Sexual Health

Being sexually active is not risk-free. There is the risk of unplanned pregnancy and the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexual health nurses from the Health Unit recognize that taking risks is a normal part of human behaviour and we want to make sure our clients have all the information to make an informed decision about sex.

Whether you are sexually active now or thinking about having sex, the Health Unit’s sexual health nurses can help you make healthy sexual choices that are right for you.

For more information on sexual health clinic locations or to make an appointment, call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1205.

Sexual Health

Thinking about having sex, or already sexually active? Either way, it’s important you know the potential risks and take precautions. By making healthy choices, you can avoid unplanned pregnancies, the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and other problems.

Sexual Health Nurses with the Health Unit can help you make informed choices that are right for you. Sexual Health Nurses provide:

  • Sexual Health Clinics in your area
  • Free STI testing and treatment
  • Free condoms and low-cost birth control
  • Free pregnancy testing and much more

To speak to a Sexual Health Nurse, or make an appointment at a Sexual Health Clinic, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1205

Sexual Health Ontario

Sex and You


Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common type of sexually transmitted infection in Canada. Approximately 80 per cent of Canadians will get HPV at least once in their lives, with people younger than 25 years of age having the most infections.

HPV is spread through various kinds of sexual activity (vaginal, anal, or oral). It can also be spread by skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner. Most HPV infections have no signs or symptoms.

HPV causes:

  • 90 per cent of all genital warts
  • 70 per cent of all cancers of the cervix
  • other cancers of the vagina, and vulva

HPV vaccination is 98 per cent effective in stopping the four types of HPV infection that can cause:

  • precancerous changes and cancers of the cervix, vulva and vagina
  • genital and anal warts
Protect Yourself!

The Health Unit can provide HPV immunization to eligible individuals, including all boys and girls in Grade 7. To see if you or your child can receive the HPV vaccine, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507. – Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Getting the HPV vaccine – Ministry of Health

Birth Control and Breastfeeding

There are many birth control methods that are reliable and do not affect breastfeeding. It’s important to research which method is right for you and your partner.

Only you will know when you are ready to have sex again after the birth of your baby. Generally, you can have sex again when you have stopped bleeding and have recovered from the birth.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider and make sure you have chosen a type of birth control that is safe for breastfeeding moms.


Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)

  • Short-term birth control (first six months after deliver)
  • Positive effect on breastfeeding
  • 98% reliable if used correctly. Key is to breastfeed often, both day and night, to delay the return of your period and suppress your fertility.
  • To use this method, must answer “no” to all three questions. If you answer “yes” to one question, you should use another birth control method.
    • Has your period returned? (a period is two days of bleeding in a row that occurs eight weeks after the date of delivery)
    • Are there long periods without breastfeeding (longer than four hours in the day and six hours at night)?
    • Is your baby more than six months old?

Barrier Method

  • No effect on breastfeeding
  • Condoms (male and female) are widely available, inexpensive and you do not need a prescription.
  • Most reliable if used with spermicides. Spermicides need to be inserted into the vagina ahead of time

Intrauterine Devices

  • No adverse effects on breastmilk supply if supply is well established
  • Need to be seen by a health care provider for access to Intrauterine Device and Intrauterine System

Hormonal Method

  • Taking hormones can decrease milk supply, and newborns may have difficulty removing hormones from their system
  • The pill, patch and Estrogen and Progestin vagina ring are only available with a prescription from a health care provider

Natural Family Planning

  • There is no impact on breastfeeding
  • The goal of natural family planning is to learn when you are ovulating and avoid sex during fertile times

To learn more about safe birth control methods and breastfeeding, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003.

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