How can I prevent STI’s?
The best way to prevent an STI is to not have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
If you do have sex, lower your risk of getting an STI with the following steps:
- Use condoms: Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs when you have sex. Be sure to use them correctly. Because a man does not need to ejaculate (cum to give or get some STIs, make sure to put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus.
Important: Other methods of birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms, will not protect you from STIs.
- Get vaccinated: There are vaccines to protect against HPV and hepatitis B.
- Used dental dams: Dental dams are latex or polyurethane sheets used between the mouth and vagina or anus during oral sex to prevent you from getting an STI.
- Get tested: Be sure you and your partner are tested for STIs. Talk to each other about the test results before you have sex.
- Be monogamous: Having sex with just one partner can lower your risk for STIs. After being tested for STIs, be faithful to each other. That means that you have sex only with each other and no one else.
- Limit your number of sex partners: Your risk of getting STIs goes up with the number of partners you have.
- Do not douche: Douching removes some of the normal bacteria in the vagina that protects you from infection. This may increase your risk of getting STIs.
- Do not abuse alcohol or drugs: Drinking too much alcohol or using drugs increases risky behavior and may put you at risk of sexual assault and possible exposure to STIs.
The steps work best when used together. No single step can protect you from every single type of STI.