Inform and Protect Yourself Against STIs
Statistics show that 50% of the nation will contract some form of a sexually transmitted infection in their lifetime. Some of the most common sexually transmitted infections are chlamydia, herpes type I and herpes type II, gonorhea, syphillis, HPV, and the more serious HIV/AIDS. The importance of understanding how one can contract these infections and practice safer sex can lower the statistic numbers.
The first and easiest way to lower chances of contracting an infection is the use of barriers. Condoms during sexual intercourse both anal and vaginal, can prevent most kinds of infections with the exception of herpes. Oral stimulation is considered a form of sex and contraction of an infection can happen through saliva or other bodily fluids. Wearing a condom during fallacio, oral stimulation of the penis, can protect both you and your partner. The use of barriers is also effective for for cunnilingus: oral stimulation of the female clitoris. Dental dams, splitting a condom in half or using saran wrap to form a barrier over the female genitalia will protect both parties involved from contracting an infection.
Barriers are just not enough however, knowing the sexual health of not only you, but your partner are steps to further protect against infection. Getting tested regularly is important because many infections can be asymptomatic or symptoms won’t show up for about a month to a year, such as gonorhea. Without treating the infection, such as gonorhea and chlamydia, it can cause some unfortunate results such as infertility in men. Also, women who are pregnant who go untreated from chlamydia have the possibility of the baby being born blind.
HIV doesn’t become present within the body until about 3 months after contraction. Herpes has the possibility of spreading even without an outbreak being present. There are several different kinds of HPV. Low risk activities causes genital warts, where high risk activities can cause cervical cancer and cancer in the vulva and vagina in women. In men, HPV can cause cancer in the anus and penis. HPV usually goes unnoticed without testing; women can prevent HPV by getting annual pap smears as well as the vaccine for HPV. By practicing safe sex, you’re lowering the statistics of contracting STIs and keeping yourself healthy.