Sexual Health Health Center

What is a high-risk pregnancy?
Each and every pregnancy carries risk to both mother and child. However, certain factors can add more risk to a pregnancy, and women may need further monitoring in these situations. Very young women and older women who are pregnant are considered high-risk, as are those who are underweight or overweight. Other factors that may increase risks during pregnancy include problems with past pregnancies such as miscarriages, stillbirths and preterm labor or births. 

What are some more methods of contraception besides the daily pill and condoms?
While conventional condoms and the daily birth control pill are popular contraceptive devices, they are not the only options available. There are other barrier methods, such as a cervical cap, which also physically prevents sperm from entering the uterus. An intrauterine device (IUD) is another option. An IUD is a small device inserted into the uterus and is 99 percent effective in the prevention of pregnancy. One IUD can stay active in the body for up to 10 years. There are also more hormonal birth control options besides the daily pill. Skin patches, vaginal rings and implants also release hormones in a fashion similar to the daily pill. Sterilization is another option for contraception, albeit more permanent. Sterilization involves a surgical procedure that typically cannot be reversed.

How do I know if I've spread an STD to a sexual partner if I am unaware of my status?
It is your responsibility to know your STD status, especially before engaging in sexual acts with another individual. If you have never had an STD screening or testing, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Testing will may involve drawing blood for further testing, a urine sample and a vaginal swab (for women). Once you know your status, you should inform past partners if you have passed an illness onto them. Quick notification can allow for proper and necessary treatment and prevent the continued spread of the STD. Once you are tested, stay free of new STDs by practicing safe sex every time. Safe sex includes using a condom for vaginal, oral and anal intercourse, knowing your own and your partner's STD status and continuing to have regular medical check-ups.

Review Date: 
September 4, 2012
Last Updated:
November 13, 2013