Did you know?
1 in 2 sexually active young people will get an STD by the age of 25 and most will not even know it.
However, STDs are preventable! The best and only way to avoid getting an STD is to avoid having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Here are some tips for safe sex if you plan on becoming or are currently sexually active:
1. TalkIt is important to talk to your partner before having sex and to find out if either of you have an STD. If you are not sure how to start the conversation, here are some great tips:
Begin by discussing if you have ever been tested and if you have any STDs like herpes or Chlamydia. Having sex with only each other and using latex condoms will make sex safer.
Talk to your doctor about your sexual practices, and get advice on when to get tested for STDs. Check to see if you have gotten your Hepatitis B vaccine and HPV vaccine (for those between ages of 9 and 26).
2. TestMost STDs do not cause any symptoms, but they can lead to consequences down the road such as infertility. Therefore, if you are sexually active, it is very important that you are tested. Click here to see when you should get specific tests:
There are also many clinics across the country that offer free or low-cost testing that is confidential. Find a location near you: https://gettested.cdc.gov/
3. TreatFollow up with your doctor since there are many STDs that can be completely cured with medications such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and bacterial vaginosis. Some others that cannot be cured can be treated to decrease the risk to yourself or your baby. It is important to remember to take your medicine but not share it with anyone, and avoid having sex until you or your partner is finished the treatment plan.
For pregnant women:Those who are pregnant can become infected with the same diseases as those who are not pregnant. The effects of the STD can be more serious to you and your baby, so it is crucial to get tested early in your pregnancy to identity any issues and have them treated.
Written by: Tina HuDrexel University College of Medicine