Sexual health is an essential part of health and well-being, particularly for women. Women are at higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases; their anatomy makes them vulnerable to catching something, but they are often less likely to show symptoms than men.
STIs left untreated can have very damaging effects on one’s health and well-being and lead to issues such as cancer and even death in extreme cases. Therefore, protecting yourself from gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts, genital herpes, syphilis, and HIV is integral to staying healthy.
Learn the Facts
There are many different STIs that can affect people of all ages and demographics. They come in all shapes and sizes and with a variety of side effects. Furthermore, each STI spreads in a different way – not all are spread by vaginal or anal sex; some can be transmitted during oral sex and genital touching. Therefore, knowing how STIs are spread can be valuable in safe sex practice; it can help you communicate with your partner and draw boundaries about how you act in your sexual relationships.
An essential part of practicing safe sex is using the right contraception. So often, the onus is left on women to sort out birth control. However, condoms work wonders too. Using a condom correctly every time you have vaginal or anal sex can significantly reduce your risk of catching anSTI.
Condoms are the only form of birth control that can reduce your risk of getting pregnant and getting a sexually transmitted disease at the same time. However, they must be worn and used correctly every time you have sex to have the most efficacy.
If you or your sexual partnersuffer from genital herpes, there are several types of antiviral medication that can be used to treat and suppress it. Aciclovir tablets, for example, can reduce the symptoms as well as the number of outbreaks that may occur. It is not a cure, but it is a treatment that can help reduce the severity and length of symptoms.
If you have an active sex life, it is wise to make sure that you regularly test for sexually transmitted diseases and infections. This will tell you whether you have picked up an infection and make sure it is treated as quickly as possible before you get any more detrimental side effects and spread it on to others.
Also, talking regularly to your health provider about your sexual health is excellent practice and will keep you and your partners safe. Many places offer free sexual health care services and treatment – so it’s wise to take advantage of these when you can.
Talk to Your Partner
Keeping open communication with your partner or partners should be a regular practice in your safe sex routines. Learning information about who they are sleeping with and their sexual history will help you know what you need to do to keep yourself protected. Furthermore, talking to your partner about safe sex will enable you to set the ground rules and boundaries in your sexual relationship.