The “proper” terms for our genitalia are “vagina” (women) and “penis” (men). Men and women each have many internal organs whose purpose is reproduction (baby making), as you can see in the diagrams on this website. In fact, the primary biological purpose of sex is reproduction. Our bodies are very much based in functionality. On the other hand, we all know that the majority of the time, when we have sex, it won’t be to reproduce. It will most likely be sex that falls in the recreational category – for the fun of it, or to express our love or deep connection to our partner. Does that mean that our reproductive functions turn off unless we want to use them? We all know that our intentions when we have sex do nothing to control whether or not a pregnancy is the result of that sex. If that were the case, there would probably be no accidental pregnancies. So, when we choose to engage in heterosexual sex (sex with a partner born of the opposite gender), we should always be aware that it might result in pregnancy (also being aware of the risk of STD/STI). Those engaging in homosexual sex (sex with a partner born of the same sex) it is still important to do so responsibly. While the risk of pregnancy has been removed, you still must be conscious of the possibility of getting an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexually transmitted infection). If now is not the best time for either partner to become a parent, then some method of birth control should be used to protect both yourself and your partner from unintended pregnancy. It is also important to discuss protection from STD/STI with your partner. Barrier methods of birth control (such as condoms) are best for protection from STD/STI.
Click the Family Planning tab to learn more about options around contraception/birth control.
How do we become pregnant? How do we know we are fertile (able to become pregnant)? Click on the Fertility tab to learn more and view some great videos about how our bodies work for reproduction.
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