This lesson will describe for you the many ways by which you can help prevent a terrible STD from affecting your body, including abstinence, mutual monogamy, and more!
Protecting Yourself and Your Health
It's wise to believe that your health is the most precious thing you have. If that goes, then it becomes quite difficult to enjoy the food you like, the sports you play, and even the time you spend with family and friends.
That means playing around with your health by being unsafe is most likely not a good idea. This is why there are thankfully numerous strategies with which you can protect yourself from injury or disease. So many, in fact, that we'll only have time to focus on the ways to reduce your risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in this lesson.
Abstinence and Monogamy
The most effective way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections is through abstinence, meaning, abstaining from sex. Whether you do it as a result of a personal health conscious choice or for a religious reason, it doesn't really matter. STIs, also known as STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), can be passed on through any type of sex, be it vaginal, oral, or anal. Even gentle touching or contact between these aforementioned regions can end up causing an STD. This is why abstinence, just keeping away from it all, is the surest way you can avoid some terrible and even deadly sexually transmitted infections.
Another important and reliable way to avoid STDs is mutual monogamy, a process where both you and your sexual partner agree to be sexually active only with one another. What's important to note here is that both you and your partner should be screened for STDs and be honest with one another about any STDs you may have. Otherwise, this type of safe sex strategy may fail.
Sexual Partners and Condoms
If mutual monogamy isn't a possibility for one reason or another, then another strategy, albeit not as effective, is to simply reduce the number of sexual partners you have. In a crude way, it's kind of like rolling the dice when it comes down to many sexual partners, especially if you don't know them very well or they're not very honest with you. The less often you stand out in an open field while lightning strikes, the less likely you'll be struck by lightning. The fewer the number of sexual partners you have, the smaller the chance that you will catch an STD.
Besides that, the use of condoms is another thing that helps avoid getting a nasty STD. It has been shown that condoms, if used correctly and every time you have sex, can massively decrease the chances of getting an STD. Correct use, by the way, means you should use it during any act of sex, be it vaginal, oral, or anal. It also means you should use the condom from the very start of sex to the very end. Otherwise, it may be useless because STDs can be passed from one partner to another very quickly.
Vaccinations and More
Other than everything I have mentioned before, some sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented through a vaccine. Just like you can take a flu shot to stop the flu from affecting you, so too you can vaccinate yourself against a few types of STDs. This includes the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B, two sexually transmitted infections that have a preventative vaccine.
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Do note that there are a ton of STDs that cannot be vaccinated against, so relying on just those vaccines only serves a limited purpose. This is why following the advice I outlined before is very important.
Other important steps you can take to help prevent STDs are the avoidance of drugs and alcohol, which can impair your judgment and lead you to not follow the advice above that you normally would. Also, do not seek out anonymous sex partners and make sure you communicate with all of your potential sexual partners about their history of disease. You should not be embarrassed to ask. Don't forget, it is your lifelong health at stake here.
Further still, make sure that you do not engage in rough sex or sex without enough lubrication as both can cause tears in the skin and mucous membranes of genital organs. These tears are like gaping holes for the much smaller bacteria and viruses. They serve as an invitation to enter your body and infect you sometimes for life. By the way, these tears may not cause any visible bleeding, and therefore you shouldn't assume you are safe if you do not see any blood.
Finally, wash yourself before and after sex, do not share any towels or clothing, and make sure you get regularly tested if you think you may be at risk of getting an STD.
All of the preventative strategies I outlined are much quicker and easier to employ than it is to treat and battle terrible sexually transmitted diseases.
Let's review the strategies we went over.
The most effective way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections is through abstinence, meaning abstaining from sex.
Another important and reliable way to avoid STDs is mutual monogamy, a process where both you and your sexual partner agree to be sexually active only with one another.
The human papillomavirus and hepatitis B are two sexually transmitted infections that have a preventative vaccine. But most STDs do not have such a vaccine, and therefore practicing abstinence, mutual monogamy, getting tested, wearing a condom, and using lubrication are just some of the important ways by which you can help lower the chances of getting an STD.
Upon completing this lesson, you should be able to:
Identify the most effective way to avoid contracting STDs
Describe other preventative measures when it comes to STDs
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