With advances in modern medicine, there are far more illnesses that can now be treated than ever before. This includes many sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis, but as with all things in life it is better to prevent a bad thing from happening than have the most effective treatment in the world when the worst does happen.
Condoms come in a range of shapes and sizes. There’s no excuse not to use one.
Consistently using condoms at any time when you are sexually active will go a long way to protecting you against many sexually transmitted infections. With the variety of shapes and sizes available on the market today, there’s no excuse about not being able to find the right fit or getting bored with what you’re using. However, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Close, but no cigar
It’s often been said that no method of contraception is 100 per cent reliable, and the same can be said for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. The only way to be completely safe is to totally abstain from sexual contact, but unsurprisingly not many people want to do that! It’s all about weighing up the risks and deciding what is right for you and your sexual partner.
Using a condom, whilst not infallible, is a pretty reliable way ofpreventing the majority of sexually transmitted infections. Preventing the passing of fluids from one person to another during sex will protect against infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV in the majority of cases. It doesn’t allow for condom failure which, while rare, does happen. This is why it’s important for anyone who’s sexually active to be regularly checked for sexually transmitted infections so they can receive prompt and effective treatment.
Some sexually transmitted infections are not necessarily prevented by condoms. If either partner has genital warts, there is the chance that other parts of the body may come into contact with them if they are present and transmit the virus from one person to another. This includes during oral sex, which is why dental dams can be used to make sex and foreplay safer.
Many people think that using a condom is only important when they are having penetrative sex. This isn’t necessarily true. Again, in the case of genital warts, the skin of the mouth can be susceptible to the virus and can mean that the uninfected partner can pick it up orally. Small cuts or open areas of skin around the mouth can also leave someone open to picking up blood-borne viruses such as HIV or Hepatitis through oral sex. Using a condom during oral sex can help to prevent this.
One of the best ways to make sure that all parties are safe and healthy in a sexual relationship is to be open with each other about sexual pasts and any infections that each partner is aware of. If everyone is clear on the likely risks, it is easier to work out a way to be sexually active in satisfying ways that reduce the risks to those without sexually transmitted diseases.