TheHomeGround.Asia does not condone underaged sex. The legal age to have sex in Singapore is 16 years old, as stated in section 376A of the Singapore Penal Code.
The broken condom
Before my partner and I decided to have sex, we spoke about what we would do if we had an accident.
“Abort lor,” we both said without much thought. After all, we would be using condoms and tracking my period so we would be able to catch a pregnancy early. There had been discussions on the possibility of keeping the baby, but we were quite sure that we would not be ready for a child, and thought the best plan for us would be abortion.
Until a condom broke, and my period was late by two weeks.
“How ah,” I asked my partner.
“We not aborting meh?”
“I scared leh.”
By this point, I had already taken two pregnancy tests – one looked negative and the other looked positive (or maybe I had just stared at it long enough that I saw two lines instead of one).
We were prepared to take one more pregnancy test, but I had already started researching on clinics for abortions. Personally, I had to also prepare myself mentally for the procedure, whether medical or surgical.
Finally, two more pregnancy tests were enough to confirm that I was not pregnant, but it was not until I saw red when I wiped that my partner and I heaved a sigh of relief.
To prevent another unwanted pregnancy, my partner and I decided to have a conversation on our contraception methods. We understood that condoms are only 98 per cent effective when used correctly, but we wanted another contraceptive measure as backup as well.
We researched on various contraceptive methods, but found that most required doctors’ appointments, like an injection or intra-uterine device, or were less effective than condoms, like diaphragms and cervical caps.
Going online for contraceptives
What we liked was the ultimate in privacy and freedom from judgement these online consultations and prescriptions provided.
While consultations are still needed before you can get a prescription for birth control pills, they can be virtually over an online videoconferencing website. I chose to go with Ease Healthcare, where an appointment was made within a day, and I got to speak with a doctor over concerns of starting birth control.
She went over things like how to take oral contraceptives, what to do if I missed one, how to use the pills to my advantage, such as in delaying a period for a vacation, and much more.
Although the consultation over Google Meets only lasted 10 minutes, I found that I had learnt so much more about contraceptives than I ever did in school. The private setting allowed me to ask as many questions as I needed, and I was never asked why I needed birth control.
The doctor then set up a prescription, through which I ordered a three-month supply of birth control pills that were then mailed to me in very discreet packaging. I got my birth control within a couple of days without having to leave the house.
Ease Healthcare doesn’t just provide oral contraceptives, they also have an extensive list of services, which includes teleconsultations for urinary tract and yeast infections, emergency contraception (the morning after pill), and even an at-home STD test kit (coming soon) – all from the privacy and comfort of home.
Ease Healthcare is just one of many online portals from where young adults can receive medical advice and sexual education, although it is mainly targeted at women.
Discreet help for STDs
Men shouldn’t feel left out of receiving sexual education or having a safe place to learn more about contraceptives and even testing for common sexually transmitted diseases.
For example, should men be worried about the high risk of HIV transmission during sex, such as when a condom breaks, they need to know that they can consume HIV PEP (HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis), which can reduce the risk of infection.
The earlier the treatment of HIV PEP, the better, especially withing 48 hours of exposure from potential risk.
Dr. Tan & Partners Clinic (DTAP), has made it very convenient for those at risk of HIV exposure to seek medical attention immediately. The clinic has a WhatsApp hotline available 24/7, which allows patients to text in emergency situations, even after clinic hours, to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Although the clinic is not able to hold a consultation virtually, the discretion in texting and booking an appointment at any time of the day through your mobile phone already eliminates the need for potentially embarrassing phone calls.
Better safe than sorry
To some, it may seem like doing all this is more of a hassle to prevent unwanted pregnancies or STDs when practicing abstinence is not just a sure-fire way of preventing all of that, but a recommended solution taught in schools.
But we also understand that sex is very much a part of society. Instead of keeping hush about it, we would prefer that better information and options are available, so that when making the decision to have sex, you are well-prepared for anything that might happen.