Under the Ministry of Education’s approach to sexuality education, abstinence is touted as the best course of action, but we all know there are plenty of alternative contraceptive methods…or do we? We quizzed five young Singaporean women to find out.
The questions (quiz yourself too!)
1. What types of contraception are you aware of? (No cheating!)
2. The pull-out method is effective in preventing pregnancy/ transmission of STIs. True or false?
3. You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period. True or false?
4. You can only get STIs through penetrative sex. True or false?
5. Using a condom prevents the transmission of STIs. True or false?
1. What types of contraception are there?
There are many different kinds of contraception available in Singapore, the most common of which is the condom. There are also birth control pills, Implanon — mentioned above, a contraceptive implant placed under the skin of the upper arm — and emergency contraception, usually known as the morning-after pill.
Can’t figure out what type of contraception is best for you? Consult your GP or polyclinic to find your best fit.
For a full list of contraceptive methods, check out this informative brochure.
2. The pull-out method is effective in preventing pregnancy/ transmission of STIs, true or false?
False. The pull-out or withdrawal method is never an effective contraceptive method. Sexual partners may not have the self-control to pull out quickly before ejaculation and — here’s the kicker — studies have found that pre-ejaculate can contain sperm.
Obviously, the pull-out method is also not at all effective in preventing the transmission of STIs, given how there is zero barrier between sexual organs.
3. You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period, true or false?
Chances are low, but it’s still possible. Sperm can live inside you for up to five days, so if you have sex nearing the end of the period plus you ovulate early, there’s still a chance you can get pregnant.
4. You can only get STIs through penetrative sex, true or false?
False. STIs like herpes and genital warts can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area. Many other infections can also be spread through oral sex, so your best bet is using a condom.
Another thing to note: Some STIs don’t have obvious symptoms, so it’s best for you and your partner(s) to get tested once every six months, or more if you have multiple sexual partners in a year.
There’s no shame in getting tested — for more information, head here.
5. Using a condom prevents the transmission of STIs, true or false?
False. Don’t get us wrong — condoms are highly effective in preventing the spread of most STIs. However, you can still contract STIs that transmit via skin-to-skin contact like herpes, syphilis and pubic lice.
You know what? Based on the answers that have been gathered, turns out not all young Singaporean knows about sex that well. They might know about condoms but they are not really aware of the risk that will be taken once they not having asafe sex.
Find the best contraceptive method (or methods) for you and your lifestyle and get yourself tested for STIs regularly, especially if you have multiple sexual partners. Sex is great, but safe sex is even better!
Sources: Elle Singapore