Womens Health

Safe Sex Do's And Don'ts

What is Safe Sex?

Safe sex refers to actions taken by sexually active individuals before, during, and after sex in order to prevent the contraction and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is important to be aware that "safer sex" is the correct term rather than "safe sex" since there are no sexual activities that are completely risk-free. Fortunately, however, there are many safe sex measures one can take in order to minimize the chances of becoming infected and in order to keep themselves and their partners safe from STDs.

Note that the only true means of preventing STDs is abstinence. However, since abstinence is not always practical or desirable, the goal is to minimize the risks of STD transmission.

Safe Sex Do's and Don'ts

The following are some safe sex practice do's and don'ts:

DO'S:

Learn about STDs and become informed about what you can do to prevent them

Know your partner and question new/potential partners about their sexual history and any past STDs

Find out if your partner is an injection drug user

Ideally have a mutually monogamous sexual relationship with a partner who has been tested and is free from STDs

Minimize your number of sexual partners

Use a male or female latex or polyurethane condom

Use a condom for all sexual activity (oral, anal and genital sex)

Apply condom before any sexual contact and use it until the end of all sexual contact

Use a new condom each time you have sex

Store condoms in a cool, dry place

Use a lubricant to reduce friction and reduce the risk of condom breakage

Use only water-based lubricants

Get screened (tested) annually for STDs

Make sure your partners get tested too

Get immunized for HPV and Hepatitis B

Be responsible and inform all sexual partners if you test positive for an STD

Openly communicate with your partner about how you feel about sex

Consult with your doctor before becoming pregnant and take proper STD-related precautions

If you are pregnant and have an STD, learn how to prevent your developing baby from becoming infected

DON'TS:

Feel coerced or forced into having sex

Use expired condoms

Reuse condoms

Use a condom that is torn or damaged in any way

Use both a male and a female condom at the same time, as the friction between them can cause one or both to break

Unroll a condom before putting it on the penis.

Use oil-based lubricants (i.e. Vaseline) which can cause latex to weaken and tear.

Abuse alcohol or drugs or mix drugs and alcohol with sex

Share needles or any other drug paraphernalia

Breastfeed your baby if you have an STD or if you are HIV-positive

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