Hitting up the health center again, awkwardly standing in line to get tested, and for what? “I feel fine, I’m sure Jack, or John, or what’s-his-name is STI- free.” Well, that’s the thing though, you never know. If not careful, yesterday’s bliss can easily result in tomorrow’s pain. Girl, take charge of your sex life and practice safe sex. Being prepared, being ready, and being safe is healthy and wise.
Safe sex is a term of protecting yourself and your partner(s) from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. Many are not aware of the risk they pose from having unprotected sex or think that they don’t need to take any precautions if they’re on the pill. Spoiler: you need to protect yourself against STIs even if you’re on birth control. Here is our guide in order to take control and practice safe sex as the goddess you are.
What to do to practice safe sex:
- Prepare, prepare, and prepare some more.
Research your birth control options, google them, talk with your friends, and talk with a health provider. Together you’ll find the option that suits you best. Do keep in mind that most birth control options require alternative protection against STIs for the first days.
- Talk with your partner
Be prepared together, talk about sex together, talk about STIs together and talk about protection together. In other words, make sure you’re on the same page. Take the time you need before jumping into the sack. There really is no time frame that is applicable for all, do what is right for you and your partner. Never let anyone pressure you into anything you are not comfortable with or ready for.
- Use protection
When the time is ready, be sure that you know your options for protection. Rule of thumb is to always use condoms with a new partner until otherwise stated. Be sure that you know your status and your partner’s status when it comes to STIs.
- Knowledge is power!
There really are many different and common STIs with different symptoms that you really do not want to catch. The most common are herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and the list goes on. Do your research and know how you might attract them, how to prevent them and if you’re out of luck, how to treat them.
- Get tested
Always get tested for STIs when having a new partner, and make sure that your partner is also tested. If one of you find out that you have an STI after having had unprotected sex, make sure that you both are treated for it, to prevent sending it back and forth between you.
Lastly, remember to only do what is right by you. The benefits of having safe sex are beyond measure. And maybe next time at the health center you’ll be able to be proud and stand tall for being in charge of your sexual health.