Safer Sex

Use protection

Use latex condoms to prevent the exchanges of semen and vaginal secretions. Be sure you learn the proper way to use a condom before trying it. Used incorrectly, condoms are ineffective at preventing STDs and pregnancy. There are many additional options to protect against pregnancy such as oral contraceptives, IUDs, or implants. You can talk to a medical care provider about making your decisions.

Safe lubricants

Lubricants can prevent discomfort associated with dryness before intercourse, as well as bruising that happens during anal sex. However, if you choose to use lubricants, always use water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants can weaken condoms and make them break. Lubricants that contain the spermicide nonoxynol-9 also provide extra protection against HIV.

Communicate with your partner

Communicate openly and effectively with your partner before any sexual activity.
Don’t mix alcohol or drug use to help overcome uncomfortable feelings associated with sexual intimacy. You probably would benefit from re-examining your reasons for entering a sexual relationship at this time or with this particular person.

*Taken from the Mayo Clinic

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Being prepared to talk to your medical provider about STDs:

  • Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Make a list of all medications.
  • Write down questions to ask. A few basic questions include:
    • What is the medical name of the infection or infections I have?
    • How exactly, is it transmitted?
    • Does my partner have to go to a doctor to be treated?
  • Give your doctor a complete report of your symptoms and sexual history will help your provider determine how best to care for you. Here are some things that may be asked (Remember it is not about stigma or judgment, but for how to help you):
    • What symptoms prompted you to come in? How long have you had these symptoms?
    • Are you sexually active with men, women, or both?
    • Do you currently have one partner or more than one?
    • Have you ever injected yourself with drugs?
    • Have you ever had sex with someone who injected themselves with drugs?
    • What do you do to protect yourself from STDs?
    • What do you to do to prevent pregnancy?
    • Have you ever been diagnosed with an STD?
    • How many partners have you had in the last year?
    • When was your most recent sexual encounter?


Becoming pregnant while in college can be overwhelming. You may be wondering if you are ready to be a parent and about how a pregnancy will effect academic and career plans. If the pregnancy is unexpected, you may be struggling with how to talk to you partner, parents, family, and/or friends. You don’t have to experience the feelings and make the decisions to keep the baby, give up the child for adoption, or end the pregnancy alone. Help is available.*

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you may contact the LSWC to arrange a confidential pregnancy test:

  • Missed period
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Soreness or enlargement of the breasts
  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to odors
  • Food aversions

*Taken from Illinois State University