Sexual Health Basics

Choosing Abstinence

You might choose not to engage in sex of any kind (oral, vaginal, or anal). You might be choosing abstinence for a specific time period, you may be choosing abstinence after being sexually active, or you may be choosing abstinence as a lifestyle. The choice is yours, and we support your decision.


If you’re having sex, you should consider condoms--they’re the way to protect you from sexually transmitted infections among folks of any gender having sex. Also, condoms are one of the most popular forms of birth control out there. They don’t require a prescription and are inexpensive. Free condoms and other safer-sex supplies are available from Boynton.


Even though most condoms come pre-lubricated, additional lubrication can reduce friction and the chance of the condom breaking. Use water- or silicone-based lubricant (like ID Glide or Eros). Don’t use an oil-based lubricant (like Vaseline or lotion) because it weakens the latex and can cause the condom to break. Lube can be used with condoms, receptive condoms, and dental dams for oral, anal, and vaginal sex.

Emergency Contraception

Are you worried about a recent sexual encounter that may cause pregnancy? Did you forget to take your birth control pill? Did a condom break during sex? Levonorgestrel (Plan B®) is the most commonly used form of emergency contraception. It’s most effective when used as soon as possible but can be used up to five days after unprotected sex. Other emergency contraceptive options are available.

Emergency Contraception Map

Anyone can purchase levonorgestrel (Plan B®) at a pharmacy (including Boynton Pharmacy) without a prescription. It is also available in vending machines on campus including a basement level vending machine in the Coffman Student Union, the lower level of Willey Hall on the West Bank and in the study space of Ruttan Hall on the St. Paul Campus. 

At Boynton Pharmacy, you may request to have a pharmacist bill your insurance for emergency contraception which is often fully covered.

Emergency contraception should not replace your regular birth control, and it does not prevent sexually transmitted infections. If you’re already pregnant, levonorgestrel will not harm the fetus. It only prevents pregnancy; it does not cause miscarriage.

If you were forced to have sex

The Aurora Center is here for you. You can call them anytime, 24 hours a day, 612-626-9111.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Not all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) cause symptoms, so you may not know if you’re infected. Practice safe sex to keep you and your partners healthy. Some STIs can be transmitted through oral and anal sex. Others, like herpes and genital warts, can be transmitted simply by skin-to-skin contact. If not treated, STIs can lead to more serious infections and possibly infertility. STI testing is available at Boynton.

HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine protects against most of the viruses that cause cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine is given in a series of three shots. If you’re between 13 and 26, you can receive the vaccine series at Boynton Health. There is no out-of-pocket cost for this vaccine series at Boynton Health if you are 26 years old or younger and you pay the student services fee.