Sex comes with a lot of cathartic relief, emotional attachment, a dash of danger and infections-which are not necessarily from penetrative variety.
There are several diseases that men can transmit to women during intercourse and a woman needs to check whether a man is coughing before oral sex and hands are thoroughly washed and well-trimmed nails before using fingers.
Diseases that come with a man having sore throat include transmitting genital herpes from the virus that caused it. According to Junior F. Mukudi, a health systems specialist, oral herpes caused by HSV-1 can be spread through oral sex.
Mukudi advises that partners shower before sex and urinate after to prevent urinary tract infection.
“Men can carry STI pathogens on the genital epithelium and then transmit them to sexual partners… therefore genital hygiene before and after sex is important,” explains Mukudi.
He says that sex toys should also be cleaned before and after use and use of condoms or dental dams for oral sex should be encouraged.
Sarah*, a 22-year-old college student, experienced itchiness around her genitalia after a fingering session with her boyfriend.
Due to sensitivity of the vagina, women who use tampons are advised to wash hands with soap before inserting one.
Another sexually transmitted infection is the Human papillomavirus (HPV) transmitted via vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person.
HPV can cause different types of cancers, including cervical, vulva, vaginal, penile, anal, throat as well as the base of the tongue.
While the immune system can suppress infection, some persistent HPV types can remain dormant for between 10 and 15 years before showing symptoms.
So a partner could have been infected years before meeting you and vaccination is the best way of preventing HPV.
Herpes is another disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and transmitted through skin-to-skin contact on the genitals, anus or mouth.
While the blisters heal within two to three weeks, the virus cannot be cured and herpes outbreaks will often reoccur.
Herpes can be prevented by using a male or female condom or dental dam during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Once infected, one can ease the pain by keeping the affected area clean using plain or saltwater. You can also apply petroleum jelly to reduce the pain when passing urine, use painkilling creams and avoid tight clothing because it may irritate the blisters and ulcers.
Thongs transfer bacteria, cause Urinary Tract Infections
Many women assume vaginal infections come from men but experts argue that most women can infect themselves with urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Dr Simon Kigondu, an Obstetrician gynaecologist, says some urinary tract infections (UTI) are caused by bacteria found in stool.
And chances of women contracting UTIs are higher than men as the female urethra is shorter at four centimetres while the male is 20 centimetres, making it easy for the E. Coli bacteria found in stool to make its way to the female urethra.
To reduce chances of getting E. coli bacteria, women are advised to wipe from the front to back, and not wearing thongs for a long time since the string can easily transfer the bacteria from the anal to the vaginal area.
Although UTIs aren’t spread from one person to another like STDs, having sex or using antiseptic soaps can lead to or worsen UTIs. But you don’t have to have sex to get a UTI. Anything that brings bacteria in contact with your urethra can cause a UTI.
Many women, from myths peddled around, assume UTI is a sexually transmitted diseases, yet that is not the case and all it takes to heal is a dose of antibiotics.
There are two types of UTI, the upper tract and lower tract. An upper-tract infection is one that happens in the urethra or kidneys. A lower-tract infection happens in the bladder, prostate, or urethra.
According to Planned Parenthood.org, getting a urinary tract infection is easy as all it takes is for bacteria in the genital and anal areas to enter the urethra and travel to the bladder causing an infection. This can happen during intercourse when bacteria from your partner’s genitals, anus, fingers, or sex toys gets pushed into your urethra. UTIs can also be caused by Chlamydia or gonorrhea.
First Published: The Standard