Protecting yourself against an STD infection is something that should be high on the priority list of anyone who is sexually active. Condoms are the first line of defence, but in order to ensure you protect yourself as fully as is possible, you must first understand the risks.
It is not just vaginal or anal sex activity that presents the risk of acquiring an STD infection. The full list of sexual activities includes:
- Finger sex
- Oral sex
- Penetrative vaginal sex
- Penetrative anal Sex
- Using sex toys
Fully protecting yourself against an STD infection also means that you must be aware that you can pick up an infection via:
- Cuts and jabs
- Coming into contact with infected faeces or urine
Always use a condom
Latex condoms are not 100% effective, but they work up to 97% of the time. They are the only known protection against STD infections.
If you prefer to use lubrication before penetrative sexual activity, in order to minimise the chances of breaking a condom, you should only ever use water-based lubricants. Oil based lubricants increase the risk of a condom splitting.
You should also be aware of the following
- In terms of penetrative sex there is a risk even when the penis enters the vagina only shallowly (sometimes referred to as “dipping”).
- Also, it is not necessary for the male partner to ejaculate. STD infection can be carried in pre-ejaculation fluid
- The risk of acquiring an STD infection during oral sex is greatly increased if you have any cuts or open wounds on or around your mouth.
- An infection can be passed-on during oral sex, both giving and receiving, although the risk is higher when giving.
- Protecting yourself against an STD infection also means that sex toys (if you use them) should always be washed before being used.
Choose your sex partner carefully.
If the use of condoms is a major weapon in your arsenal when protecting yourself against an STD infection, the first line of defence is choosing your sexual partner carefully. Try to avoid casual sex, and don’t allow alcohol to cloud your judgment.
The best line of protecting yourself against an STD infection is honesty
It is said that honesty is the best policy, and this is certainly the case when it comes to STD infections. If you do have an infection, be honest and inform your partner.
If you ever have unprotected sex outside of a monogamous relationship, you are running a huge risk. Remember that many cases of STD infections are asymptomatic – in other words the infected person shows absolutely no symptoms at all and is therefore totally ignorant that they are infected. They can however still pass the infection on.
If you have taken such a risk, visit a sexual health clinic and get yourself checked out.
Don’t forget that prevention is always better than cure; so when it comes down to protecting yourself against an STD infection, don’t put yourself at risk in the first place.
STD screening at Broadgate Clinic London Wall
Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall operates a walk-in sexual health clinic where you can be screened discretely and with full confidentiality. You can walk-in when it suits you, or, if you prefer, you can call ahead and make an appointment by dialling 020 7638 4330.