Sexually Transmitted, Vaginal & Other Infections FAQ

Sexually Transmitted, Vaginal & Other Infections FAQ

FAQ.Why do some women get urinary tract (bladder) infections after they have intercourse? Is this preventable?

Pressure and rubbing during intercourse can push the woman’s own bacteria into the tube leading up to the bladder. These bacteria may migrate to the bladder and result in an infection. Good hygiene, urinating before and after intercourse, and drinking lots of fluids (especially cranberry juice) may help reduce the risk of developing an infection.

FAQ.If I am unaware of the sexual history of my partner, what steps should I take to ensure that I am not at risk of contracting any sexually transmitted infections when we are engaging in sexual activities?

First, ask your partner about his/her previous sexual behavior and partners. In addition, although it may be awkward, you can also ask your partner to be evaluated at a clinic. Perhaps the best way to do this is to suggest that you both be tested. It also might be helpful to point out that you can never know everything about past partners. If you do not want to ask your partner to go to a clinic or if your partner chooses not to go, you will have to decide whether or not you can trust your partner. You have to understand that if you do, you are taking a risk.

FAQ.What are the chances of getting sexually transmitted infections (STI) if you are using protection? What about if you perform oral sex?

Some STIs are transmitted in fluid transfer (HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia), and some are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Condoms reduce the risk of transmission by blocking fluid transfer, and they also offer protection to the body parts that are in contact with the condom. However, since not all body parts are in contact with the condom, there is a possibility of STI transmission through skin-to-skin contact. With regards to oral sex, you can contract Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea of the throat, and Syphilis through the mouth. However, contracting HPV orally is unlikely. Having a male partner wear a condom for receptive oral sex is an option.

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