Safe sex is a term used for taking appropriate steps needed to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and infections such as genital herpes or gonorrhea. When practicing safe sex, you are also making actions that will also help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Safe sex is important whenever you are having sexual intercourse with more than one partner as well as an important choice overall. The following will provide you a more in-depth look at types of safe sex and infections you’re protecting yourself from.
Types of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Aside from abstinence, practicing safe sex is the best way to prevent getting a sexually transmitted infection. If you protect yourself, you can avoid getting the infection even if your sexual partner has it. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) include chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, genital herpes, and genital warts. You may also see them called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) though technically they are infections which is why STI is more common in the clinical capacity.
How to Practice Safe Sex
First and foremost, abstinence is the only way to be 100% sure you won’t get an STI or STD from a sexual partner. If you know you have an STI, always inform your partner before engaging in sexual activities. Even with proper protection, nothing is guaranteed. You should have safe sex even if your partner knows or thinks they don’t have an STI. This includes using a condom, which is available for men and women and should be used for vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse, using lubricants to add to the strength of the condom, choosing water-based lubricants, using polyurethane condoms that don’t break as often as latex condoms, and choosing a condom that is not made with nonoxynol-9. This is a spermicide that could increase your risk of getting HIV from your sexual partner. Lastly, always be sure to be sober before engaging in sexual activities. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgment and you are less likely to think about using protection.
The Importance of Safe Sex
Many people only think of condoms and other means of safe sex in regards to avoiding pregnancy, but during oral intercourse or anal sex, don’t use condoms. However they are just as important during these activities in order to avoid getting an STI. They should be used for all partners, regardless of how long you have known them.