Healthwise
To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Safer Sex

Table of Contents


Overview

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections spread by sexual contact. This includes genital skin-to-skin contact and vaginal, oral, and anal sex. If you're pregnant, you can also spread them to your baby before or during the birth.

STIs are common. But they don't always cause symptoms. And if they are not treated, they can lead to health problems. Testing and treatment are important to help protect the health of you and your partner(s).

STIs caused by bacteria can go away with treatment. STIs caused by viruses can be treated to relieve symptoms, but treatment won't make them go away.

Preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

STIs can be spread by people who don't know they are infected. But there are things you can do to prevent STIs.

Talking about STIs and safer sex

Even though a sex partner doesn't have symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), they may still be infected. Before you have sex with someone, it's a good idea to discuss STIs.

Questions to ask someone before having sex include:

Practicing safer sex

Here are some things you can do to have safer sex and help protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


Credits for Safer Sex

Current as of: August 2, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Peter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine


Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.