4 Ways to Protect Yourself against STDs (Including HPV)

4 Ways to Protect Yourself against STDs (Including HPV)

STDs stand for sexually transmitted diseases. They can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Common STDs include HPV, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and trichomoniasis. These diseases can be caused by parasites, viruses, bacteria, or yeast. STDs can affect both men and women, but women are more prone to these diseases. Besides, they tend to experience more severe health problems than men. Some STDs can cause serious long-term effects for the patients, whereas some can be fatal. Usually, STDs caused by yeast or bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. But for STDs caused by virus, such as HPV, there is no definite cure. To reduce symptoms and avoid life-threatening complications, you need to use medicines. For prevention, you need to practice safe sex and have healthy lifestyles. The following are 4 important ways to protect yourself against STDs (including HPV).

Be careful who you sleep with

STDs can affect both men and women who are sexually active. In fact, 1 out of 2 people who has had sex can be at risk of getting an STD. Having multiple sexual partners can also be a reason. The more sexual partners you have, the higher chances of contracting an STD. Here are some tips that can help you in preventing against STDs.

  • Practice abstinence. Abstaining from sex is one of the best ways to protect your body from STDs. But for many people, it’s not an ideal option.
  • Consider a monogamous relationship. Monogamy can lower your risk of catching an STD. But, make sure that both of you have been tested for STDs before having sex.
  • Reduce your number of sexual partners. The fewer of sexual partners you have, the lower your chance of getting an STD.
  • Know your partner’s sexual history. Before having sex with someone, be sure they are clean and have been tested for STD.
  • Communicate with your partner about sex. Be open and honest to your partner about your sexual health. Understand and respect each other.
  • Understand sexuality. Have basic knowledge about sexuality. Be aware of factors that can affect your sexual activities. Make healthy choices during sex.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. These can increase your chance of having risky sex and making unhealthy decisions during sex.

Related: What Should I Do When My Partner Has HPV?

To protect yourself against STDs, be careful who you sleep with

Practice safe sex

This is another important way to lower your risk of contracting an STD. For example,

  • Understand several types of sex. These include vaginal, oral and anal sex, fingering, masturbation and more. All forms of sex can have risks of getting an STD.
  • Use protection. Condoms don’t provide 100% protection during sex. But, it’s a necessary way to protect yourself against STDs.
  • Choose the right condoms. Some kind of condoms can prevent pregnancy but not STDs. To be safe, choose condoms that say “disease protection” on the packaging.
  • Use condoms correctly. Every time when you have sex, don’t forget to use condoms. Avoid condom breakage during sex.
  • Be cautious of lubricants. Some lubricants can weaken condoms and cause them to break. Use water-based or silicone-based lubricants.

Related: How Oral Sex Can Cause You Cancer

Practice safe sex can lower your chances of getting STDs

Seek medical help

Getting medical attention is also an important way to protect yourself against STDs. This includes:

  • Get vaccinated. There are a wide range of vaccines available for preventing STDs. For example, Hepatitis A and B vaccines, and HPV vaccines (‎Gardasil, Cervarix).
  • Consider male circumcision. Studies show that men who are circumcised have lower chances of STDs, including HIV.
  • Avoid douching. Douching can remove healthy bacteria that keep the pH balanced. This can put you at risk of yeast infections and other diseases, including STDs.
  • Avoid shaving. Pubic hair can help protect your private parts from STDs, like HPV. So, avoid shaving and keep them in place.
  • Ask a doctor for treatment. Although there is no cure for STDs, you can relieve symptoms with medications. So, ask your doctor for effective medicines to keep your disease in check. For example, Vidarox is recommended to treat genital warts caused by HPV. It reduces the size of wart and stops the wart from growing on your skin. Besides, Vidarox reduces your chances of spreading the virus to your partner.

Related: How to Treat Sexually Transmitted Diseases during Pregnancy

Medical help for preventing STDs

Get tested regularly

It’s very hard to diagnose STDs because they often share the similar symptoms. Besides, there are still not many tests available for men who have STDs. But, some steps below can help, including:

  • Recognize the symptoms. Sores and bumps on/around the genital and anal areas. Pain during sex or urination. Abnormal vaginal discharge. Abnormal foul odor discharge. Abnormal bleeding after sex. If you notice any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor.
  • Understand your disease. Some STDs can be fatal, but don’t panic. They can be curable if being treated early.
  • Be aware of your risk factors. Recognize your high risk behaviors to get early detection. You can have chances of contracting an STD if you: get pregnant. Have sex at an early age. Have multiple sex partners. Have sex with someone who has multiple partners. Have unprotected sex recently. Have a previous STD.
  • Get tested frequently. After examining your symptoms and risk factors, check with your doctor immediately. Also, keep your regular check-up (every 3-6 months).
  • Follow your doctor’s directions. Ask your doctor for medical advice and follow it. They can provide many useful information about treatment, prevention and more.

Related: HPV Test, Earlier Detection of Cervical Pre- Cancer

Get tested for STDs

If you think you might have an STD, talk to your doctor to get official diagnosis. Besides, have healthy lifestyles and follow these above steps.



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