Safer sex is an essential aspect of sexual health. It involves taking precautions to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). While sex is common and an enjoyable part of life, there are simple yet effective measures to consider that reduce the risk of STIs. The following are some of the essential tips we recommend:
Condoms are an effective and readily available method of protecting against STI’s. They work by creating a barrier that prevents bodily fluids, including semen, blood, and other sexual fluids, from being exchanged during sex. Always use a new condom for each sexual encounter, and never use expired or damaged condoms.
Get Regular STI Checks
This is important even if you feel healthy and show no signs of infection. Some STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, may not show any visible symptoms but can lead to complications if left untreated. Getting tested regularly can help detect and treat STIs early on.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP):
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective medication typically taken daily to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. PrEP is primarily recommended for individuals who are at higher risk of acquiring HIV, including the following:
- You don’t always use condoms (external or internal) when you have anal or vaginal sex and aren’t always certain of your partner’s HIV status
- You’ve been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the last six months
- You’re in a relationship with a partner living with HIV, but they are not undetectable
- You are a person who injects drugs, or you’re in a sexual relationship with a person who injects drugs
If you would like further information or want to get started with PrEP, look no further than The PrEP Clinic. They provide an outstanding and discreet service with patient safety at the forefront. They are available both online and in person
Communicate with Your Partner
Open and honest communication with your partner is essential for practicing safe sex. Discussing your sexual history, i.e. active or long term infections, before engaging in sexual activity is crucial to establish boundaries and practice mutual respect.
- Wash toys before and after use to support STI prevention. Use a mild soap and warm water to wash your toys, and be sure to dry them thoroughly before storing.
- Choose the right material: Sex toys come in a variety of materials, including silicone, glass, metal, and plastic. Avoid toys made from materials that can harbour bacteria or cause irritation, such as porous materials or jelly-like toys.
- Use lubricant: Using a water-based lubricant can help reduce friction and make sex toy use more comfortable.
- Consider using a condom on shared toys: If you plan to share your toys with a partner, a condom can reduce the risk of STIs transmission.