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With prevalent sexual escapades in the current era of sex for fun and sex for pay, it has become imperative for everyone, including myself, to look out for how I can protect myself from STIs.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are serious infections transmitted through sexual contact, caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and they affect millions of people worldwide each year. While there is no 100% effective way to prevent STIs, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective methods to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and stay safe.
How to Prevent STIs
- Abstinence. The only 100% effective way to prevent STIs is to not have sex. This simply means not having any vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- Use condoms correctly and consistently. Condoms are the most effective way to prevent the transmission of many STIs, including HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. When used correctly, condoms can reduce the risk of transmission by up to 98%.
- Get vaccinated. There are vaccines available that can protect you from some STIs, such as HPV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis A. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are right for you.
- Know your partner’s sexual history. Talk to your partner about their sexual history and ask them to get tested for STIs before you have sex.
- Get tested regularly. Even if you use condoms and are in a monogamous relationship, it’s a good idea to get tested for STIs regularly. This is especially important if you have any symptoms of an STI.
- Avoid sharing needles. Sharing needles can transmit HIV and hepatitis C.
- Don’t have sex with someone who is sick. If your partner has any symptoms of an STI, it’s best to wait until they are better before having sex.
- Talk to your doctor. If you have any questions about STIs or how to protect yourself, talk to your doctor. They can provide you with more information and help you choose the best prevention methods for you.
Examples of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Human papillomavirus infection (HPV)
HPV is a common STI that can cause warts in various parts of the body, including the genitals, mouth, and throat. There are over 200 types of HPV, and most of them are harmless. However, some types of HPV can cause cancer, including cervical cancer, anal cancer, and penile cancer.
There is no cure for HPV, but most cases go away on their own within a few years. However, if you have HPV, it is important to get regular pap smears to check for cervical cancer. There are also vaccines available that can protect you from some types of HPV.
This is a common STI that causes painful blisters or sores on the genitals. The virus that causes genital herpes can lie dormant in the body for years without causing any symptoms. However, once you have the virus, it is always there.
There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are treatments that can help control the symptoms. If you have genital herpes, it is important to tell your sexual partners so that they can get tested and treated if necessary.
Chlamydia is a common STI that can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Painful urination
- Vaginal discharge
- Abnormal bleeding between periods
- Painful or swollen testicles
In some cases, chlamydia may not cause any symptoms. However, even if you don’t have symptoms, chlamydia can still damage your reproductive organs. If you are sexually active, it is important to get tested for chlamydia regularly.
Chlamydia can be treated with antibiotics. However, if it is left untreated, it can cause serious health problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to infertility.
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Painful urination
- Green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina
- Spotting between periods
- Pain in the abdomen or pelvis
In some cases, gonorrhoea may not cause any symptoms. However, even if you don’t have symptoms, it can still damage your reproductive organs. If you are sexually active, it is important to get tested for it regularly.
Gonorrhoea can be treated with antibiotics. But if it is left untreated, it can cause serious health problems, including infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system. If left untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS, a chronic and potentially fatal condition.
HIV is spread through contact with blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. It can be spread through sexual contact, sharing needles, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
There is no cure for HIV, but there are treatments that can help people with HIV live long and healthy lives. These treatments, called antiretroviral therapy (ART), can suppress the virus to the point where it is undetectable in the blood. People with undetectable HIV cannot transmit the virus to their partners.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is usually spread by sexual contact. It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy.
Syphilis has four stages:
- Primary syphilis: A painless sore called a chancre appears at the site of infection.
- Secondary syphilis: A rash, fever, sore throat, and fatigue may develop.
- Latent syphilis: The symptoms go away, but the bacteria remain in the body.
- Tertiary syphilis: Serious health problems, such as heart disease, blindness, and dementia, may develop.
Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics. However, if it is left untreated, it can cause serious health problems.
I hope this information is helpful. Please remember that if you have any concerns about STIs, you should talk to your doctor.
Remember, health is wealth, so stay safe!
Continue reading: How To Prevent Yeast Infection From Ruining Your Sex Life