Anyone can catch a sexually transmitted disease
(STD) if they are sexually active. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female,
young or old, in a committed relationship or having more casual partnerships.
If you are having any kind of sexual contact with another person (or if you
have had in the past) then you could have an STD. However, that doesn’t mean
that there’s nothing you can do to protect yourself.
Use Condoms to Prevent STDs
Condoms are the only form of contraception that can protect you against STDs. If there is a chance that you or your partner might be infected (because you’ve been sexually active before and haven’t been screened for STDs) then you should use a condom. Both male and female condoms can protect you against many STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV.
Condoms can be used for all kinds of sexual contact with a male partner. You can also use dental dams to protect against STDs during oral sex with a female partner.
However, it’s important to be aware that condoms can’t stop all STDs. A condom can usually protect you against infections that spread through body fluids, but they can’t always stop infections that can spread by skin to skin contact. For example, if someone has genital warts, herpes blisters or syphilis sores that aren’t covered by the condom, then the infection could still spread.
You should also ensure that you are using the condom correctly in order to be protected. The condom needs to be fitted correctly before any contact with your partner. You should also avoid using oil-based lubricants with latex condoms as they can degrade the material.
Get Screened for STDs
Protecting yourself against STDs can reduce the risks that you’ll be affected, but it isn’t possible to eliminate this risk completely. Condoms aren’t 100% effective at preventing infections and they can’t protect against every STD. Some infections can spread through skin to skin contact, so if the affected area isn’t covered by the condom, you won’t be protected.
It’s also important to be aware that STDs don’t always cause noticeable symptoms. You could be infected even if you feel fine, but the infection could still be causing serious problems. If you don’t get the right treatment for an STD, it could eventually lead to issues such as fertility problems.
Since there is no way to prevent all STDs and the symptoms can be hidden, it’s important to get screened for STDs if you have been sexually active. Some simple tests can check for any sexually transmitted infections that need to be treated. Ideally, you should get tested whenever you find a new sexual partner, and you should ask them to get tested too.
If you need more advice on using condoms or you want to be screened for STIs, then you can make an appointment at 132 Healthwise.