Stop STIs: Tips For Safer Sexual Interactions | Types Of STIs

Tips for Sexual Interactions

Tips for Sexual Interactions

Infections that are spread through sexual contact are termed as sexually transmitted infections or STIs. The condition occurs when a sexually transmitted bacteria or virus first enters the body and starts multiplying. They can cause extreme damage to the body and can also prove to be fatal. It is one of the most contagious diseases, right after the common flu, cold, and fever.

Sexually transmitted diseases, also known as STDs, start as STIs. The infection’s introduction can be traced back to contact through the skin, genitals, mouth, rectum, and body fluids. 

This means that unprotected sexual interactions are vulnerable to the threat of STIs. Since the infection may show no symptoms, it could be too late to diagnose it, leading to several health complications.

Types of STIs

Some of the most common sexually transmitted infections include:

Gonorrhea:

  1. Caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
  2. Affects the warm and moist parts of the body.
  3. If untreated, it can lead to infertility.
  4. Also known by the term ‘the clap’.
  5. Symptoms include pain in the testicles or the lower stomach region.

Chlamydia:

  1. Most common among young women.
  2. Usually asymptotic in nature.
  3. Caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis.
  4. May lead to genital pain and unusual discharge.

Genital Herpes:

  1. Once transmitted, it can keep reoccurring over the years.
  2. Marked by many signs, which include itchy sores, ulcers, and scabs.
  3. The virus herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause fluid-filled blisters
  4. Treatments are only available for the breakouts.

Syphilis:

  1. There are various stages of infection intensity.
  2. If undiagnosed, the final stage shows up years later and can lead to severe health damages.
  3. Caused by the bacterium treponema pallidum.
  4. Can take months to treat completely.

Trichomoniasis:

  1. Triggered by a protozoan parasite called trichomoniasis vaginalis.
  2. Occurs mostly in females, with symptoms like genital discharge, itching, and painful urination.
  3. Men do not show any signs.
  4. One of the most common STIs.

Tips for Sexual Interactions

The most practical approach for the prevention of STIs is the complete avoidance of sexual contact. However, this is not a viable option, since sexual activities make up for a large portion of the lifestyle of the people of this generation. This calls for specific steps to be followed before indulging in such interactions. Some of the tips for carrying out safe sexual interactions are:

Personal and Mutual Protection

Before turning to devices, drugs, and preventive treatments, most of the safety of the act depends on the interests of the individuals involved. These include:

  1. All the parties should consent to the act whole-heartedly.
  2. Knowing about how many sexual partners the other person has had, and if they were protected against STIs.
  3. Informing the persons involved about the respective histories of their sexual life.
  4. Being mutually faithful in these interactions or admitting to an unknown person’s involvement as soon as possible.
  5. Getting tested for STIs before any sexual contact.
  6. Avoid any such activity under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Contraceptive Methods:

The use of these methods champions safe sex. While their primary benefit lies in preventing pregnancy, their use also keeps STIs at bay. They are easily accessible and can be often combined to ensure dual protection. These include male and female condoms.

These consist of a physical barrier made up of latex or polyurethane. They are worn in a way to cover up the genitals during sexual intercourse. This prevents direct contact of any bodily fluids or the body parts involved.

While the female condoms are fitted deep within the vaginal canal, they are not as effective as male condoms. When using the latter, it is crucial to follow the instructions showed on the package, and take care of measures like:

  1. Check for an air bubble in the condom pack, since they indicate punctures made to the condom.
  2. Leave room at the tip while putting it on.
  3. Do not unroll the condom before wearing it.
  4. In case it slips off or there is any breakage, stop the activity immediately, followed by thoroughly washing the genitals.
  5. Condom-safe lubricants should be used.
  6. Pull the condom off only after the act is done.
  7. Expired condoms are more likely to tear.
  8. Dispose the condom safely after use. 

Avoid Risky Practices

Some sexual acts may be complicated and involve more activities than an average one. They can tear or break the skin, which increases the risk of transmission of the infections. Small cuts that do not bleed have the potential of harboring and transferring germs, too.

For example, anal sex poses risks of hygiene, and the rectum tissues are more prone to tear and bleed. Acts that contain too much physical contact may spread the body fluids to unwanted places. Additionally, the symptomatic parts of the body may be touched by the non-infected person.

Medicated Prevention

People at a higher risk of STIs can use self-medicated methods in advance. These consist of various antibiotics to combat bacteria and viruses at their primary stages. Such drugs are readily available over-the-counter. Individuals without easy access to professional help can use these according to the dosages provided by the product.

Vaccinations for certain STIs like hepatitis B and certain types of HIV can be utilized for building immunity. Women are advised to take an annual pap smear test, where a sample of the bodily fluids is taken from the cervix. It promises a better outlook for genital health and upkeep. 

Other preventive measures such as maintaining hygiene before, during, and after the sexual interactions should be followed. Men should rinse up before and after such interactions, while women should urinate after sexual intercourse, as it could prevent uterine tract infections or UTIs. Gloves should be used in case of manual penetration.

Conclusion

It is crucial to note that while contraceptive drugs like birth control pills and spermicides are vital for safe sex, they do not prevent or treat STIs and STDs. They only give assurance against conception.

Safer sex practices should be taken up the same way everyday hygiene is followed. Being honest with the people taking part in the act would decrease the risk of STIs significantly. Consult an experienced person or a doctor in case there is confusion about taking appropriate preventive measures.