As your sexual health can greatly impact your overall health, preventing STIs will help you to maintain both your mental and physical wellbeing.
Practise Safe Sex
Using a barrier method during sex, such as a dental dam or a condom, is a key component of practising safe sex and will help to prevent STIs that are spread via secretions, including Chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis and gonorrhoea. Although barrier methods are not as effective at preventing STIs transmitted via skin-to-skin contact, practising safe sex will still reduce your risk of developing these types of STIs, including herpes, the human papilloma virus (HPV) and syphilis.
Access Preventative Vaccines
There are preventative vaccines available for several STIs, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV. Although they are at their most effective when administered before someone is sexually active, they can often be obtained into your twenties.
Commit to Regular STI Screenings
Bacterial diseases, including Chlamydia and gonorrhoea, can result in serious health consequences if left untreated. Regular STI screening can prevent the development of these complications and help you to stay in control of your own sexual health.
STI screenings can also reduce the risk of contracting an STI. Before beginning a sexual relationship with a new partner, make an appointment to get tested together. This will ensure that you won’t be risking either your or your partner’s health and that you will quickly receive any appropriate treatment.
If you’re looking for locations that offer STI testing London has a variety of different options to suit you and your needs. If you would prefer not to visit your GP or attend a sexual health clinic, you can order a free testing kit to use at home. More information on this can be found at https://www.checkurself.org.uk/plus/.
Attend Your Cervical Screening Appointments
In the UK, cervical screening invitations are sent to women over the age of 25 who are registered with a GP. Cervical screening tests can detect abnormal cells on the cervix, and although most of these changes won’t develop into cervical cancer, sometimes abnormal cells will need to be removed to prevent them from becoming cancerous.
Cervical cancer and treatment for it can negatively impact your fertility and sex life. Almost all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV, which is why practising safe sex, getting vaccinated and attending regular cervical screening tests are important.