Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Protect your Sexual Health - Safe Sex Tips


It is the primary and important that you have to make sure you are taking all the precautions to avoid picking up an STI when you are having sex with a different partner. Most STIs are curable with treatment but for those that are not curable, if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems which can, in extreme cases, lead to death.

Always use a Condom while you are having sex to protect against STIs. Condom should be used when having vaginal, anal and oral sex to prevent any STIs being passed from partner to partner. Other forms of contraception will protect against pregnancy. Condoms cover the penis during sexual activity. They are most frequently made of latex, and can also be made out of synthetic materials including polyurethane.

Use a condom, also known as the ABC strategy is a sex education policy based on harm reduction and safe sex and birth control methods. Abstinence - only sex education is strictly to promote the sexual abstinence until marriage, and does not teach about safe sex or contraceptives.

Condoms are made from thin latex usually, but should you be allergic to latex then you can get condoms made from polyurethane or polyisoprene instead. If you are using lubrication when having sex with a latex condom then make sure the lube is a water-based lube as other lubrication and oils break down the latex in the condom preventing it from protecting you. Always use condoms with the CE mark on them as this means they have met safety standards.

Use of Female Condoms

Use of Female condoms are inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse. Female condoms are made of two flexible polyurethane rings and a loose-fitting polyurethane sheath. According to studies, female condoms are effective in preventing the leakage of body fluids and therefore the transmission of STIs and HIV. Several studies show that between 50% and 73% of women who have used this type of condoms during intercourse find them as or more comfortable than male condoms. On the other hand, acceptability of these condoms among the male population is somewhat less, at approximately 40%. Because the cost of female condoms is higher than male condoms, there have been studies carried out with the aim of detecting whether they can be reused. Research has shown that structural integrity of polyurethane female condoms is not damaged during up to five uses if it is disinfected with water and household bleach. However, regardless of this study, specialists still recommend that female condoms are used only once and then discarded.

Other Sexual Health Protection Techniques

STIs are passed through bodily fluids as well as skin to skin contact. These bodily fluids can be semen, vaginal fluids and blood. To avoid any of these bodily fluids entering your system it’s important to use other methods as well as condoms. Cling film (plastic wrap) and latex gloves are good for this.
When a man is performing oral sex on a woman, he may have small cuts in his mouth. Should any bodily fluids get into these small cuts, he could become infected so by placing cling film over the vagina, this will prevent any fluids passing from person to person. Always use a new piece each time.

Use of Dental Dam

A dental dam is a sheet of latex used for protection when engaging in oral sex. It is typically used as a barrier between the mouth and the vulva during cunnilingus or between the mouth and the anus during anal–oral sex.

Use of Latex Gloves

When you are using your hands to penetrate your partner, using latex gloves will protect you as they will block any bodily fluids and stop them from becoming transferred. Again, always remember to use new gloves each time you penetrate your partner. Medical gloves made out of latex, vinyl, nitrile, or polyurethane may be used as a makeshift dental dam during oral sex, or to protect the hands during sexual stimulation, such as masturbation. Hands may have invisible cuts on them that may admit pathogens or contaminate the other body part or partner.

Use of Sexy Toys

Another way to protect against pathogen transmission is the use of protected or properly cleaned dildos and other sex toys. If a sex toy is to be used in more than one orifice or partner, a condom can be used over it and changed when the toy is moved.

STI Screenings Methods

Make sure that you have regular STI tests, especially when you’ve changed sexual partners, to ensure that you haven’t contracted any STIs. If you have contracted and STI then having regular tests will ensure that you catch the STI before it comes a serious health risk. The sooner you discover an STI then the sooner you can begin treatment for it. Each STI comes with a different treatment and your GP will advise you on how to proceed. To get tested for an STI you can either visit your GP, your local GUM clinic or a sexual health clinic. Immunization against various viral infections that can be transmitted sexually.

The most common vaccines are HPV vaccine, which protects against the most common types of human papillomavirus that cause cervical cancer, and the Hepatitis B vaccine. Immunization before initiation of sexual activity increases effectiveness.
Tantra.com website
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