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Condoms for 13 year olds

Hi Sam,

Ok so basically i am 14 and my girlfriend is also 14...we both want to have sex and i know its technically illegal but we both feel emotionally ready, we have been dating for around a year now and we know each other very well. also we have done oral sex a number of times and now we want to take it to the next issue is getting condoms i cant walk into a shop and buy them its too awkward..there are some condoms i could use in my house but they expired march 2016..should i use them?

thanks for your help :)

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Contraception is free on the NHS for anyone who needs it. You can get condoms and other contraceptives without an adult from lots of places, even if you're under 16. While it's against the law to have sex under 16 it's important to remember that this should never stop you getting contraception and advice about safe sex. Condoms that have expired should be thrown away and not used as they won't be effective.

Lots of young people ask me about having sex under the age of 16 and whether they can get advice and contraceptives. The law does say you need to be 16 before you can have sex, but it's important to understand what this law is for. People become emotionally and physically ready for sex at different ages. The law is there to protect young people because 16 is the age when most people start to feel ready. There will still be plenty of people who don't feel ready at 16 and that's okay.

The other reason the law says you need to be 16 is because this is when most people are old enough to understand the choice they are making when having sex. The law exists to protect young people from being abused or groomed by adults who might want to take advantage of them.

All of this means that while it is illegal, you should feel able to get help and support if you decide to start having sex. Before you make your decision be sure to think about how you might feel and what the risks are - such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. This could be something you talk over with one of our counsellors.

If you do decide you want to have sex then getting contraception is important. You can get free condoms from your GP, a local sexual health clinic (some are only for young people under 25) and NHS walk-in centres or you can buy them from a pharmacy or supermarket. There are often local schemes that let you get condoms for free from pharmacies with a special card - you could ask about these as well.

Brook have lots of great advice about sexual health and staying safe. They can also help you find your nearest sexual health clinic.

Well done for getting in touch, thanks for writing. And remember our counsellors are always here for you.

Take care.


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