At some point or another you’ve probably heard about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Maybe you’ve learned about it in sex ed or your parents have talked to you about it. They really want you to practice safe sex.
With all the information you’ve come across, I hope you were paying attention. STDs aren’t anything to play around with. They don’t discriminate and they will gladly attack anyone they catch slipping.
With all the reasons out there to keep your virginity, this is definitely one of them. It’s important that you learn all you can about STDs, including how to protect yourself against them.
Types of STDs
There are over 20 types of STDs that affect both women and men. However, I’ll only list a few of them here…
How Are STDs Transmitted?
STDs can be transmitted a few ways. The most common way is by having sexual intercourse. This includes vaginal intercourse, oral sex and anal sex. However, you can also contract an STD via the use of IV needles after it’s been used by an infected person, as well as through child birth or breast feeding.
Symptoms of STDs
Honestly, you can have an STD and not even know it. Scary uh? It’s true though. Not all STDs have symptoms. However, if you do experience symptoms, they could be one or more of the following…
Aches, pains, fever, and chills
Severe itching near the penis or vagina
Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina
Swelling or redness near the penis or vagina
Bleeding from the vagina other than during a monthly period
Weight loss, loose stools, night sweats
How are STDs Treated?
Most STDs can be treated with an antibiotic. It’s important that you take the entire drug that you’re prescribed, even if the symptoms go away.
Never take someone else’s medicine and never share yours. Make sure that your partner is checked as well so that you two can take the antibiotic at the same time if need be.
How to Protect Yourself from STDs
1. Limit the number of sexual partners you have. It’s not a competition and I’ve never seen anyone give out an award for having sex with the most people. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch an STD.
2. Protect yourself. I know a lot of people say that sex feels so much better when not using a condom, but do you think it’s worth the risk? Guys, you always need to suit up with a latex condom if you’re going to have sex.
3. Don’t use alcohol or drugs before having sex. Everyone knows that when you’re drunk or high, you’re pretty much not thinking straight. Anything could happen; that includes forgetting to protect yourself before sex.
4. Practice monogamy. Being with only one person reduces the risk of you contracting an STD. However, you must be the only one that your partner is with as well.
5. Don’t have sex. I’ve saved the best for last on this one. Not having sex or sexual relations at all is the ONLY sure fire way to prevent STDs. No condom or birth control pill can guarantee you that.
Learn as much as you can about STDs. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.