Sex is not limited to sexual intercourse, it involves any form of sexual touching and includes oral and anal sex.
Who is Having Sex?
An estimated 43% of Canadian teens between the ages of 15 to 19 have had sexual intercourse at least once.
Reference: Canadian Centre for Adolescent Research
Sex is an individual choice with serious consequences, including:
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STD's & AIDS)
The best way to stay safe is to not have sex. If you are having sex, use proper precautions to avoid pregnancy and STD's. Talk to your partner about their sexual history and see your doctor regularly for check-ups.
Please refer to list of guidelines for safe sex on STD page.
Who is Getting Pregnant?
Approximately 4% to 5% of Canadian teenage girls between the ages of 15 to 19 got pregnant in1997.
Reference: Statistics Canada
From 1994 the pregnancy rate for Canadian teens aged 15 to 19 has steadily declined.
Reference: Statistics Canada
- Avoid getting pregnant (or getting someone pregnant). The best way is to not have sex.
- If you are sexually active, use a reliable form of birth control EVERY TIME. Talk to a doctor about the best form of birth control for you.
- If you are pregnant, see a doctor. You will need prenatal care to make sure that you and your baby stay healthy during your pregnancy.
- Talk to a counselor. Pregnancy can be stressful under the best of circumstances, and talking to someone will help. A counselor can also discuss all of your options and help you make the best decision for you and your baby.
- Always use a condom with any form of birth control to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
What is a Sexually Transmitted Disease?
A Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is any infection spread through sexual contact. STD's include:
- Genital Herpes
- Genital warts and/or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Hepatitis B or A
- HIV/AIDS (HIV can also be spread through use or re-use of needles or syringes that have come into contact with the blood of a person who has the HIV virus. A pregnant woman with HIV can also pass it to her child during pregnancy, birth or through breast-feeding.)
- Pubic lice and Scabies
- Molluscum Contagiosum
Who's Getting STD's?
Anyone who is having sex could contract a STD from an infected partner. Some STD's do not show any symptoms for a long time, and are contagious even when the infected person does not know about them.
Any type of sex, including oral, could transmit a STD.
- 60% of all STD's occur in teens aged 15 to 24
- 40% of all STD's occur in females aged 15 to 24
- Use a 'barrier' type of contraception. This includes condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps or the sponge
- Talk to your partner about their sexual history
- Visit your doctor for regular check-ups
Some standard guidelines for the practice of safe sex:
- Abstinence (not having sex) is your best choice.
- Practice "SAFER Sex". Always use condoms. Avoid condoms with Nonoxynol-9 as this may cause skin irritation making it easier to get HIV.
- Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
- If you think you have been infected, get checked out.
- Get education, guidance and support.
If you are concerned about STD's, talk to your doctor, or visit a walk-in or family planning clinic or STD clinic for information, testing and treatment.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Services (STD Clinic)
Toll free STD and AIDS Information Line 1-800-772-2437
Sexually Transmitted Disease Centre
11111 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K OL4
What is Birth Control?
Birth control is any method or device that prevents or lessens the chance of pregnancy. Other than abstinence, there is no method of birth control that is 100% effective. Birth control methods include:
- Male or female condom
- Cervical cap
- Contraceptive foam (Not usually recommended for use by teens because of ingredient nonoxynol-9 - see page on STDs)
- Vaginal contraceptive film (Not usually recommended as above)
- Sponge (Not usually recommended as above)
- Birth control pill
- Norplant (Norplant is no longer available in North America)
- IUD (Not usually recommended for teens because of risk of developing a serious pelvic infection if an STD occurs)
Who Needs Birth Control?
Anyone who is having sex needs birth control. Birth control is the responsibility of BOTH partners.
Talk to a doctor about the best method of birth control for you. Each carries different risks and benefits, and your doctor will help you decide which is right for you. Remember that most birth control methods do not protect you from STDs. Always use a condom with any method of birth control you choose.
Birth Control Centre
Edmonton, Alberta T5W 4W1
Capital Health Centre
10030 - 107 St
Edmonton, Alberta T4J 3E4
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault includes vaginal and anal intercourse, fondling, oral sex or any unwanted sexual activity.
Sexual assault includes all unwanted sexual contact by anybody, including boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, coaches, parents, employers, family friends and people you do not know.
Be aware of your surroundings
Date rape drugs may be colourless, odourless and tasteless. The most widely used date rape drug is alcohol. Keep a close watch on your drink, and do not accept drinks from another person.
Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE)
24 Hour Crisis Line 780- 423-4121
Strathcona Sexual Assault Centre ( SSAC)
#44, 50 Brentwood Blvd., Sherwood Park
780-449-0900 (9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday to Friday)
Outside of the above hours, please call the sexual assult crisis line at 780-423-4121, or the distress line at 780-482-4357.
University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre
2-705 Student Union Building