Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Protect Yourself From Gonorrhea

Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Protect Yourself From Gonorrhea - Part 3 of 3

Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Getting an STD

While the best way to avoid an STD is not to have sex. It is important for those who are sexually active always to use protection. No matter your sexuality, unprotected sex can cause serious sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) such as chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea and HIV. It is important to always:

Practice Safe Sex: Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom for all sexual activities reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV transmission. Condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD however they will greatly reduce your risk.
Get Tested Regularly: Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, encourage your partner to do the same. If you are not at high risk for getting an STD (not having sex regularly), it is still important to get tested. Always get an STD test before starting a new sexual relationship and if you’re being treated for an STD. It is important to complete treatment before resuming sexual activity, or you and your partner could end up passing it back and forth. Seek early advice if you notice oral, genital or anal sores after recent sexual contact.
Avoid Sexual Activity: If you feel you are unable to have sex safely, you should avoid all sexual activity as you may be putting yourself or others at risk. If you are unsure if you have an STD get tested.

Have Sex Only Within a Mutually Monogamous Relationship: Two people who have sex only with one another don’t have any opportunity to bring a new STD into the relationship. If you and your partner have been tested and are healthy, remaining faithful to each other is a good way to reduce your chances of contracting an STD.
Talk to Your Partner: It is important to be comfortable talking about safe sex with your partner as well as STD testing. Be sure to tell your partner if you are having a sexual relationship with someone else and ask your partner the same.

Don’t Drink or Use Drugs Before Having Sex: It’s difficult to make responsible choices about your sex life if you’re using alcohol or drugs. When under the influence, you are more likely to choose to have sex with someone you wouldn’t otherwise have picked as a partner, and less likely to be able to successfully negotiate safer sex. If you do plan to drink alcohol use other substances, make up your mind beforehand what you want to do. Stick with your plan.
Be Comfortable Saying No! You should never have sex unless you want to. Get comfortable saying no. If you don’t feel it is right, that’s ok. It’s your choice to say yes to sex, and it’s also your choice to say no. Similarly, if your partner tells you no, listen.

Be Responsible for Your Own Protection: It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. If you’re going to have sex, you should be prepared. Bring your own safer sex supplies, the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have extras. (it’s important to note that the birth control pill will not protect you from STD’s). The decision to make your sex life safer is the first and most important step in reducing your risk of STDs.