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While condoms are your best bet for protection while having sex with new or casual partners, it’s important to keep in mind that certain STIs or STDs could still make their way to you despite using condoms.
How Do STIs spread?
STIs can either be bacterial or viral and they can spread through the exchange of bodily fluids like semen, pre-cum, blood, and vaginal or anal fluids.
Most STIs are spread during vaginal or anal sex. STIs spread even when ejaculation does not take place in the vagina or anus. In many cases, STIs can also spread through oral sex. The likelihood of contracting an infection through oral sex increases if either you or your partner have open sores or cuts around your mouth or private parts.
Some STIs spread through skin-to-skin contact. If you come in contact with exposed genital warts or herpes while having sex, then chances are you will contract the infection too.
How Do Condoms Protect You?
Condoms create a physical barrier during sex which prohibits the exchange of bodily fluids. This helps protect against a number of STDs such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea as well as HIV. The physical barrier also works as a contraception, making condoms approximately 98% safe for avoiding pregnancies.
For condoms to work optimally, they need to be put on correctly. They should also be stored in the right manner and opened with caution without causing a tear in the condom.
Can You Get STIs Despite Using Condoms?
The skin areas that are not covered by the condom are still at risk of contracting infections. For example, if a person has a herpes outbreak on a part of their genitals not covered by the condom, then that person will be able to spread the virus if those parts come in contact with their partner’s anus or vagina. If the condom breaks during sex, the chances of transmitting STIs increase manifold. This is even possible if the condom is not put on correctly.
STDs like Herpes or strains of HPV can spread from one person to another if they come in contact with uncovered lesions. STIs like Molluscum which typically includes small round painless bumps near the genital region also spread through skin-to-skin contact.
Despite your best efforts, if you find yourself infected with an STI, then it could be because the condom broke or it was not put on correctly. Sometimes putting on a condom too late or letting it stay on for too long after penetrative sex could also lead to an infection. Other than this, you could have picked it up through skin-to-skin contact or during other acts besides penetrative sex.
The best way to ensure you remain STI-free is to only have protected sex with partners you trust or be in a monogamous relationship. Using condoms consistently and correctly has been proven to be the most effective method of keeping HIV and STIs at bay.
If you have unprotected sex or frequent sex with casual partners, you should test yourself for STIs and HIV after a risky exposure. Early detection is key to resolving any sexual ailment as well is important to ensure that the STI is contained and not spread to other people.
For support or more information, visit: www.drsafehands.com
Disclaimer: This website may contain general information relating to various medical conditions and their treatment. Such information is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals. Readers should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health or fitness problem or disease. Readers should always consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional for medical advice or information about diagnosis and treatment.