When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, there is no doubt that prevention is better than cure. Contrary to popular belief, STDs do not spread only through intercourse. STDs can also spread by skin to skin contact. The easiest way to prevent STDs is by abstaining from sex or being in a monogamous relationship with an uninfected person. This may not be possible for many men. Hence, let's take a look at alternatives to prevent sexual diseases.
1. Get tested - Most STDs can be easily tested for and treated. Thus, it is a good idea to regularly get yourself tested if you have more than one sexual partner. Your partner should ideally also get tested for STDs. However, remember that herpes and human papillomavirus do not show up on STD tests.
2. Avoid sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs - When inebriated, you may not make the best decisions. Decisions made at this stage are usually rash and not thought out. Thus, you may forget to ask the other person if she has been tested for STDs.
3. Vaccinations - Vaccinations can be effective against some types of STDs. The HPV vaccine can be given to boys as young as 11 years until they turn 26. Other vaccines that protect men from STDs are Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations.
4. Use condoms - Condoms are the only way to protect yourself against the transference of STDs during intercourse. A condom should be used even if the woman is using an alternate form of birth control. Never reuse a condom and do not use oil-based lubricants with a condom. Before using a condom always check to ensure the condom is not punctured in any way and that it is within the expiry period. A condom should be used for oral, vaginal and anal sex. However, this does not prevent the transmission of STDs like syphilis, herpes and HPV.
5. Communicate with your partner - It is a good idea to share your sexual history with your partner. This creates an environment where you can discuss getting tested for STDs before engaging in intercourse. You must reach an explicit agreement about what forms of intercourse both of you are comfortable with. It is also a good idea to discuss a possible monogamous relationship with your partner.