Well, there is a lot of missing information here! How old are you and your boyfriend? Is this a committed long term relationship? Are you financially able to support an unintended pregnancy? But more importantly, why do you want to become sexually active? From your question, you are not ready for the responsibilities that accompany sexual relations. Let’s look at reality. The bottom line of what you said is, “I’m not ready for a child.” and you are concerned about STDs. Does your boyfriend feel the same way? Is he ready to support a child and commit to a forever relationship with you as a parent?
This is a very important conversation that you and your boyfriend need to have.
If both of you answer no, then why take any chance at all for that to happen? Every type of birth control has what are called failure rates. In other words, even when used perfectly, sometimes they don’t work perfectly and a woman becomes pregnant. The only 100% effective method is abstinence – not having sex. But, there are at least a thousand ways to show your love for someone without having sex…..
If you do decide to have sex it is very, very important that you (and your boyfriend) see a health care provider before that happens – to discuss the different birth control methods available, what the pros and cons are for each method, risks of getting STIs (sexually transmitted infections – like gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and HIV), and how to use the birth control method correctly, so that it works the best it can. A highly effective birth control method needs to be completely on board before the first episode of sex. Condoms by themselves have about a 15% failure rate for preventing pregnancy within a year of use in what is called “typical use” (the numbers for people that actually use them, not what perfect use numbers are.) So, while condoms can and do help prevent pregnancy and STIs, if you want the lowest risk possible for either of those possibilities, it would good to find out if there is a method you can use that has a better “typical user” rate of effectiveness.
Before you make this decision, ask yourself what are your life’s dreams and goals. Are these goals shared by your boyfriend? Then, listen to your heart. If often helps to talk to an older woman whom you trust, is wise, and cares for you…. Even though our culture often glosses sex, this is a huge decision and it’s worth taking the time to make the choice that is best overall for you – the one that helps you achieve the dreams and goals you have for your future. You won’t have any regrets later if you go with that!
Hope this helps!