We have all heard about the importance of having safe sex, whether it was from our middle school health teacher, our parents or siblings, or even from a book or video that was given to us in hopes that we’d learn about “the birds and the bees.” However, while we have all heard about how important it is to have safe sex, how many of us actually know what “having safe sex” means?
When many people talk about the topic of “safe sex,” they are often referring to one or more of the following:
- Taking steps to protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS.
- Taking steps to protect yourself or your partner from unwanted pregnancy.
- Ensuring that both you and your partner are ready and comfortable with the idea of sex before engaging in it.
While the idea of making sure that you are emotionally and physically ready for sex is something that you have to decide for yourself, there are many ways in which you can protect yourself from STDs and unwanted pregnancy if you are thinking of being sexually active.
The Importance Of Practicing Safe Sex
When it comes to protecting yourself against pregnancy and STDs, there are two different forms of protection you should be looking into. Birth control (condoms, birth control pills, birth control shots, implantable birth control, etc.) and STD protection (condoms). While birth control methods are a great way to protect yourself against unwanted pregnancy, the only reliable form of protection from both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are male and female condoms.
Having sex without protecting yourself with condoms can result in a number of very dangerous, and sometimes deadly, sexually transmitted diseases. These include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, Hepatitis, HIV and more. While some of these diseases may be able to be treated over time, some can leave you permanently ill and can change your life forever.
Getting Tested For STDs at Zeid WHC
Whether you are planning on becoming sexually active for the first time soon, you are about to become sexually active with a new partner, or you have a history of sexual activity but have never been tested before, it is extremely important for you get yourself regularly tested for STDs. Even better―come in with your partner and get tested together!
Here at Zeid Women’s Health Clinic, our doctors test for STDs on a regular basis and will do whatever we can to help you feel comfortable throughout your testing, including answering any and all questions you may have about safe sex and STDs.
To begin our STD testing, we will first ask you some simple questions about your sexual history, such as the number of sexual partners you have had and the type of protection you use, and we will also inquire about any possible symptoms you may have. From there, we will take either a small urine sample, a blood sample, or a swab sample, which we will then test for common STDs. The entire process is quick and only takes about 15 minutes! We typically will deliver results within a few days following your appointment.
If you are interested in learning more about safe sex practices or how to protect yourself against STDs, be sure to contact Zeid Women’s Health Center today and speak with one of our physicians. You can also contact any of our East Texas OB/GYN offices to make an appointment for STD testing, including testing centers in Longview, Tyler and Henderson!