STD’s are something that no one likes to think or talk about… but certainly something NO ONE wants to get. Here are 7 ways to prevent STD’s and maintain your sexual health…
1. It seems like a no-brainer but use a condom.
Using a condom can greatly reduce your risk of contracting an STD. The key to ensuring that a condom keeps you safe is knowledge. Knowing how to put on the condom properly will help to ensure that it does not break. It is also important that the male partner purchase the correct size so that the condom does not slip off during intercourse or break.
If you do not know how to properly use a condom, do not be embarrassed. Many of men (and women) are confused about how to exactly place the condom on in a way that is effective without putting either partner at risk. You can find a lot of information online if you are shy about approaching Planned Parenthood.
2. Get tested. The life you save might be your own.
It can be a little embarrassing to ask to be tested for STD’s but instead of looking down on you… the medical staff will actually give you your kudos. We live in a world where people are too busy to take care of their personal health – especially their sexual health which can be hard to talk about. Being tested regularly for STD’s ensures that you are staying safe and this can give you a great peace of mind that you cannot get elsewhere. So while your nurse or doctor may not say “Job well done”… they will appreciate your gumption for staying up to date on your own sexual well-being.
3. Be monogamous. It just makes things easier in the long run.
Sleeping around puts you at a higher risk for sexual diseases. Staying with one partner means that your chances of getting infections and STD’s goes down. However, you need to be certain that your partner is monogamous too or this has no effect.
4. Remember birth control does not protect against STD’s.
IF you have an IUD or take birth control pills, remember that these do not guard you against STD’s. In fact, you should only have an IUD if you are in a one partner relationship. This is because having more than one partner with an IUD can increase your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and other STD’s. If you have an IUD and leave your relationship, you can keep your IUD but you will want to ensure that you introduce condoms to the mix.
5. Educate yourself. Know your body. Know the signs and symptoms of trouble.
It is very important to know the signs and symptoms of STD’s. This can help to ensure that you are treated promptly and do not allow the problem to grow worse or to spread to your partner. Sites like Web MD have photographs of different diseases along with symptoms. This can help you to know if you need to get to the doctor’s office or if you may just have something as simple as a yeast infection.
6. Don’t panic. That makes it worse.
Panic won’t help anything. If you are careful, chances are you will not contract an STD. A lot of times symptoms turn out to be UTIs and other harmless everyday things. So while knowing this will not prevent an STD it will help you to put things in perspective. Not every little thing is an STD. Most of the time your symptoms will be something that is treatable with antibiotics and it won’t be an STD at all.
7. Do yearly checks with a friend.
If you feel like you need an accountability partner, have a friend go and get tested with you each year. This will help you to feel like not all eyes are on you and also ensure that you get in the office to get checked. This is a real win/win for you and your friend.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of backtracking to fix the problem. While an STD is not the end of the world and there is help even for the worst of the worst of them, they can still make life harder and if you can prevent them… that’s exactly what you want to do. So, go ahead… get educated and get checked… you deserve not a good sex life – and a healthy one too.