If you’re going to have sex, there really is only one way to protect yourself from contracting a sexually transmitted infection, and that’s by practicing safe sex. It’s important to practice safe sex every time you have sex and with every new partner. The best and easiest way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections is to use either a male condom or a female condom. You can also use dental dams and condoms for protection during oral sex.

How do I protect myself?

Here are a few pointers:

  • Correctly and consistently use a condom if having vaginal or anal intercourse. Latex condoms are the best defense against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Protection is available for oral sex. Men should wear a condom while receiving oral sex while women can use a sheet of latex called a dental dam to protect themselves and their partner while receiving oral sex.
  • Have regular check-ups to screen for sexually transmitted infections, especially if you are with a new partner.
  • Make sure you know the common symptoms of sexually transmitted infections and inform your health care provider immediately if you notice any signs. But remember, many sexually transmitted infections will not have symptoms so testing is still important.
  • Avoid douching because it removes some of the normal protective bacteria in the vagina and increases the risk of getting some sexually transmitted infections.
  • Never share needles.

Where can I get help?

Visit one of our Sexual Health Clinics or to speak confidentially with a Public Health Nurse call 519-271-7600 or toll-free at 1-877-271-7348 extension 779.