At a particular stage in life, people engage in romantic relationships. These intimate connections boost our happiness and the feeling of well-being, increase our confidence, emotional stability, and personal relations with people. However, with sexual relations comes responsibility.
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting venereal diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are spread from one person to another through various forms of sexual activities.
According to the CDC, STDs are so common in the U.S, accounting for around 19 million cases every year, with half of this occurring in young people of 15-24 years. So, what are the healthy practices you can follow to keep you safe from STDs? Read through the post to find out.
Understanding how STDs are spread.
Generally, STIs are spread by having unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. However, it is always not limited to these only; some other different STIs are contracted in different ways. online trt therapy.
Some of these STIs can be spread through body fluids like vaginal secretions, semen, and blood. Others can also be transmitted through body contact with infected areas of an infected person. So, any kind of sexual activity that involves the exchange of body fluids puts you at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Also, some STIs like HIV can be transmitted by sharing body piercings, objects like syringes used by drug addicts, or tattoos. Though it currently happens in rare cases, mothers can also pass the infection to the baby during childbirth.
You cannot contract these diseases from casual contacts like holding hands, hugging, or in the toilet seats- you can only get it from an already infected person. But most people with STDs don’t know it since most of the time, there are no symptoms, hence the reasons for regular sexual health screening and consistent use of condoms.
Health practices to keep you safe from STDs.
The only sure way of staying safe from STDs is to abstain from sexual contact. However, you can follow various health practices when engaging in sexual activity to prevent you from contracting sexually transmitted infections.
· Protection before sex.
Proper STD prevention starts before the beginning of any sexual encounter. Here are different steps you can follow to minimize the risks of STDs before any sexual activity.
- Discuss honestly with your potential partner about your sexual histories.
- Get STD tests together with your partner before sexual intercourse.
- Get vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, human papillomavirus.
- Avoid any sexual encounters when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Apply barrier methods when engaging in sexual activity.
- Consider using PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis. A medication taken by HIV-negative persons to reduce risks of contracting HIV.
Talking about your sexual health with your partner is very vital for your safety, but not everyone knows they have STIs unless they get tested. So getting tested together should follow every discussion.
· Sexual health practices to keep you safe from STDs.
The use of barrier methods has a high potential of lowering your risks of contracting STDs. These include:
- Use of dental dams for oral sex.
- Using internal and external condoms for any form of penetrative sex.
- Use of gloves during manual stimulations and penetration.
Keeping good hygiene before, during, and after sexual activity can help prevent contracting or spreading STDs. These hygiene practices include:
- Washing your hands before engaging in sexual activity.
- Urinating immediately after sex to prevent UTIs.
- Rinsing off after every sexual engagement.
Step by step guide on using condoms correctly.
It is important to follow instructions correctly when using barrier methods because this will make them more effective. Here are the steps to follow.
- Check for the expiry date.
- Ensure there are air bubbles on the package.
- Put on the condom correctly. Always leave a space at the tip of the condom for external use.
- Apply condom-safe lubes.
- Hold on to the condom to avoid spilling after sex and dispose of it correctly.
- Never remove and try to put it back or reuse a condom.
Though sexually transmitted diseases are common, there are different ways and health practices you can adopt to keep you safe from contracting or spreading them. Take time to discuss your sexual health history with your partner and get tested together before any sexual activity.
Also, use protection methods like using dental dams and condoms for various sexual encounters like oral or penetrative sex. Maintain good hygiene before, during, and after sex to help reduce the risks of STIs.