Tuesday, April 20, 2010

safe sex practices

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With the high risk of sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex practices are more important than ever. Safe sex is also important to prevent pregnancy. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread by sexual contact, not just sexual intercourse. Oral sex and anal sex can both cause STDs to occur. There are several sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, genital warts, and gonorrhea that can cause not only embarrassment, they can cause other problems like infertility.
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Parents need to take the initiative to talk to their children about safe sex practices as many teens do not actively practice safe sex habits. While abstinence is the best way to prevent STDs, some teens and adults do not actively follow it. Instead they need to make sure they are using contraceptives and finding out who their sexual partners are. You need to make sure that they do not have a STD as you can catch it.

Women need to have routine pap smears to test for cervical cancer and STDs. Men also need to have regular examinations to make sure they do not have any STDs. It is recommended for any person that is sexually active to have regular STD testing along with AIDS testing.

If you think that you may have a STD, do not practice sexual intercourse until you have had the chance to receive a checkup from your doctor. If you do have a STD, you must not practice sexual intercourse until your symptoms have completely cleared up and you have been given the 'ok' by your doctor.

You must have your sexually transmitted diseases treated early on in order to prevent serious problems. Doing nothing will not only cause the STD to spread to everyone you have sexual intercourse with, it can cause serious damage to you. STDs can cause redness, swelling, and painful genitals. STDs left untreated will also increase your risk of infertility and they can cause cancer of the testes or ovaries.

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Anyone that is not in an exclusive relationship should ask their sexual partners a few pre-screening questions in order to make sure they do not have an STD and to make sure they are practicing safe sex. Here are a few questions you should discuss with them:

  • Have you ever had an STD?

  • Have you been tested for an STD or AIDS?

  • How many sexual partners have you had?

  • Do you practice safe sex? Have you ever had sex without a condom?

  • Have you ever had unprotected oral sex?

  • Have you had multiple sex partners at the same time?

  • Have you had a past sexual partner that developed an STD around the time when you were sexually active with them?

  • Have you ever had sex with someone that injects illegal drugs? Have they ever injected illegal drugs?

  • Have you ever had sex with a prostitute?

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The scary thing about un-safe sex habits and STDs is that many of them take months before symptoms appear. This means you could be having sexual intercourse with an individual that has an STD like HIV and they do not know that they have it. Most doctors recommend that you should always use a condom when you are having sexual intercourse and you should continue doing so until you have been in an exclusive relationship with this person for 6 months or longer. The only exception to this is when you and your partner have never had sexual relations with anyone. The last piece of advice about safe sex is to only have one sexual partner at one time. Having multiple partners at the same time increases your risk of developing an STD.