shinecharity.org.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 42 Park Road Peterborough PE1 2UQ 01733 555988Sex: questions you may askSex is not compulsory. be unprepared and risk pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease.Whenever you decide to have sex Make sure you always use effectivewith someone it should be your contraception.choice and most people would seesex as the natural progression of a What kind of contraceptionloving relationship. should I use?Although the majority of sexual There are many methods ofrelationships are heterosexual (man/ contraception available, somewoman), some people find they are safer than others. Whatever youattracted to people of the same sex. choose, it is important to use anAnd that’s OK too. A gay or lesbian effective contraception method.relationship can be as fulfilling Using a condom with or withoutand loving (and as permanent) as a spermicidal barrier cream is aany other. Unfortunately, some way of protecting yourself againstpeople make stupid jokes about a sexually transmitted diseasehomosexuals - difficult though it including AIDS/HIV and is anis, just ignore them...and hope that effective method of contraception.they soon mature! If you, or your partner, have spinaRemember that if you are at a party bifida you should ideally be usingand have had a few drinks your latex free condoms, eg “Avanti”judgement could be affected and which are made by Durex andyou could end up having sex with available from most chemists orsomeone and regretting it later. If Family Planning Clinics.you have not made a considereddecision to have sex you could also There are many myths concerning
Sex: questions you may askcontraception and they are not to • pain and/or bleeding duringbe believed. Remember – you intercoursecan get pregnant the first time. • bleeding after sex and/or betweenSexually transmitted periodsinfections (STIs) Be aware that some STIs show noSTIs are passed on through bodily symptoms at all. Most STIs canfluids, like saliva, blood and sexual be completely cured if they arefluids (eg sperm). You catch an diagnosed early enough. Usually aSTI by having sex or oral sex with short course of antibiotics will clearsomeone who’s infected. them up. But if you have an STI and ignore it there is a risk that you canThe best way to avoid STIs is by cause permanent damage to yourusing a condom when having sex health and fertility.and this includes oral sex. If you do not wish to speak to yourIf you think you have acquired GP about this, you could go toan STI you should seek medical one of the NHS drop in centres, oradvice immediately. your nearest Family Planning Clinic. There is a low cost Family PlanningThese are some STIs you may Association helpline numberhave heard of: chlamydia, available Monday to Friday 9 am togenital herpes, AIDS, HIV, pubic 6 pm – 0845 122 8690.lice, syphilis and gonorrhoea(sometimes referred to as the Sex and Continence“clap”) To prevent any “accidents” duringCommon symptoms of STIs: intercourse make sure your bladder and bowel are empty beforehand.• pain or burning when you pass If you use clean intermittenturine catheterisation, do so prior to intercourse – this can sometimes• itches, rashes, lumps or blisters interfere with the spontaneity of thearound the genitals or anus moment but does reduce the risk of any embarrassing situations!
If you have an indwelling catheter, to the general population and is onlyyou can still have penetrative sex. If available on prescription.you are male you should be wearinga condom anyway, and so the Many pregnancies are unplannedcondom will go over the catheter. and accidental pregnancies doMake sure you empty your bag first occur, so if your have started havingand use a spigot or bung in the sex speak to your GP about folicend of the catheter tube where the acid.bag is usually attached. If you arefemale, again empty the bag and Further reading:place a spigot or bung where thebag usually goes. Then tape the Sex and spina bifida - catheter to the inside part of your a leaflet for menthigh – this will keep it out of theway. If you are able to catheterise Sex and spina bifida - yourself you can just remove the a leaflet for womencatheter and then replace it with anew one when you have finished. Useful contactsRemember Folic acid! www.fpa.org.ukIt is recommended that all women www.teenagehealthfreak.orgof child bearing age take a dailysupplement of folic acid to reduce www.tht.org.ukthe risk of having a baby with aneural tube defect (NTD) eg spina www.embarrassingproblems.combifida. If you or your partner havespina bifida your chances of having Sexwise: 0800 282930 a baby with a NTD are increased. To NHS Direct: 0845 4647 reduce this risk, it is recommended FPA: 0845 3101334that women in this higher risk grouptake a daily 5mg supplement of folicacid for at least one month prior toconception, and until the 12th weekof pregnancy. This is a higher dosethan that which is recommended
Help usShine relies on people’s generosity and support so we can help our clientswho depend on us for help and advice - people with hydrocephalus, spinabifida, their families and carers. To donate to Shine please visitwww.shinecharity.org.uk or call 01733 421329.This information has been produced by Shine’s medical advisers andapproved by Shine’s Medical Advisory Committee of senior medicalprofessionals.Shine - Registered charity no.249338To see our full range of information sheets and to find out how to donate toShine please visit www.shinecharity.org.uk