There is only one way to protect yourself from STIs if you are sexually active and that is to wear a condom. They are available for both men and women and as long as one of a pair of partners wears one, both partners can enjoy a high degree of protection.
Protect yourself from STIs by learning the risks
It is important when thinking in terms of how to protect yourself from STIs, to understand how STIs are transmitted. Whereas some are mostly transmitted by transfer of body fluids, others can be passed-on by skin to skin contact. Then there are some that can be picked up from touching a contaminated surface, although as most viruses and bacteria cannot survive outside the human body for long, this type if risk is minimal.
The various steps to take to protect yourself from STIs
The bottom line is that that there is no sure-fire way to protect yourself from STIs, but there are many precautionary steps you can take that will drastically reduce the degree of risk.
- Only ever have sex with one, stable partner
- If you do intend to have sex with a new partner, check them first for any signs of an STI
- Wear a condom
- Ensure you check the condom for any damage prior to using
- Never use out-of-date condoms
- Never re-use condoms
- Use a lubricant for additional condom lubrication
- Use birth control cream, foam or jelly (in addition to using a condom)
- Never share needles
The most effective way to protect yourself from STIs is to refrain from sex and close, intimate, physical contact.
Where to get STI protection in London
STI protection in London and any other city or town here in the UK can be got from most high-street pharmacies, and sexual health (GUM) clinics. If you live and/or work in London, you can get all protection options (condoms, creams and lubricants) over the counter from the in-house pharmacy at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall.