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Safer Sex

Safer Sex Tips

You can lower your risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by following these simple practices:

IF YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE SEX, USE PROTECTION

LIMIT YOUR NUMBER OF SEXUAL PARTNERS
Your risk of contracting an STI goes up with the number of partners you  have.


GET TESTED FOR STIs REGULARY

Many STIs have no signs or symptoms, so it is important to get tested for STIs on a regular basis so you know your STI status. Health Promotion services recommends you get tested for STI's the follow times.

  • Every year
  • Every time you switch sexual partnrs
  • Anytime you have unportected sex
  • Anytime you have symptoms
Your medical provider can also help you determine how often to get tested for STI's. To learn more about types of STI's, visit our STI page.

3-SITE TESTING
Depending on the type of sex you are having, there are 3 anatomical sites you can get tested for STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. These sites are the genitals, throat and anus. If you engage in anal or oral sex, talk to your medical provider about getting 3-site testing.
STI TESTING SERVICES

COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PARTNER
Talk to your partner(s) about using protection and getting tested for STIs.
Need tips? Check out this resource from Planned Parenthood for more information.


GET VACCINATED
HPV, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B can be transmitted sexually, however, there are vaccines for these infections.

  • The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts and is available for everyone until age 45. The vaccine is most recommended before age 27.
  • Vaccines for HPV, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B are available at Student Health Services.

USE LUBRICANT

Using water-based or silicone-based lubricant makes sex safer. By making the condoms and dental dams slightly slippery, they are less likely to break or tear. They also reduce the risk of vaginal and anal tears, which can help prevent STIs. Lastly, lubricant can make safer sex more pleasurable! 

Avoid using any oil-based lubricants (i.e. coconut oil, lotion), as they degrade condoms and dental dams.

ABSTAIN FROM ORAL, VAGINAL, AND ANAL SEX
Abstinence of all sexual activity is the most effective way to avoid contracting an STI or an unplanned pregnancy.

Have questions? Contact a Health Educator at (858) 822-0455.