How To Avoid STDs
There are many types of sexually transmitted diseases. They include; syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis B and HPV among others. Some of these diseases can cause death if not treated while others can cause immense pain and suffering not to mention infertility in some cases. While many people are often shy when it comes to seeking treatment, prompt and proper treatment is necessary. However, it’s best to avoid contracting these diseases. Read on to learn how to avoid STDs.
1. Practice Abstinence
As the name suggests, sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted through sexual contact, which includes vaginal, oral and anal sex. The surest way of avoiding STDs, therefore, is to avoid sex. Abstinence is recommended especially for teens and people in their 20’s, who are usually at greatest risk of contracting these diseases. The logic is simple, if you do not have sexual contact with anybody, you will not contract sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Have One Sex Partner
Your risk exposure to STDs increases with the number of sex partners you have. The more people you have sexual contact with, the higher your chances of getting an STD will be. Therefore, you should reduce the number of people you sleep with if you cannot have a single sex partner. However, this may not be enough because your partner may have different values. Therefore, you should have one sex partner whose values are similar to yours. By being faithful to each other in a monogamous relationship, you will reduce your risk of getting an STD to almost zero.
3. Get Tested Before Sleeping With a New Partner
If you have just gotten into a new relationship and you are about to have your first sexual contact with the new catch, be sure to go for testing. Both of you should get tested together to confirm to one another that you’re both free of sexually transmitted diseases. If you are not completely sure of your status, talk to your partner and have separate tests done in private before getting tested together. If you are both free of STDs, you can maintain a monogamous relationship to avoid contracting STDs from other people.
4. Use Condoms
One of the most effective tools for prevention of STD transmission is the use of male latex condoms. Whether you are about to have anal, oral or vaginal sex, be sure to use condoms. This will prevent the transmission of viruses, bacteria or fungus that are known to cause sexually transmitted diseases. Ideally, both women and men who sleep with multiple partners, or those in the high-risk group, should consider carrying condoms wherever they go. This helps to prevent the risk of contracting STDs by promoting safe sex, even if multiple sex partners are involved. That said, never rely on your partner to practice safe sex; you should take your own precautions, such as having your own condoms.
5. Get Vaccinated
There is a lot of research being conducted on vaccines for STDs, especially HIV. Unfortunately, there are only two STDs that have vaccines. These are hepatitis B and HPV. Ideally, you should get these two vaccines before you become sexually active. You can get a hepatitis B vaccine at any age if you have never been vaccinated. When it comes to HPV, however, teenage boys and men can be vaccinated up to the age of 21 years. Teenage girls and women, on the other hand, can be vaccinated up to the age of 26 years. Ideally, every parent should make sure their teenage child is vaccinated before they start becoming sexually active.
6. Avoid Sex When Intoxicated
Sex and drugs should never go hand in hand. This is because you may not be able to practice safe sex when you are high on alcohol or any other type of drug. When you go out drinking or partying, you may never know whom you’ll be going home with, so you need to have a sober friend to ensure you do not leave with a stranger. However, it’s best to avoid the company of strangers when you are drinking or smoking a joint. Knowing your limits as far as drug use is concerned can also help you to avoid risky sexual encounters, so you should learn to stop once you have reached your limit as far as getting high or drunk is concerned.