For the majority of us sexual activities bring about nothing but pleasure.It is quite beneficial for your physical as well as emotional health.So why then,do we talk about safe sex more and more?
Sexually transmitted diseases
The need to discuss about safe sex is mainly due to the rising burden of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)/Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). These are a vast group of diseases caused by various microorganisms,most of them transmitted from a person to person by sexual contact ,skin contact and via body fluids like blood,semen and vaginal fluid.Most of these infections will be constantly nagging you once they get hold of your body.Although some may hide in you without giving any symptoms others might provide you with rather irritating and embarrassing symptoms like foul smelling discharge from your genitalia,ulcers,pain while passing urine.Some STDs will cause serious complications like cancer, infertility and adverse pregnancy outcomes like ectopic pregnancy and even death.
What is Safe Sex?
Safe sex is where people take precautions before and while they are engaging in sex to ensure that the risk of STDs are minimised.This is also known as safer sex as though it is unable to eliminate the risk of STD completely it minimises the risk significantly compared to unprotected or unsafe sex .Although it reduces risk of STD it doesn't mean it is not fun.
How can you practice safe sex?
1.Ensure both you and your partner are free of STD
Get to know your partner well before engaging in sexual activity.Changing sexual partners more frequently would be increasing the risk of you ending up with an STD and is best avoided if possible.
As mentioned earlier some STDs do not tell you that they are there with you .But some do.So make sure that your partner has no symptoms suggestive of a STD like wart like lesions,ulcers, discharges in the genital area.There may be a psat history or episodes where he or she was tested for STDs and treated.If possible always try to get tested for the common STD at the hospital STD clinic.
Although planning your sexual activities before might seem like taking all the fun off you might be quite surprised.What we suggest is talk with your partner about your preferences,expectations, fears and boundaries you don't want to cross.Not only will you be prepared and aware of what is going to happen this will help to build a strong emotional bond between you.(Count ot as a bonus).And it is better not to engage is sex while under influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.These can diminish your capacity to make rational decisions.
3.Take precautions during sex
Well, the best way to avoid STDs would be to avoid contact with the other person at all or limit the sexual activity to non penetrative methods like hugging or massaging.
For the majority of us who want to go all the way, the options are using. protective barriers that would prevent or minimize the contact with the other persons body fluids and skin.This is also known as barrier method.A simple measure like a condom when used correctly will go along way in protecting you from STDs.
a. Male condoms
This can be used in vaginal,oral and anal sex.It has the added benefit of contraception as well.For it to save you from STDs they
- Should not have exceeded the expiry date,travelled in your partner's pockets for a long time,or show any signs of damage
- Should be worn before there is any contact of body fluids
- Water based lubricant helps in reducing the friction and risk of injuring the vaginal/anal epithelium.An injured epithelium is like a warm welcome for the STD microbes.(So if there is pain during sex any time should stop.)Lubricant should be applied once the condom is on to reduce the risk of slipping.Oil based lubricants should not be used as they damage the condom.
- Should never be worn one over the other as this increase the risk of rupture.
- Should be removed from the base as soon as the fun is over to prevent spillage
b. Female condom
Though it is expensive than the male condom, the female condom is also effective in protecting against STDs by preventing the leaking of body fluids during sex.
c. Dental dam
This can be used in oral sex.
Well,It is not that hard to play safe is it?
No,it is quite easy to engage in safe sex.As you can see not only does it protect you and your partner it also helps to strengthen the bond between you. You will have fun but not the unpleasant outcomes of STDs.
After all,sex is to die for,but not of it.Don't you agree?
by: Dr. S. S. Perera
ඔබ දරු ප්රසූතිය හඟවන ලක්ෂණ සමඟ රෝහලට පැමිණි විට ඒ බව තහවුරු කර ගැනීම සඳහා ඔබේ වෛද්යවරයා/වරිය විසින් උපත් මාර්ගය පරීක්ෂා කල යුතුයි. (Per Vaginal Examination -PV) PV කරන්න බය වෙන්න එපා.මවගේ සහයෝගය ලැබේ නම් සාමාන්ය PV එකක් කවදාවත් වේදනාවක් ඇති කරන්නේ නෑ.
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