5 Steps to a Healthy Sex Life

  1. Use a condom every time you have sexual intercourse.

  • Latex condoms offer the best protection against sexually transmitted infections for people having sexual intercourse.

  1. Talk with your partners before the heat of passion.

  • Partners should care about each other and be interested in one another's pleasure, comfort, and health.

  • Be open. Let your partner know your health concerns and sexual health history, and encourage your partner to be open, too.

  • Be direct. Talk about your sexual needs and expectations.

  • Be persistent. Don't let your partner remain silent on these issues.

  1. Keep medically fit.

  • Have a checkup for sexually transmitted infections every year.

  • Protect your immune system. Eat well, get enough rest, and limit your use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

  1. If you think you or your partner has a sexually transmitted infection...

  • See a clinician for testing, diagnosis, and treatment.

  • Find out if your partner(s) need to be examined and treated, too.

  • Use all the medication that is prescribed-symptoms often disappear before an infection is cured.

  • Do not take anyone else's medicine, and do not share yours.

  • Do not have sex until your infection is under control.

  1. Stay in charge.

  • Alcohol and other drugs weaken good judgment and self-control. Don't let them jeopardize your self-control.

Don't Let Embarrassment Become a Health Risk
Many people find it very difficult to talk about their sexual health. Some even find it shameful. But discomfort and shame can get in the way of common sense. They can keep people from taking good care of themselves and their partners. Choose a clinician with whom you can be comfortable while discussing these issues. Keep yourself healthy by speaking frankly and openly with your clinician about your sex life and your sexual health concerns. Some clinicians don't ask-so take charge and speak up.

Remember: Protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections can reduce anxiety and make sex a lot more enjoyable. Reduce Your Risk...Use a Condom Every Time! Revised version April 1997 Planned Parenthood. Federation of America, Inc.
Copyright PPFA 1983. All rights reserved.

For more information, check out www.plannedparenthood.org/sti