3 Factors That Put You At A Higher Risk For Contracting An STI

STI’s are more rampant than ever, and ladies, it looks like we may be at a greater risk for contracting them than the penis-having half of the population. Awesome. Debbie Herbenick, an associate professor at Indiana University School of Public Health tells Yahoo, “In terms of anatomy, vaginas leave women more exposed and vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than male anatomy, since the penis is covered with skin which serves as a good barrier for several STIs. Then there are issues of gender and power, and many women feel unable to insist on condom use, even when they want to use a condom.”

Okay, so there’s not much we can do about our anatomy to protect ourselves from contracting an STI, but not insisting on using a condom with a partner you’re not quite sure about is just one of the factors that puts women at a higher risk for getting an STI. It takes two to tango, so the decision to wear a condom should involve two people. You may be worried that he’ll get irritated or even angry, but him being irritated for a few seconds is better than you having to deal with an STI for the rest of your life potentially. And if he gets angry that’s a big red flag that he either has something he’s hiding or he’s just an asshole and does not deserve to get laid by you anyway.

Do you have an intrauterine device or an implant as your form of birth control? If so, you’re probably at a higher risk for getting an STI. Not because it makes your vag more susceptible to disease or anything like that, it’s just that women who have these forms of birth control get so comfortable not worrying about their period or getting pregnant that they stop using condoms. Bad, bad, bad. Obviously being responsible with your birth control like that is awesome, but that responsibility needs to carry over to protecting yourself from getting an STI. Everyone thinks they’re untouchable until they’re not. 1 in 6 people in the U.S. aged 14 to 49 have genital herpes, they probably thought they were untouchable too.

Another factor that increases your risk of getting an STI is having casual sex. No shit Sherlock. People have been telling us to not have casual sex since we were kids. That’s not the answer either. Casual sex is great, one night stands are hot, keep doing you by all means, just do you safely. Having lots of casual flings does not mean to be casual with your sexual health; there’s a big difference between letting loose and being reckless. Get tested frequently, have a long-term form of birth control and wear condoms. Everything basically boils down to wearing condoms. So until we find another sure fire way to protect ourselves from STI’s, just remember no glove, no love.

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