STD Prevention – What Should You Know About It?
Did you know that poorly managed sexually transmitted infections are a leading cause of infertility in the United States? Believe it or not, each year more than 3 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases are diagnosed in the US. Although, most infections can be managed with drugs and lifestyle modification, the cost of therapy is fairly high. It is a fact that nobody wants to catch sexually transmitted diseases or infections. But, how to prevent them? Here are few tips that may help in reducing the risk of developing STDs.
The best way of preventing STDs/STIs is not having sex at all! Abstinence is defined as restraining yourself from sexual intercourse or any other sexual activity. However, people have different definitions for abstinence. Some believe that abstinence is not having sex of any kind, whether it is vaginal, anal, or oral sex. But it does not mean that such person does not have any sexual fantasies. He/she chose not to engage in sex because they want to avoid the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies.
Selective abstinence is another type practiced by people in which they do not completely avoid sex but limit their sexual activities or partners. In selective abstinence, the chances of developing STDs or STIs cannot be ignored completely, but can be minimized depending on the nature of abstinence.
When both partners are in monogamous relationship (having sex with each other only) there is minimal to no risk of developing STDs. If one of the partners indulges in extra-marital/ polygamous sexual activity, it is highly recommended to get periodic STDs/STIs testing. Sexually transmitted diseases can be asymptomatic and may remain undiagnosed or undetected for months! Therefore, it is important to ask your doctor about the signs and symptoms that warrants STD testing
The integral part of having sex without increasing the risk of STDs is to talk to your partner and mutually decide ways of preventing it. This will not only develop respect and trust in your relationship but will be helpful in determining the most appropriate and suitable method of STD prevention. Moreover, be honest with your doctor while discussing your sexual life and what STDs/STIs test/infections you had in the past.
Before engaging into any sexual relation, get yourself tested and ask your partner to get tested too.
Using condoms while having sex will not only prevent unwanted pregnancies but will also lower the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections.
Low Risk And High Risk Activities
French kissing and touching genitals via hand are low risk activities i.e. there is less chance of contracting STDs with these activities. Whereas high risk activities include, oral, anal, and vaginal sex, genital to genital contact and sharing sex toys without any protection.
Avoid Recreational Drug Use And Alcohol
Recreational drugs and alcohol alters mind’s ability to make sensible choices and chances of not having safe sex becomes high! People trap themselves into unplanned pregnancies, forced sex and easily catch STDs/STIs. Thus, avoiding such substances or risky behavior can reduce the risk.
- Skarbinski, J., Rosenberg, E., Paz-Bailey, G., Hall, H. I., Rose, C. E., Viall, A. H., … & Mermin, J. H. (2015). Human immunodeficiency virus transmission at each step of the care continuum in the United States. JAMA internal medicine, 175(4), 588-596.
- Fonner, V. A., Armstrong, K. S., Kennedy, C. E., O’Reilly, K. R., & Sweat, M. D. (2014). School based sex education and HIV prevention in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 9(3), e89692.