Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are more common than you might think. In fact, one in two people will contract an STD before age 25. The Center for Disease Control reports that 20 million people will be diagnosed with an STD each year.
What can you do to stay safe? Self-education and safe sex are the most powerful tools you have to prevent getting an STD. America’s younger generation, particularly millennials, are at the highest risk of an STD. Thanks to apps like Tinder, “hookup culture” became a norm that made people more sexually liberal and explorative than they have in a long time.
Nowadays, all someone has to do is log onto their phone and swipe right a few times to find a new sexual partner. While many people have enjoyed the ability to explore their sexuality so freely, it’s come at a major cost to people’s health.
STDs Aren’t Just From Intercourse
You don’t have to go all the way to contract a sexually transmitted disease. Oral sex can also spread many different types of infections including genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV and HIV.
Many STDs can be spread through oral sex even when a partner shows no symptoms. In fact, many STDs have no warning signs, so people may carry something for months or even years without knowing they’re infected.
How Often Should You Get Tested For STDs?
A good way to practice safe sex is to be regularly tested for STDs. This doesn’t just protect your own health but also the health of your partner(s). You may wish to get tested more frequently depending on your sexuality and number of partners, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re tested at least once a year for the most common STDs such as HIV, Phyllida, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Talk Before You Go to Bed
Open communication is the most important aspect of any intimate relationship. Talking with a potential partner before you’re in the bedroom will make it much easier to ensure that you’re making the best decision for you. Consent and self-disclosure are both important parts of a healthy sex life. They build trust, intimacy and protect people’s health.
Always Use Protection
You should use a latex condom every time you engage in any penetrative sexual act. Both vaginal and anal sex poses a risk of STDs, and you should never let someone pressure you not to use protection simply because they find it less enjoyable. You make the rules governing your body and your sex life, and you should always act in your best interest. Make sure you carry condoms with you so that you are always protected. One slip up during the “heat of the moment” can stay with you for a lifetime.
You can get preventative vaccines for Hepatitis B and HPV. Talk to your doctor about your options and whether the vaccines are the right choice for you.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with https://stdtestingfacilities.com/, which provides users same day STD testing in a discrete and proficient manner.