How to prevent STIs
• Practice safer sex (see the chapter on “Sexual Health”).
• Use condoms every time you have sex. To learn how to
encourage your partner to use condoms, see page 192.
Working for Change 279
➤ Preventing STIs can
protect you and your
partner from serious
illness and infertility.
Use one of these condoms when
you have sex—not both together.
• If your partner will not use a condom, a diaphragm gives
some protection against some STIs, especially gonorrhea and
chlamydia (see page 205).
• Wash the outside of your genitals after sex.
• Pass urine after having sex.
• Do not douche, or use herbs or powders to dry out the
vagina. Douching (and washing out the vagina with soap)
works against the natural wetness the vagina makes to stay
healthy. When the vagina is dry, it can become irritated
during sex, making it more likely to be infected with HIV
and other STIs.
• You and your partner can have oral sex or other sexual touch
instead of intercourse.
Female and male condoms will:
• protect you from STIs including HIV.
• protect the health of your partner.
• prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Do not have sex when you or your partner has signs of an STI.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012