Healthy reproductive organs are an important aspect of a woman’s life, not only because they help her procreate but also because they are imperative to sexual health. A sexually active woman is always at a risk of STDs or sexually transmitted diseases, a set of extremely difficult to treat, long-lasting, and equally uncomfortable infections so its easier to hsome STDs prevention. Statistically, approximately 19 million or more Americans suffer from STDs every year.
Infections with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can cause major and sometimes long-term damage to the female reproductive organs. Some STDs like gonorrhoea may result in infertility (Read also: Infertility in Women), while others like HIV may lead to more deadly outcomes, while yet others like the HPV may lead to cervical cancer. Hence, knowing how to protect yourself from the bothersome STDs is tremendously important.
What are STDs?
STDs are sexually transmitted diseases that spread through direct or indirect contact with an infected individual. These diseases may spread through any form of sexual intercourse, including vaginal, oral and anal. Although, STDs are more prone to spread through sexual contact, you may also want to have STDs prevention by not using towels, undergarments, or other personal items previously used by an infected person. However, the primary cause of their spread is sexual contact and so when treating a patient suffering from any STD, the sexual partner requires a course of palliative therapy too. This prevents the vicious cycle of the uninfected partner contracting the STD and passing it back to the infected partner who may have been cured with appropriate treatment only to get it back.
Here’s a list of some of the common STDs:
- Vaginal thrush,
- Human Papillioma Virus (HPV),
- Hepatitis A and B,
- Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID)
- Genital herpes,
- Crabs, etc.
Luckily, avoiding STDs to maintain a healthy reproductive and sex life isn’t very difficult. Here’s how:
Unprotected Sex and Multiple Sex Partners Leads to STDs
- Never indulge in unprotected sex. Using barrier contraceptives, preferably a latex condom is the most important step in keeping the STDs away.
- Educate yourself about the correct method of using a condom.
- Use dental dams and latex condoms even when indulging in oral and anal sex.
- Avoid oil-based lubricants with latex condoms as they may interfere with the condoms efficacy.
- Unprotected sex is okay only if both partners are in a strictly monogamous relationship. Any other scenario calls for a strict ‘no unprotected sex’ policy.
- Condoms may reduce the risk of STDs by manifold but they aren’t 100% foolproof. Hence, avoiding multiple sex partners is important for your STDs prevention.
- The most reliable way of avoiding STDs is abstinence from sex. However, monogamy in both partners effectively lowers the risk of STDs too.
STDs Prevention: Regular Tests, Vaccinations and Maintain Genital Hygiene
- Wash your genitals before and after sexual intercourse.
- Avoid sexual intercourse with individuals suffering from genital rash, genital sores, or any genital discharge.
- Do not share your towels and undergarments with anyone.
- Generally, individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to follow unsafe sex practices that lead to STDs. Hence, avoid such stimulants especially when you indulge in sexual intercourse.
- Get yourself tested for HIV routinely to help your STDs prevention.
- Get yourself vaccinated against the HPV. This sexually transmitted virus is known to cause cervical cancer.
- Get the Hepatitis A and B shots. Hepatitis B is a three shot sequence while Hepatitis A is a two shot sequence and you need to take all of the shots for successful protection against them.
- Make sure to visit our gynecology clinic in Brooklyn regularly for routine check-ups
What If Your Partner Has an STD?
If your partner has an STD and you still wish to have sex with him, speak to your gynaecologist about measures to avoid contracting the infection from him. Strict and appropriate use of barrier contraceptives like condoms and dental dams, in addition to appropriate palliative medications should help you avoid contracting the infection from your partner.