Sexually transmitted infections are nothing to take lightly. Even a mild infection can cause serious problems with your reproductive health, and you can transmit almost any infection you have to your partners. There are many things you can do to decrease your risk of getting an STI.

Stay Clean

It should go without saying, but if you’ve had sex you should take a shower and wash thoroughly. Not just sex though, any activity that causes you to sweat should signal it’s time for a shower. Bacteria that is allowed to hang out near your genitals can cause infections that are difficult to get rid of.

Use Dental Dams

This is something that was pretty popular in the 90s, but has fallen to the sidelines. However, it’s important if you want to keep your vagina healthy. The dam creates a barrier between your partners mouth and your vagina. This helps to decrease the amount of bacteria that is allowed to enter your genital region, and it also protects your partner from getting an oral infection.

Use Condoms

Even if you are on other forms of birth control, it’s important to remember that these don’t protect you against infections, only pregnancy. Condoms should be used with oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex. If you are having anal sex be sure to use lubricant as well. This minimizes the risk of abrasions that can allow bacteria in to the bloodstream.

Know When To Sit Out

If something doesn’t look right to you, don’t be afraid to sit out on that sex session. Trust your gut. Also know that if you have something as mild as a yeast infection you can pass this on to your partner. If you think something is going on down there, don’t let anyone else down there until you get it tested and treated.