Written on December 20, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) affect millions of people worldwide. While there are several different types of STDs, many people find themselves wondering how to get rid of them. Does soap kill STDs? Read this article for everything you need to know.
STDs are transmitted via sexual contact and are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). While STDs are mainly transmitted via sexual acts and sexual contact, they can also be passed during pregnancy and childbirth or through the sharing of fluids and/or needles. STDs can present with a wide variety of symptoms, and some may present asymptomatically.
Some of the most common forms of STDs include chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), and syphilis. If you believe that you or a partner may have an STD, it is important to get tested by a qualified healthcare provider, as STDs are contagious. A healthcare provider will provide you with the results and appropriate treatment plan based on any positive STD result.
Many people wonder, does soap kill STDs? The short answer is no. However, this does not imply that you shouldn’t aim to practice adequate hygiene practices before and after sexual activities. While soap and washing of your body and any sexual props is helpful, as using soap may help to kill some viruses or bacteria, it is not a surefire way to kill STDs. Part of the reason why soap does not kill STDs is due to the nature of how most STDs are passed or acquired.
As mentioned above, STDs are typically passed from one person to another through sexual activity, namely vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Because the transfer of fluids or transfer of infection typically happens within a relatively short, specific period during sexual activity, the STD is likely already transferred by the time someone is finished having sex. Thus, while washing off the body is helpful for cleanliness and to reduce the general spread of germs, it won’t entirely kill STDs.
Treatment for STDs will depend on which STD you have and what a healthcare provider deems the most appropriate treatment plan. Some of the treatment modalities for common STDs include :
Because basic hygiene practices are unlikely to kill STDs and are not a useful form of prevention of STDs, taking steps to prevent STDs is important. Some of the best ways to prevent the transfer of STDs include :
At Everlywell, we combine the best in modernized, rigorous lab testing with easy-to-access, at-home medicine. We provide a range of blood tests, including several of our sexual health tests, that you can take from the comfort of your home. Your results will be analyzed in CLIA-certified labs and an experienced healthcare provider will deliver your results. Take control of your health today with Everlywell.
Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT works with a wide variety of individuals, ranging in age from children to the elderly, with an assortment of concerns and clinical conditions. She helps individuals optimize overall health and/or manage disease states using personalized medical nutrition therapy techniques.