of dialogue and combat shame; the more you talk about it and push past the discomfort, the easier it gets,” Nantz explained.

Getting to yes

When talking to a partner, consent is the first thing to discuss. One in three women in Canada will experience sexual assault in their lifetime; learning about consent is more important than ever.

Consent doesn’t have to be verbal (and neither does revoking it), but talking to your partner helps you better understand and respect their boundaries. If you are ever sexually assaulted, get to safety and explore your options, which can include going to the hospital to gather medical evidence for filing a report (the university website details other courses of action).

But consent goes beyond a “yes” or “no” — it’s about discovering what makes sex great for you and asking for it. “Negotiate the sex you want to be having!” says Nantz.

Safe sex

When it comes to practicing sex safely, knowledge is the key.

“Research STIs, practice safer sex, get tested, and learn how to share your status with partners,” said Nantz.

“STIs are highly stigmatized and getting tested and talking about it can bring up a lot of fear and shame for folks.

The best way to combat that shame is to talk openly and honestly about it and to be as informed as possible.”

A visit to Student Health Services is the best time to settle any uncertainties — and to speak to a doctor about birth control options, which could mean taking a daily pill, installing an intrauterine device, or simply using condoms (the only option that doubles as protection against STIs).