STDs or Sexually transmitted diseases are very common and recent studies have shown that men engaging in sexual activity with men have higher rates of STD. According to a report, nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed alone in the US in 2017. And the number keeps taking a steep rise with every consecutive year. STDs can be easily treated with antibiotics but most cases of this disease either go undiagnosed or untreated because sexually transmitted diseases are still considered a social stigma and people shun away from speaking about them in public. They even don’t want to disclose about this disease to the doctor. However, with no treatment, it leads to many adverse health issues like infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased risk of HIV.
Refraining from sex of any kind like vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or skin-to-skin genital touching with another person is a full-proof prevention of never having STD. But abstaining from sexual activity is not a practical solution, so there are some preventive measures you can take to limit the risk of STD.
Protection before engaging in sexual activity
You must start taking effective STD prevention measures before having sex:
- Keep limited sexual partners
- Always get an STD test done for you, along with your partner
- Talk about your sexual history with your partner
- Avoid having sex when drunk or high on drugs
- Get vaccinations against HPV and Hepatitis B.
You should also ask your partner if they had any sexual diseases in the past and about their sexual history.
Have safe sex
Choose protective barriers like condoms, female condoms or dental barriers every time you have sex. Always use latex condoms and be determined to use the barrier before engaging in oral, vaginal or anal sex. Remember, that not just penetration but also skin-to-skin touching can contract STD.
Get tested regularly
If you are sexually active with multiple partners, it is advisable that you go for tests regularly to avoid the risk of developing and spreading STD. And if you have already been diagnosed and getting treated for STD, you must abstain from all sexual activity until the treatment is done and the doctor gives you a clean chit. Similarly, you should also encourage your partner to get tested regularly. This way both of you can remain safe.
Prefer having a monogamous relationship
It is not healthy to keep switching your sexual partners. If you have sex only within a monogamous relationship and both of you are tested safe and clean, it will reduce your risk of bringing an STD into the relationship and affect health. Be honest and truthful with your partner, you will not only feel secure about having sex but also enjoy it without a fear for your health.
Avoid drinking and doing drugs before sex
Sex often happens in the spur of the moment and you must be responsible for your sexual health. Alcohol and drugs impair your thought process and you might not be in a position to use a protective barrier under the influence. So when you are heading out, know your drinking limits and make it a point to not exceed beyond that limit. Also, avoid substance abuse.
Be responsible for your health. It’s your priciest possession. STDs are common and treatable as well, but it is best if you take the necessary protection and completely rule out the risk of contracting the disease. Be honest with your doctor and let him assist you to treat STD. Don’t use OTC drugs. And above all, practice safe sex.