It's crucial to be informed about STIs and to get tested regularly, especially if you are in a relationship. Having this knowledge can help you handle any difficulties and make the conversation with your partner easier.
Sexually Transmitted Infections or STIs are important to keep a tab on to maintain sexual health. There is no two way about dealing with them except to understand the ways how to avoid them. Being careless with STIs can really sucker-punch a relationship too damn quickly. If you are among those that believe to have all their bases covered on this topic, then we urge that you should read on anyway, just to be doubly sure. And for those who are still looking for solutions, then, this guide will help you even more.
Before we go ahead, let’s get one thing out of the way. Though STIs and STDs may be used interchangeably at liberty there is a key difference between the two.
- STIs - Some STIs present symptoms while others do not so it becomes difficult to know if you are inflicted by them or not. And while some of these infections may go away on their own, others may not. So, it is always a healthy practice to get an STD testing.
- STDs - STDs are the ones that mean more serious business of the two as being infected by one can disrupt normal body functions and can even develop further illnesses such as cancers, etc.
Step 1: Open Discussion Between Partners
The first and foremost step is to talk about it with your partner. Both of you should openly ask and answer the questions related to each others’ sexual and STI-related history. This allows bridging a mutual understanding of the overall picture and being better prepared/planned for anything as a unit should either of you be inflicted with any transmissible infections.
MyMuse’s Note: Though all STDs stem from STIs, not all STIs are responsible for STDs, which is why it is always stressed to know the severity of any infection that your partner or you may have to develop an effective plan of action for your relationship.
Step 2: Learning Of The Infections
Knowledge is power and it certainly holds a lot of weight when sexual health is the metric of consideration. There are endless benefits to gaining knowledge on the various infections that can be sexually transmitted, so let’s begin. STIs are categorized into three separate groups:
- Bacterial STIs - If you have heard of STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis then you should know that they are caused by bacteria and can be mostly solved using a dose or two of antibiotics.
- Viral STIs - STIs caused by viruses are the ones to be extra vigilant of. They include the likes of hepatitis B, HPV, herpes, and HIV. While these infections aren’t curable, it is important to note that they can be made manageable and prevented from turning into STDs.
- Parasites - In this horrible race of causing STIs, parasites decided to make contributions too. But the good news is that the infections caused by them are also curable.
Some of the common symptoms that can indicate some form of STI infliction include the likes of pain during urination, blisters, sores or warts on the genitals, rashes or itching in the said area, etc.
MyMuse’s Note: A lot of STIs can be caused by a lack of knowledge about maintaining the hygiene of one's sexual organs. If that is something that worries you, then this guide on maintaining vaginal hygiene can prove beneficial for you.
Step 3: Safe Sex Is The Way To Go
Well, no points for guessing that practising safe sex is an absolute must to shield oneself from STIs. Now as fun as ‘raw or no’ may sound, especially when neither partner is infected, we would still suggest practising safe sex whenever possible. One of the easiest ways to do that would be using condoms, but remember not to use flavoured condoms for that.
Step 4: One Test, Infinite Fun
While tests are generally detested, do not say no to regular tests for STIs. You can enjoy more fun-filled sex with your partner without stress. Well, that’s one of the benefits of responsible adulting if you want to ever think of one. Besides they are fairly easy. All you need to do is perform routine stuff like a urine test, blood test or cheek swab, etc.
Now, don’t think that having an STI or STD is a wet blanket for your sexual life with your partner. You can even book free STD testing at home so there are even fewer worries to boot. And if you can’t shake the feeling of protective sex just not being the same, then clearly you haven’t enriched your experience with an awesome lubricant gel like Glide. It will blow your mind in the opposite direction of that notion, guaranteed!
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