Q&A: Birth Control And Sexual Health Resources

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QUESTION: I am a virgin but my boyfriend is not. I'm ready to have sex and though we've been sexually active in other ways I have a lot of questions about penetrative sex for a virgin. My boyfriend wants me to feel as comfortable and informed as possible – where can we learn about birth control options and sexuality issues?

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Great question! I think it is really wise that you two are communicating so carefully about sex before having it, and that you are both focused on feeling comfortable so that you can enjoy your experience together.

Your Healthcare Provider

The best place to go for information related to birth control options is your healthcare provider as he or she make recommendations based not only on your preferences for birth control but also on any personal health issues.

If you are a college student, your campus health clinic will likely have a women’s health or gynecology clinic and you may be able to start there, if you don’t already have a healthcare provider. Planned Parenthood’s web site can also be used to find a healthcare provider in your area.

Planned Parenthood

Ahead of time, you can learn basic information about contraceptive options on the Planned Parenthood web site. They have comprehensive information available related to various types of birth control such as the male condom, female condom, natural family planning, birth control pills, the birth control ring, the shot, and more.

You can also learn some of this information elsewhere on our web site (especially in our sexual health resource pages), as well as detailed information about many sexuality issues relating to communication, making sex comfortable, negotiating condom use, dealing with differences in desire and more.

Recommended Reading

In addition, the book Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collection provides a comprehensive overview of sexual health issues and is worth reading for both women and men. The Guide to Getting It On also provides some information on a range of sexuality topics for both sexes, and regardless of experience level.

Contact Us

If you have further or more specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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