sexual health Questions
All young people under 16 are sexually active?
The majority of young people wait until they are 16 and older before becoming sexually active. For the small amount that do become sexually active under 16 there are a high percentage who regret making that choice. The legal age in Scotland for someone to be sexually active is 16.
You can get pregnant the first time you have sex?
If a boy and a girl have sex and do not use a form of contraception there is the possibility of a pregnancy. Before you have sex it is good to talk with your partner about contraception and have contraception organised before you decide to have sex.
Is it safe if a boy withdraws before he comes?
Men produce around 300 million sperm when they ejaculate (come) but before they ejaculate there are pre ejaculation fluid which comes out of the tip of the penis and this has sperm. It only takes 1 sperm to create a pregnancy. Pre ejaculation can also carry a sexually transmitted infection. Put a condom on before there is any genital contact. Withdrawing is dependent on the male partner, it requires great self-control, self-awareness and motivation and it may affect sexual pleasure.
Can you get pregnant if you have sex standing up?
A girl can get pregnant in any position she that she has sex. Jumping up and down afterwards or washing out the Vagina will not prevent a pregnancy if no contraception or condom was used. There is no safe position.
Can you get pregnant if you have sex during your period?
Every woman has different cycles of ovulation (releasing an egg) and periods and sometimes it does not happen at the same time every month as other factors such as stress and hormones can influence the time of ovulation. Sperm can survive in a girls Vagina for up to 7 days.
Can you get pregnant from oral sex?
You cannot become pregnant by having oral sex. However, you can get a sexually transmitted infection such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea or herpes. To protect each other from STIs, it's a good idea to use condoms or dams for oral sex (that's what flavored condoms are made for!).
Do sexually transmitted infections always have symptoms?
Some STIs do not have symptoms but if left untreated can lead to difficulties in having children later in life. You cannot tell by looking at someone that they have a STI nor do you have to have sex with lots of partners. If you have had unprotected sexual intercourse then you may be at risk of getting a STI. If you are worried visit your Doctor or Sexual health services for testing.
Can women who have sex with women get STI'S?
If a woman has a STI then it can be passed on through vaginal fluids and by using sex toys. Always use a condom on sex toys.
If you get an STI once, you can never get it again?
A lot of STIs can be cured with antibiotics but you can get them again. If you get treated for an STI, your partner(s) should be treated also, otherwise they could give the infection right back to you if you have sex again. You should keep getting tested whenever you have unprotected sex or start having sex with someone new.
Sexually Transmitted Infections can be caught from toilet seats
Highly unlikely but remember hygiene
If a young person attends a sexual health clinic then their parents will be told?
The young person will be encouraged to talk to their parents but sexual health clinics are bound by rules of confidentiality and unless there are concerns about your safety then nobody will be told about your visit.
Does alcohol make you better in bed?
No, alcohol does not make you better in bed. The truth is, when you're drunk it's hard to make smart decisions. Alcohol can make you take risks, such as having sex before you're ready, or having sex with someone you don't like. Drinking won't make the experience better. You're more likely to regret having sex if you do it when you're drunk. Find out more about sex and alcohol.
Can you use clingfilm as a condom?
No, you cannot use clingfilm, or a plastic bag or a crisp packet instead of a condom. Only a condom can protect against STIs.
You can get condoms free from:
- community contraceptive clinics
- sexual health and genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics
- some young persons services
You can also buy them from pharmacies and shops. Make sure they have the CE mark or BSI kite mark on them, as this means they've been tested to high safety standards. Find sexual health services near you, including contraception clinics.
Will a boy's balls explode if he doesn't have sex?
No, this is not true. Not having sex doesn't harm boys or girls, and a boy's balls will not explode.
Boys and men produce sperm all the time. If they don't ejaculate, the sperm is absorbed into their body. Ejaculation can happen if they masturbate or have a wet dream. They don't have to have sex. Find out about boys' bodies.
Can you wash condoms and use them again?
No, condoms should only be used once. Don't believe anyone who says that you can wash condoms and use them again. If you've used a condom, throw it away and use a new one if you have sex again.
This is true for male condoms and female condoms. Condoms need to be changed after 30 minutes of sex because friction can weaken the condom, making it more likely to break or fail. Get tips on using condoms.
Can you get pregnant if you have sex only once?
Yes, it is possible to get pregnant even if you only have sex once. You may have heard the myth that you have to have sex lots of times to get pregnant. The truth is, all it takes is for one sperm to meet an egg. To avoid pregnancy, always use contraception, and use a condom to protect against STIs.
Do all gay men have anal sex?
No, this isn't true. Anal sex, like any sexual activity, is a matter of preference. Some people choose to do it as part of their sex life and some don't, whether they're gay, straight, lesbian or bisexual.
According to the Third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (published in 2013), 18.5% of men and 17% of women in the 16-24 age group had had anal sex in the previous year. Whatever kind of sex you have, use a condom to protect yourself and your partner against STIs. However, having sex isn't the only way to show your feelings for someone.
Can I get help and information on sex if I need it?
If you want to talk to someone in confidence, you can call the national sexual health helpline on 0300 123 7123.
Condom, no condom? is an interactive video on YouTube where you decide what happens. Just choose which button to click at the end of each section to continue the story, and see the consequences of your choices.