There are ways you can help reduce your risk of an STD or unintended pregnancy.
Being abstinent, or even using protection, are a great start to preventing STDS and unintended pregnancy, but for true prevention, it’s important to talk with your sexual partner.
Sure, it might be awkward at first, but it’s a lot less awkward with practice. Communication is also incredibly important to maintaining a healthy relationship. It’s a great way to show respect for your partner, and it will make them feel safe, both physically and emotionally.
Here are some resources on partner communications:
Talking to your kids about sex is hard enough, let alone sexually transmitted diseases. Download the Family Communications “Let’s Talk” Toolkit. to help talk to your kids about STDs and pregnancy prevention. Remember, this is ongoing dialogue. Talk early, talk often.
Let's go over some of the basic information about sexually transmitted diseases, shall we?
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs for short, are infections that you can get from having vaginal, oral or anal sex with someone who has the infection. They can also be spread through contact with infected skin or mucous membranes.
Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses.
There are more than 20 types of STDs. The most common are chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS/HPV, syphilis, herpes simplex and trichomoniasis.
Most STDs affect all genders, but in many cases the health problems they cause can be more severe for women, especially if they’re pregnant.
While not all STDs are curable (like gonorrhea and chlamydia), they are all treatable. Many STDs can be treated with antibiotics like you would receive for any other type of infection.
If you have an STD caused by a virus, there is no cure. However, some medications can keep the disease under control.
If you don’t have an STD, you don’t want one. However, if you get one it is treatable and with assistance from a healthcare provider it can be manageable. Regardless of your STD status, all people deserve and are capable of a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
Abstinence (the act of not doing any kind of sexual stuff with another person, including vaginal, oral and anal sex) is the most effective method to prevent STDs and unintended pregnancy.
People are abstinent for many diverse reasons. Anybody can be abstinent, no matter your age, gender, sexual orientation or the sexual experience you’ve had before.
FOR SEXUALLY ACTIVE PERSONS, CORRECT AND CONSISTENT USE OF EXTERNAL (AKA MALE) LATEX CONDOMS IS HIGHLY EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING MANY STDS.
The act of putting on a condom may seem like common sense, but it’s not. Make sure the penis is fully erect, and for the sake of everyone involved, use a new condom every time.
The good news is that you don’t need a prescription or the approval of a health care professional to get condoms. We provide free condoms at more than 120 locations around Omaha. Take as many as you need, as often as you need to. They’re also available at most drug or department stores, and you don’t need to be a certain age to purchase them.
You can also find free condoms here.
AN INTERNAL (AKA FEMALE) CONDOM IS A SOFT, LOOSE FITTING POUCH THAT IS USED DURING SEXUAL INTERCOURSE TO PREVENT PREGNANCY AND REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING AN STD.
Internal condoms aren’t as common as external condoms, so it’s important to educate yourself on how to properly use them.
Every time you have sex, insert the condom into the vaginal canal. Be sure to use a new one every time you have sex.
Just like external/male condoms, you don’t need to seek out a healthcare professional in order to obtain female condoms. They are available at most drug and department stores, as well as at most health centers. Don’t worry, it’s completely confidential.