Except for flu and colds, Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Infections (or STDs/STIs) are the most common contagious infections globally, with millions of new cases being reported each year. Nonetheless, there are a number of things that you can do reduce your risk of contracting STDs/STIs.

• Know your sexual partner: Knowing your sexual partner’s history is significant as your own. The more partners you or your sexual partner has, the higher the risk of getting STDs.

• Use Protection: Using protection (such as latex condom) every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex can go a long way in reducing the chances of getting infections.

• Avoid Risky Sexual Practices: Any sexual act that breaks or tears the skin exposes you to STDs/STIs. Remember that small cuts that do not bleed can pass germs back and forth. Anal sex, therefore, posses a high risk of contracting STDs because the tissues in the rectum tend to break or tear easily. Body fluids can also harbor STIs. So having unprotected sexual contact with infected persons puts you at high risk of getting STDs.

• Avoid Alcohol and Other Recreational Drugs: Avoiding alcohol and other recreational drugs reduce the risks of STDs, unwanted pregnancies, and being coerced to have unprotected sex. Generally, drugs and alcohol can reduce your ability to make sound decisions and make it hard to implement safer sex decisions. It can also make you more likely to be coerced into participating in a sexual activity without your full consent.

• Communicate With Your Partner: Prior to getting intimate with your partner, strive to talk to him or her about STDs and general sexual health. Open communication not only fosters respect and trust but it is also an important aspect of reducing risks of getting STDs.

Get Tested: One of the best ways of reducing your chances of getting STDs is to get tested. It is the only sure-fire way of knowing whether you or your partner has an STDs. Accordingly, before having sex with a new partner, ensure that everyone gets tested.

Final Thoughts

Although STDs are common, there are several ways of reducing your risk of contracting them. If you are still confused about the right method to use, talk to a local health professional or a local Umbrella Service provider. By and large, being honest about your sexual practices with health advisors is a great way of reducing your risk of catching an STD. For more information about STDs/STIs, visit this website.