Safe Sex Guide | Tips
According to a report published in peer reviewed medical journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases (1), investigators reported latest data on the incidence and prevalence of some infections and diseases that are transmitted by sexual contact.
Salient features of the report include
- Each year more than 110 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases (What are STD’s Learn More) are reported despite the fact that a large sum of money is spent each year on public awareness and preventive protocols by government and non- government bodies.
- Ironically, about one-fifth of all the diagnosed cases (that corresponds to 22.1 million individuals) are under the age of 25 years.
- The most frequently reported infection is human papilloma virus (Papilloma Symptoms | Treatment Learn More) which unfortunately is asymptomatic in most cases. Concurrently, a number of infected individuals tend to transfer infectious agent to healthy partners during the act of unprotected intercourse.
Benefits of Safe Sex Practices
Safe sex practices are helpful for physics (Healthy Sexual Relationship), emotional, psychological and reproductive health of males and females. Some of the many benefits are:
- Lesser risk of unwanted, undesired pregnancies
- Prevention from sexually transmitted infections/ diseases and resulting complications
- Low risk of developing HIV infection (HIV in Women Learn More) or other systemic infectious diseases like Hepatitis B (Oral STD’s Learn More) and C.
Helpful Tips on Safe Sex
Safe sexual practices include several protocols.
Safe Sex Education: Before practicing safe sex, it is very important to know the basic and primary protocols of safe sexual practices. In addition, it is imperative to learn when to take measures and seek medical help for optimal management.
Learning about different methods: Physical barrier method that is also used by couples to prevent unwanted pregnancy is fairly effective at minimizing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. This include condoms (Condom Mistakes Learn More) (males) and vaginal cones (Female Condoms Learn More) or diaphragms in females.
Learn danger signs: Most sexually transmitted diseases (Syphilis Symptoms | Stages) are symptom-free (at least in the initial stages of infection); however, during the prodromal period (when infectious organisms are growing in the body) you can still transmit infection to partner/ partners in case of unprotected sexual encounter. Learn the danger signs or symptoms to watch for; such as changes in the character, consistency, amount or color/ odor of vaginal discharge (or urethral discharge in case of males); redness/ irritation or itching in the genital region or fever/ feeling of being unwell after a recent unprotected sexual encounter.
Take extra cautions if you have certain risk factors: A latest study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (3) suggested that HPV (HPV in Men Learn More) infection is more frequent in homo-sexual males. Data collected from 602 males suggested that the prevalence of HPV in the study sample was 30.3% with anal canal being the most frequent site of infection (in 42.4% cases). Once again, condoms are helpful in preventing the transmission of infection in this group.
Limit the number of sexual partners: Maintaining monogamous relationships (Monogamous Relationship Wiki Page) or limiting the number of sexual partners is an effective strategy to practice safe sex. Avoid chance encounters and take effective measures in unavoidable circumstances.
Consume alcohol in moderation: Drugs or alcohol can substantially affect inhibition and self-control. A lot of people tend to engage in unhealthy sexual behavior when under the influence. According to a latest research (3), one glass of alcohol increases the risk of odd sexual encounter by 18%.
More Helpful Tips on Safe Sex
- Consistency is the key, make sure to use condom or protection each time.
- Use new condom/ vaginal diaphragm each time and make sure to discard it safely after use
- Birth control (Birth Control Methods Learn More) methods (like contraceptive pills or intrauterine devices) prevent unwanted pregnancies. Such methods has no efficacy in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
- If you or your partner is suffering from any sexually transmitted infection/ disease, seek immediate medical help for early diagnosis and treatment
- Avoid intercourse unless the infection has resolved completely.
- Visit your primary healthcare provider at intervals.
- Sexually active females should get pap smears at intervals to detect early changes in the cervical epithelium. Adult females should also seek vaccination for HPV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Always remember that safe sex is not only about protecting the genitalia; any type of risky sexual behavior involving oral cavity, genitals or anus can increase the risk of infections and diseases. The only way to be 100% sure and safe is to maintain abstinence from all types of sexual activities.
Satterwhite, C. L., Torrone, E., Meites, E., Dunne, E. F., Mahajan, R., Ocfemia, M. C. B., … & Weinstock, H. (2013). Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sexually transmitted diseases, 40(3), 187-193.
Goldstone, S., Palefsky, J. M., Giuliano, A. R., Moreira, E. D., Aranda, C., Jessen, H., … & Garner, E. I. (2011). Prevalence of and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 203(1), 66-74.
Heath, J., Lanoye, A., & Maisto, S. A. (2012). The role of alcohol and substance use in risky sexual behavior among older men who have sex with men: a review and critique of the current literature. AIDS and Behavior, 16(3), 578-589.
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