13 Apr 2023
6 Steps You can Take to Avoid Contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It is always best to be safe and to avoid sexually transmitted diseases so that you can enjoy active sex life without putting your health at risk. This blogpost discusses 6 ways to avoid STDs and have a healthy sex life.
- Wear condoms to ensure safe sex – Are you aware that wearing condoms is a great way to reduce the risk of infection with different kinds of STDs? STDs include – chlamydia, HIV and gonorrhea and the key to avoiding them is to wear condoms consistently every time you have sexual intercourse, especially if you and your partner have not been tested for STDs recently. You may still get a sexually transmitted disease even if you do wear a condom, particularly the ones that may spread through genital sores such as – HPV or genital herpes but you need to do all you can to avoid infection. Take time to understand how to wear condoms properly to prevent STDs.
- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases regularly – Certain STDs may cause other health issues such as – pelvic inflammatory disease, liver disease, infertility, blood vessel or heart damage, cervical cancer, especially when they are left untreated. This can lead to a higher risk of premature delivery, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage in pregnant women. Luckily, regular STD testing can help you avoid long-term health concerns and prevent you from transmitting STD to your partner. You can get tested for STDs at the healthcare clinic with detection of the six most common STIs such as – chlamydia, hepatitis C, syphilis, HIV, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis.
- Get vaccinated – The most common sexually transmitted disease is human papillomavirus but there is a vaccine that can avoid it. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause the development of different types of cancers such as cervical cancer. The higher-risk HPV types are the main cause of cervical cancer in women. According to CDC, both boys and girls in the age group of 11 to 12 should get the vaccine (though the vaccine may be given at as young as 9 years) through age 26 (if not already vaccinated). After the age of 26, you need to speak with a healthcare provider about HPV vaccination and whether it is the right option for you.
- Take PrEP to prevent HIV – Pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP is a tablet that you need to take daily to prevent the spread of HIV infections effectively. This is possible even when you do not use protection such as condoms, at the time of intercourse. This is a HIV prevention method made up of two antiretrovirals and is intended for the ones who are at great risk for getting HIV. When you are taking PrEP, it is necessary to have routine HIV testing every 3 months. You can do this easily with a home HIV test kit.
- Enjoy sex with fewer partners – To avoid different STDs, having fewer sexual partners can certainly lessen the risk. The possibility of transmitting STD reduces significantly when you and your partner are mutually monogamous, particularly when both of you test for STIs. Certainly, monogamy is not for everyone though having multiple sexual partners may increase the risk of STDs. Take additional precautions when you are not mutually monogamous with someone.
- Communicate properly with your partners – It can feel awkward to discuss sex and STDs and you might be wondering how to broach the subject of sexually transmitted diseases with your new partner. Make sure you are honest with your sexual partner to prevent STDs. You can ask your partner to get tested for STDs with you and find out if either of you have this infection. This way, both of you can work together to create a plan for protecting yours and your partner’s health and engage in safer sexual activity.
How to treat different STDs
There are different treatment options based on the kind of STD you have. Certain sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria are typically easy to treat in comparison to viral infections. Viral STDs may be managed though they cannot always be treated. Treatment will include taking antiviral drugs or antibiotics. The antibiotics can help resolve several bacterial infections such as – chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis. The antiviral drugs which are prescribed for HIV or herpes may keep the virus in check for years, though it may still spread to your partner.
It is important to know how you can avoid STDs for the protection of your own and your partner’s sexual health. This will give you greater peace of mind that you are in good sexual health.