Menopause and Sex (cont.)
Do I Still Have to Worry About Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Yes. Just as you must use protection if you do not want to become pregnant during perimenopause, you must also take measures to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during menopause and postmenopause. It's important to remember that your risk of contracting
STDs is a possibility at any point in your life during which you are sexually active, and this risk does not go down with age or with changes in your reproductive system.
Left untreated, some STDs can lead to serious illnesses, while others, like
AIDS, cannot be cured and are deadly.
How Can I Protect Myself From STDs?
Here are some basic steps that you can take to help protect yourself from STDs:
- Consider that not having sex is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
- Use a latex condom every time you have sex. (If you use a lubricant, make sure it is water-based (not Vaseline.)
- Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch an STD.
- Practice monogamy. This means having sex with only one person. That person must also have sex with only you to reduce your risk.
- Choose your sex partners with care. Don't have sex with someone whom you suspect may have an STD.
- Get checked for STDs. Don't risk giving the infection to someone else.
- If you have more than one sex partner, always use a condom.
- Don't use alcohol or drugs before you have sex. You may be less likely to practice safe sex if you are drunk or high.
- Know the signs and symptoms of STDs. Look for them in yourself and your sex partners.
- Learn about STDs. The more you know about STDs, the better you can protect yourself.
WebMD Medical Reference
SOURCE:Last Editorial Review: 1/28/2010
North American Menopause Society.
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on April 21, 2009
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