Safe Sex: Quick And Easy Tips
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- Condoms are highly recommended for penile-vaginal sex and penile-anal sex in order to reduce the chance of getting STIs or causing unwanted pregnancy.
- Herpes, genital warts (HPV), and pubic lice have a fair chance of spreading even if wearing a condom. That's because these infections can spread through skin-to-skin contact which is typical to occur at the base of the penis or at the pelvis during thrusts. Herpes is only infectious during an outbreak and an outbreak can generally be visibly detected. HPV and pubic lice, however, can sometimes spread without being visibly detectable.
- Having unprotected penile-anal sex can result in a urinary tract infection even if your partner is free of STIs. That's because e. coli bacteria are common in the rectum and can cause urinary tract infections if they're introduced to the urethra. Having clean bowel movements, refraining from anal sex on a full stomach, and using an enema before anal sex can all significantly reduce the risk of an e. coli induced urinary tract infection.
- It's a good rule of thumb to put on a new condom for each new penetration, for example, when going from penile-anal sex to penile-vaginal sex, or when going from one sex partner to another sex partner. This reduces the risk of spreading STIs from one partner to another or from one area of the body to another.
- If a male's condom breaks during sex, in order to decrease the risk of STIs and pregnancy, the following steps should be taken. The condom-wearing male should urinate then wash his penis with water. The partner should urinate then wash only her external genitals and/or anus (don't douche or enema). There's some evidence that spermicides can increase the risk of infection, but they're an option if pregnancy is a concern, or some other form of emergency contraception can be used instead.
- Avoid eating sharp food items (e. g. chips) a few hours prior to fellatio. Such food items can cause microscopic tears in the mouth that you might not even notice, which can increase the risk of infections.
- Fellatio is a fairly low risk sexual activity, but deep throating can increase the risk of infections. Gonorrhea can thrive in the back of a person's throat, meaning gonorrhea can transmit both to and from in this way. Furthermore, the back of the throat contains a higher amount of normal bacteria, and this bacteria introduced to the urethra can cause a urinary tract infection.
- Fellatio is already a fairly low risk sexual activity, but a condom can be placed over the penis to further decrease risk.
- Cunnilingus is already a fairly low risk sexual activity, herpes probably being the most likely infection to transmit from it, but Sheer Glyde dams, dental dams, or plastic wrap can be placed over the vulva to further decrease risk.
- A tampon, diaphragm, Lea's Shield, or FemCap can be used to collect menstrual fluid, making cunnilingus possible without being bloody during menstruation.
- Manual stimulation is already a fairly low risk sexual activity, but latex gloves can be worn to further increase safety.
- Clean sex toys are already a fairly low risk in sexual activity, but they can be covered with a condom to further increase safety.
- Most sex toys can be adequately cleaned with warm water. Povidone-iodine (Betadine) can also be used on most toys without ruining the material.
- Silicone-based lubricants can wear down the material of certain sex toys (but not acrylic).
- Water-based lubricants lose effectiveness in water, oil-based lubricants bead up in water, but silicone-based lubricants don't break down in water.
- Oil-based lubricants can cause latex condoms to deteriorate, increasing the risk of STIs and pregnancy. Only water-based and silicone-based lubricants are compatible with latex condoms. Polyurethane condoms are compatible with water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based lubricants.
- Water-based lubricants and certain oil-based lubricants introduced vaginally can increase the risk of vaginal infections in females. This is because water-based lubricants and certain oil-based lubricants contain the sugar alcohol glycerol which can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina, rendering it prone to infections. Silicone-based lubricants are usually the safest choice.
- It's important to find a condom that fits you adequately. A condom that's too big or too small has a higher chance of slipping off. Furthermore, wearing a condom that's too small generally doesn't work like a cock ring. Rather than helping the erection stay, it tends to decrease stimulation and make it more difficult for more blood to flow through, thus making it more difficult to maintain an erection.
- Wearing 2 condoms is actually less safe, not more. That's because they cause friction against each other and increase the chance of microscopic holes and tears occuring.
- Flavored condoms (glycerol and/or aspartame) can increase the risk of vaginal infections in females. The glycerol and/or aspartame from the condom can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina, rendering it prone to infections. Flavored condoms are usually better for penile-oral sex rather than penile-vaginal sex.
- Spermicidal condoms can increase the risk of vaginal infections in females. Perhaps the thrusting with a potentially irritating substance can cause vaginal abrasions rendering the female more defenseless.
- Any sugar or sugar alcohol substances introduced vaginally can increase the risk of vaginal infections in females (e. g. popsicles). This is because sugar and sugar alcohol can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina, rendering it prone to infections.
- Females can vary a great deal in terms of their risk of contracting vaginal infections from sugar or sugar alcohol being introduced vaginally. Water-based or certain oil-based lubricants are likely the least risky, flavored condoms are likely the next most risky due to the thrusting of the product against the vaginal walls, and certain food or drink items are likely the most risky due to the probably higher content of sugar or sugar alcohol.
- Cotton underwear are safest for females. Nylon and synthetic fiber underwear increase the risk of vaginal infections.
- Wearing damp bathing suits or underwear for prolonged periods of time can increase the risk of vaginal infections.
- Mild, unscented laundry soap is best for female underwear. Use less detergent rather than more. Don't use fabric softening or antistatic sheets in your dryer when you're drying your underwear since that can leave residues in the fabric.
- It's healthy for females to sleep in the nude or even not wear underwear during the day time, since it allows the vulva to breathe and decreases the risk of infections.
- Douching is generally not recommended. Douching too often can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina, rendering it prone to infections.
- For females that feel the urge to clean their vagina, SebaMed is a popular product. It's a soap product with a lower pH balance than others, which is less likely to disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina.
- Having penile-vaginal sex in water has the small but serious risk of an air bubble getting inside the female which might contribute to cancer.
- Blowing air into the vagina has the rare but serious chance of causing an air embolism which can result in death. This is more likely to occur if the pelvic blood vessals are enlarged which is likely during pregnancy. Gentle blowing on the external vulva should be okay, it's common for a little bit of air to get in the vagina during penile thrusts, fingering, or sex toy use after all. It's most risky when the air is blown in powerfully, in a large amount, and kept shut in.
- A small but significant amount of females are allergic to semen and it burns inside their vagina. This should be kept in mind, since it could mislead some to believe they have an infection.
- Some STIs can transmit to a child through the placenta during pregnancy.
- Some STIs can spread to a child during birth.
- Some STIs can spread through breast milk.
- It's rare but quite possible to get pregnant from precum.