Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are infections that spread during sexual contact with an infected person.
Generally, sexually transmitted diseases are preventable.
The guaranteed method for the prevention of STDs is abstinence from all forms of sexual contact. Nonetheless, most persons find this hard to keep. When engaging in sexual activities, there are three necessary steps to take to limit the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
1.. Protection Before Sex
Effective prevention of STD begins way before sexual activities start. Here are the steps to take before indulging in sexual activities:
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
- Avoid indulging in sexual activities when on drugs or alcohol.
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis B and human papillomavirus.
- Talk about sex histories with your potential partners.
- Get tested, alongside your partner, before having sex.
The principal thing is having a conversation about sexual health with your partner, but the fact is, not everyone with STDs is aware of it. This is why you must get tested before having sex with a new partner.
If you have been diagnosed with an STD, ensure that your partner is aware of it as this will help both of you make informed decisions about the risks. You are also free to ask our partner if they have or have had an STD.
2. Practicing Safe Sex
Indulging in safe sex means making use of a polyurethane or latex barrier for all forms of sexual activities. This latex barrier can include:
- Using dental dams for oral sex,
- Using gloves for manual penetration, and
- Using a male or female condom for intercourse
Washing off immediately after sex can help you rinse off or remove any infectious materials on your skin. Women should specifically urinate after sex, as this can reduce the risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).
3. Using condoms correctly
When using a condom as well as other protection/barriers for safer sex, it is essential to follow some set-out instructions written on the condom box. Using condoms appropriately and in the right way will make prevention of STDs achievable. When using condoms, follow these rules:
- Always check the expiration date.
- Put the condom on correctly.
- Never reuse a condom.
- Unroll the condom onto the penis.
- Use condom-safe lubricant during intercourse.
- Hold the condom when withdrawing after sex, to stop it from slipping off.
- Ensure that the condom has not been punctured by checking the condom package for an air bubble.
- Dispose of used condoms appropriately.
Condoms and other forms of barriers are excellent in the prevention of exchange of infected body fluids. They can also reduce skin to skin contact, thereby reducing the rate of transmission of diseases. However, condoms do not prevent the transmission of diseases entirely.
Although sexually transmitted diseases are common, there are ways to reduce your risk. Furthermore, being open and truthful to your doctor can help them assist you with the perfect prevention method for you.
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Lastly, safer sex is a criterion for everyone because anyone sexually active is at high risk.