With Valentine’s day just behind us, we wanted to talk about safer sex practices. We know it can be tempting to go with the flow and be spontaneous, but it helps to plan ahead. This goes twice as far when it comes to sex, due to the potential risks involved.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about condoms and other forms of safer sex practices. We’re going to break this down into two sections: Before and During.
The first thing you should be doing to prepare yourself for sex is get tested for STDs and HIV early and often. This happens way before you consider a sexual partner, and even if you’ve never had a partner you should do this.
Getting tested is easy and pain-free and can be done during a routine exam. Once you’ve been tested, you’ll be contacted by one of our nurses with your test results.
Once you’ve got a clean bill of health (or have any STDs under control, should you have them,) you can get ready to go.
Make Sure They’re Tested.
So, you’ve gotten a clean bill of health and you’re ready to go – the next step is to ensure that your partner has a clean bill of health. Ask them if they’ve been tested or are willing to get tested.
Naturally, if they say they’re willing to get tested, wait until after they have a clean bill of health.
If they’re unwilling to get tested, we’d recommend not having sex with that person – for your boundaries as much as your health. If you ask them to get tested and they refuse, they may not respect your boundaries elsewhere.
Use a Condom.
If anything is entering your or your partner’s body, you must use a condom, end of story. Condoms, when used perfectly, are able to prevent 98% of pregnancies. Barrier methods of protection (condoms, dental dams and the like) are the only way to prevent the transmission of STDs.
Use Birth Control.
While hormones and other birth controls can’t defend against STDs, they can prevent pregnancy. They’re also most effective when used alongside a condom. There are MANY birth control options available and discussing what best suits you with your provider can also be done during an appointment.
Safer Sex Will Save You a Lot of Trouble.
With all this in mind, we hope you’re better equipped to handle your next sexual encounter! Keep these practices in mind and be sure to look for more.