“I Used a Condom and Got Chlamydia” –– The Truth About Safe Sex

Pretty much everyone has heard an STD horror story from someone they know, such as an acquaintance or a friend of a friend. Usually, these stories are about contracting an STD in a strange or abnormal way. Consider the persistence of the (false) claim that you can get an STD from a toilet seat, and you can begin to understand how STD myths perpetuate over time. Yet, many well-meaning individuals simply misunderstand a few key things about STDs and “safe sex.” As a result, they may inadvertently put themselves or their partners at risk for STD contraction. Here, we’ll take a look at condom usage, safe sex, and what you can do to ensure you and your partners stay STD-free. 

What is Safe Sex? 

Safe sex refers to any practice that reduces the possibility of STD transmission. This includes the use of condoms and engaging in “outercourse” (sexual acts that don’t involve penetration) instead of intercourse. The reality is that while safe-sex practices can significantly lower the risk of STD transmission, all sexual acts carry some degree of risk in regard to STDs. It’s more accurate to describe “safe sex” as “safer sex.” 

Can You Get an STD While Using a Condom?

Yes, you can get an STD even if you use a condom. It’s possible to contract certain STDs –– like herpes –– simply through skin-to-skin contact. In addition, some non-latex condoms, such as lambskin condoms, don’t offer full protection against STD transmission. 

Lastly, it’s important to remember that you can transmit/contract an STD during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Yet, according to a recent survey, 88% percent of young people don’t use protection when engaging in oral sex. 

Can You Get an STD from Outercourse? 

As mentioned above, outercourse refers to sexual activities that don’t involve intercourse. Whether or not you can get an STD from outercourse depends mostly on which activities you participate in. Dirty talking or sexting doesn’t present a risk of STD transmission. However, some forms of mutual masturbation, sharing of sex toys, or even kissing your partner carry a possibility of STD transmission. 

Preventing STDs

STDs are prevalent in large part because they’re difficult to notice. You can’t tell if someone has an STD just by looking at them, and many people who have an STD don’t even realize it. With that in mind, there are a few ways that you can prevent the spread of STDs: 

  • Properly use a condom during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. (This will lower the risk of STD transmission.) 
  • New partners should each get tested (and treated if need be) before they enter into a physical relationship. If neither of you have an STD, and you maintain a monogamous relationship, then you have nothing to worry about.
  • Avoid activities that allow for the transference of bodily fluids –– like sharing needles. 
  • Abstain from sexual acts. 

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

STDs are very common infections, but they can also cause serious health problems as well. If you’re concerned about your well-being, or if you haven’t had an STD test recently, then contact one of our team members at 844-394-8520. At Same Day, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about STDs, transmission, testing, and treatment options. Or, if you’re ready to visit one of our clinics now, you can get tested today in a safe, confidential environment. Find a facility near you here.

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