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Sexual Health Education Class 101 – STIs, Condoms & Safe Sex

Sexual Health Education Class 101 – STIs, Condoms & Safe Sex

I think it’s really important that we discuss Sexual Health. Not just when seeing a sex worker, but just in general in all your sexual relationships. Regular STI testing and using protection such as condoms properly are important. Its how we make sure that we don’t transmit STIs and if we have one the testing will help catch it early so that treatment is possible

As a provider, all my services are with condoms only and this is something I don’t negotiate on as I take my sexual health as well as yours seriously. I have included some great information and resources in this blog so you can understand why looking after your sexual health is important.

I personally get my STI Testing done on a regular basis, generally, every 4 to 6 weeks because I do have personal sexual partners as well as clients who I provide sexual services for so I get these tests for all our peace of mind and I encourage you to get tested every 3 months as a minimum if you have sex regularly.

Prevention of catching, or spreading, an STI is critical, as it can result in serious health problems. Knowing the facts ensures that you make up your own mind about your body. Be aware of STIs, how you can prevent them, and what to do if you are to have unprotected/unsafe sex. Be aware of symptoms, if any, of STIs so that if you do have unsafe sex or if you just aren’t sure, see your doctor or sexual health clinic. There you can get tested or discuss it further.

REFERENCE – For more detailed information, information on sexual health clinics, and detailed info on STIs please go to the following linksDept of Health – Sexual Health

Key Information to be aware of:-

What is an STI?

STIs (Sexually Transmissible Infections) are passed on through sexual contact or the exchange of body fluids. Many people who have an STI don’t have any obvious symptoms or signs. So it’s important you get the facts about how they are spread and always have safe sex.

How are STIs caused?

Like other infections or diseases, STIs are caused by the spread of organisms like bacteria, viruses, or parasites. STIs caused by bacteria include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. STIs caused by viruses include herpes, HIV, HPV, and hepatitis B.

Do STIs have symptoms?

Many people with an STI have no symptoms whatsoever, and they can only be diagnosed through testing. If signs and symptoms are present they may include things like:

•Unusual fluid from the penis, vagina, or anus

•Itchiness around the genital area

•A burning sensation when urinating

•A rash, sores, or small lumps on or around the penis, vagina, or anus

•Unusual bleeding from the vagina after sex or between periods

•Pain and swelling in the testicles

•Pain during sex

•Sore throat, swollen glands, fever, and body aches

•Unexplained tiredness, night sweats, and weight loss

Do people who don’t sleep around still get STIs?

STIs don’t only happen to people with many sexual partners. Even if you are in a long-term relationship now, you or your partner may have been infected in a previous relationship without knowing it. With many STIs, symptoms don’t show for months or even years. The only way to know for sure is to get a test.

Rising risks

Unfortunately, STIs are more common than you might think. If left untreated STI can lead to serious and painful health consequences, ranging from infertility to cancer. For example, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause swelling and scarring of the fallopian tubes in females, which could lead to infertility. In males, the same complications might occur in the tubes leading from the testicles, which could also cause fertility problems, though it’s much less common. Syphilis can cause blindness, brain damage, and heart disease. The good news is these three infections are easy to test for and to cure.

Avoiding STI

Other than not having sex at all, condoms offer the best protection from STIs. Always be prepared by carrying condoms with you, though as a provider I carry a range of condoms to fit all sizes. However, a condom is only effective when it covers the infected area. So it’s important that when I go to get a condom for us to use, we do actually use it. The use of condoms for sex isn’t just important when seeing a provider, it should be something that you insist on when having sex with anyone, especially with a new partner or when engaging in casual sex.

Types of condoms (Condoms for males and females)

Condoms aren’t just for males to wear. The female condom is a thin sheath or pouch inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse. It lines the vagina and helps to prevent pregnancy and STI. Female condoms are a good option for people with latex allergies because they are made of polyurethane. Female condoms are available from pharmacies, family planning clinics, and some sexual health and female health clinics.

Using condoms properly

Should lubrication always be used with condoms?

Adequate lubrication makes sex more comfortable and helps prevent condom breaking. Using a lubricant is recommended for anal sex. Water-based lubricants are best. Oil-based lubricants like Vaseline and massage oil weaken latex condoms quickly, making them much more likely to leak or break.

I have included some great resources for you to check out that include further information about STIs in general, Where you can go to get regular testing, Discussions you can have with new and long term partners about having safe sex, and just overall information about Sexual health that I recommend checking out.

Register of Public Sexual Health Australia Wide

Health Direct – General Sexual Health Information

Touching Base – Sexual Health and other information

Instant Scripts – Stress free, affordable, and fast STI tests.

Stigma Health – Discreet and rapid, STI & STD testing across Australia

Rapid STI Testing Brisbane

Could I Have It – Western Australia

NSW Sexual Health Clinics

Queensland Sexual Health Clinics

ACT Sexual Health Clinics

Victorian Sexual Health Clinics

Tasmanian Sexual Health Clinics

Northern Territory Sexual Health Clinics

South Australian Sexual Health Clinics

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