Choosing to become sexually active is a very big moment in a person’s life. There are lots of new emotions involved and it tends to be something you remember forever. While it’s perfectly normal to get caught up in the excitement and the moment, it’s also very important to be prepared so you can protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

According to the American Sexual Health Association, one in two sexually active people will catch an STI by the age of 25. That’s a pretty sobering statistic when you think about it – that means 50% of people under the age of 25 have STIs. So, what can you do to ensure that you avoid sexually transmitted infections? Here are some tips you can use.

Make Sure You Use a Condom

The number one way you can protect yourself against STIs is to use a latex condom when you have sex. A condom needs to be used each and every time, not just the first time, and it must remain in place until you are finished having sex.

What many don’t realize is that although a condom offers protection, it’s not 100% effective. However, they still one of the safest and most effective prevention methods out there as long, as they are used properly.

Get Tested

Another way to ensure you’re not transmitting an infection is for you and your partner to get tested. Make sure to do this before you become sexually active with one another. You can usually have testing done at a clinic and the process is very quick and simple.

A Monogamous Relationship

Making sure you are in a monogamous relationship where you and your partner are not having sex with others outside the relationship is another way to help prevent contracting an STI. Not only that but if you want to be extra safe you should ensure that you don’t have sex with one another until you have both been sexually inactive for at least six months prior.

Cleanse Before and After

Here’s a tip that not everyone is aware of or follows, and that is to shower before and after you engage in sex. You should have your own towel so you aren’t sharing linens.

What Happens if You Think You May Have an STI?

If you think you may have an STI, visit your doctor or clinic as soon as possible to get tested. If you do have a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to get the right STD treatment as soon as possible, so as not to risk further complications or health risks. As well, if you’ve been diagnosed with an STI, you’ll need to abstain from having sex until the treatment is finished.

Your Health is Always a Priority

Your health should always be a priority so being educated on how to avoid contracting an STI is vital. If you do have any questions about STIs, how to prevent them, and whether you should be treated, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor.