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Estrella Martinez

Safe Sex is Great Sex (Don’t Forget the Latex!)

College life is filled with study sessions, exams and textbook-filled nights. But college life also signifies independence. With this independence, many students indulge in nights out with friends, a few first dates, and most likely, sex. It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to practice safe sex, it’s crucial to know exactly why you need to stay safe, what kinds of protections are available, and where to find them.

Awareness is key

Knowing why it’s so important to practice safe sex is the key to preventing negative consequences. Unless you abstain from sex, you risk contacting an STI, STD or becoming pregnant. Examples of STIs include gonorrhea, syphilis or HIV. An STD is an infection that became a permanent disease due to lack of treatment, like AIDS.

See a professional

Both women and men should see a doctor to get checked regularly for STIs. For women, it’s crucial to see a gynecologist after you become sexually active, so that they can perform a Pap Smear. Seeing a doctor regularly will help catch anything in time and keep a record of your health.

Use protection

Using protection every time you engage in any sexual activity is vital to help prevent STIs or unplanned pregnancies. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed to communicate to sexual partners your choice to use protection. Explain to them that you would much rather feel comfortable and safe. Types of protection include condoms, birth control for women and dental dams for oral sex.

Where to find help

There are resources available for people who cannot afford birth control or regular doctor’s visits. Planned Parenthood, the nation-wide clinic, provides sexual health services like birth control options, free condoms and multiple gynecology services. Anyone can receive these services and if they cannot afford it, Planned Parenthood has financial assistance options. They will help you find a way to receive the services you need.

There are also new ways to order birth control without having to go see a doctor. There are multiple apps, like NURX, available that allow you to purchase birth control and have it delivered. They will match you with the right kind and type. You can also order birth control at Planned Parenthood’s website after you see them for your first consultation.

Staying healthy and enjoying yourself while feeling comfortable is important when engaging in sexual activities. Don’t be afraid to voice your decision to use protection to a sexual partner. Explain what using protection prevents and why you’d feel more comfortable using it.

Types of birth control

  • Condoms
  • IUDs
  • Pills
  • Shot
  • Patch
  • Ring

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Do Nootropics Work?

Everyone has seen the movie Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper. A struggling author takes a magic pill given to him by an acquaintance and wakes up the next day with enough focus and creativity to write a whole book in one day. Boom! Suddenly, he has the concentration of a monk and the creativity of Picasso, all thanks to one pill. Great story, right? Well what if there was some sort of pill like this in reality?

The term nootropics was coined by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea to encompass any medication or chemical that alters the brain to improve focus and concentration. He even went as far as to set five requirements for a drug to be classified as a nootropic, which are:

  • Enhance memory and ability to learn.
  • Help the brain function under disruptive conditions.
  • Protect the brain from chemical and physical assaults.
  • Increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms.
  • Possess few or no side effects and be virtually non-toxic.

As you can imagine, most supplements billed as nootropics do not meet all of these requirements, but people still label them as such. Some examples are medications used to treat ADHD, like Adderall and Ritalin.

Do they work?

So, the big question is, “Do nootropics work?” Well, it really depends on each individual and what medication you take exactly. There is still a lot of contradictory research on nootropics. Time even goes on to say, “To date, there is no safe drug that may increase cognition in healthy adults.” Many studies have shown that nootropics have no effect on cognitive functions at all.

On the other hand, drugs meant to treat ADHD have been widely used by college students to enhance focus and concentration. Since these medications can be labelled as nootropics, then we can assume that some nootropics do work.

Can it boost your studying?

Again, this depends largely on the person considering it. They would want to ask themselves how badly do they need help concentrating? What is at risk if they are not able to study properly or learn something correctly? Might the person have ADHD of some degree? These questions will help guide the person to the correct decision. Some people may have cognitive issues and be completely unaware. It is recommended that you see a doctor first, so that they may prescribe something before you try something like nootropics.

In conclusion

While there is still a lot of research to be done concerning nootropics, some of the medications have helped people in the past. Since everyone’s circumstances vary greatly, it’s worth it to see your doctor and talk to him about your problem with concentration or focus. You might even be prescribed a nootropic.

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