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Monday, February 11, 2008

Playing it Safe on Valentine's Day


February 10-16th is officially National Condom Week. Leave it to the American Social Health Association (ASHA) to make romantic sentimentality detached, clinical and (READ) safe. In commendation of these efforts, MenScience officially recognizes this week with some simple protection reminders:

1. Prepare. Have the condoms nearby so they aren't forgotten in the heat of the moment.

2. Educate. If you're a parent, consider having that dreaded father-to-son/daughter talk this week. Statistically it's been shown that most teens have had sex by the time they've left high school, so whatever form your discussion may take, whether you're teaching abstinence or sexual responsibility, make sure your kids know how to protect themselves. For tips on how to talk to your child, click here. For the 20 steps to condom application, click here.

3. Discuss. Equally challenging is the conversation you should have with your partner(s); sometimes a lover may be reluctant to use protection, feeling that condoms diminish intimacy or lessen sexual spontaneity. ASHA's website has some very helpful suggestions.

The issue, though, may be yours. If gloves aren't your style, consider this: Each year in the US, there are approximately 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as HIV, herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis and HPV; left untreated, these can cause a host of medical complications, including infertility. If you feel as if using protection will cramp your style, just imagine how much unplanned parenthood will!

Another way to play it safe on Valentine's Day is to have your loved one check out our unique Valentine's Day gifts section. Why risk getting a gift you don't want and will never use? Featuring gifts by recipient, a fun personality profiler and a Valentine's Day Sweepstakes, MenScience.com has gifts you're sure to love!

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