Sexual Health

photo of Sexual Health Peer Educators

Caring for one's body is one of the most important lessons college-aged adults can learn. Sexual health is part of this process. Our sexual health peer education program strives to help students at Western Michigan University make educated decisions about healthy sexual choices, including sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention.

Let's talk about sex

Discussions to have with yourself and your partner before sex:

  • Values and beliefs about religion, spirituality, family
  • Emotional readiness—pros and cons of sex
  • How will having sex change this relationship?
  • What are your sexual expectations and how will you handle it if they aren't met?
  • Previous sex history
  • Alternative to sex
  • Preparing for sex: What kinds of contraceptive methods are you and your partner going to use if you don't want to become pregnant? How will you protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections?

Drugs, alcohol and sex

Combining alcohol or drugs with sex is strongly associated with:

  • Having sex when you are not ready
  • Spread of sexually transmitted infections
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Acquaintance or date rape

Use your condom sense

  • Having vaginal, oral or anal sex? Use your condom sense! Male condoms are available at Sindecuse Health Center's Pharmacy starting at 12 condoms for $3 (plus tax).
  • Other than abstinence, condom use is the most effective method of preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
  • There are currently more than 100 kinds of condoms on the market in various sizes and colors, making it more likely that you will find one to fit your needs.

To avoid having a condom tear or rip

  • Use plenty of lubrication.
  • Check expiration date. The average shelf life of a condom is two years.
  • Do not store condoms in a place they may get very hot or very cold (like in your wallet or in your back pocket). This will degrade or weaken the latex.
  • Do not use knife, scissors or your teeth to open the package.
  • Do not use oil based lubricant—it will weaken the material.
  • Do not double up.

What is abstinence? And why should I care?

  • Abstinence is the only 100 percent guaranteed method of preventing sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancy.
  • Being abstinent means no sexual behavior—including not having oral or anal sex.
  • Abstinence is not rare—32 percent of college aged students surveyed nationally are abstinent.
  • Talk about your choice with your significant other.
  • Don't feel pressured. Never have sex to be a part of the crowd. Be honest.
  • If you decide to have sex, have a plan to keep yourself safe and protected.