Reducing the risk of infections after sexual activity is essential for maintaining sexual health. Here are five tips to help you minimise the risk of infections:
☞Practise Safe Sex:
Consistently and correctly use barrier methods such as condoms, dental dams, or female condoms to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
☞Get Regular STI Testing:
Both you and your partner should get tested for STIs regularly, especially if you have multiple partners or engage in high-risk sexual activities. Knowing your STI status helps you take appropriate precautions and seek treatment if necessary.
☞Communication and Consent:
Open and honest communication with your partner(s) about sexual history, boundaries, and consent is crucial. Ensure that all parties involved are comfortable and willing participants in any sexual activity.
☞Maintain Good Hygiene:
Both partners should practise good genital hygiene. Wash the genital area with mild soap and water before and after sexual activity to reduce the risk of bacterial or fungal infections. Avoid using harsh or scented products that may disrupt the natural balance of the vaginal or penile microbiome.
☞Stay Informed and Vaccinated:
Stay up-to-date with vaccinations that can protect against certain STIs, such as HPV and hepatitis B. Discuss vaccination options with your healthcare provider.
Educate yourself about common STIs and their symptoms. Being aware of the signs of infection can lead to early detection and treatment.
Remember that no method is foolproof, so it's essential to combine multiple strategies for the best protection against infections. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and managing stress, can help support your overall immune system and sexual health. If you suspect you have an infection or experience symptoms such as pain, unusual discharge, or discomfort after sexual activity, seek medical advice promptly.