It is important to look after your sexual health and take the time to understand issues like sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraception.
The law says that you must be over 16 to have sex. This is the same for straight (heterosexual) sex or gay (homosexual) sex. Choosing to have sex is a very personal decision, and should not be rushed, even once you are legally old enough.
If you are worried about any aspect of your sexual health, there are plenty of free and confidential services around that you can ask your doctor about, or look for in the links below. The most important thing to remember is that it is your body, so you don’t have to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with.
Other things to remember when thinking about sex are:
- Choosing to not have sex is okay!
- Talk to your parents, or an adult you trust - they were your age once!
- Before you have sex, talk to your partner about your and their feelings
- Make sure you and your partner know how to use a condom
- Don’t be embarrassed to speak to your doctor or nurse
- Protect yourself from STIs by using a condom, and getting tested if you need to
- Take advantage of the vaccines that will help protect you
- Learn the facts about what you need to know, and don’t be afraid to ask!
For more information about sex, contraception, STIs and the law;
A C Card
is a credit card-sized membership card that allows you to get free condoms from places displaying the C Card sign.Brook
- provides free contraception and advice to young people under the age of 19.
Straightforward information and advice to make it easier to discuss everything to do with sexual health and contraception, right here
Information about contraception
Popular website for sex education and sexuality advice
Questions you could ask your doctor or nurse
- I want to start using contraception – do I have to tell my parents?
- I’m not sure if I’m ready for sex. How can I tell?
- How can I keep safe from STIs?