Condom in packaging to highlight safe sexual practice

4 safe sexual practices to promote sexual health

Medically reviewed on March 28, 2022 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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The way we talk about sex as a culture is changing, and the clinical community is following suit.

While the conversation has historically focused on disease prevention, the clinical community is starting to focus on the whole person – beyond just disease prevention. This approach integrates the physical elements of sex as a means (not an end) of achieving the myriad benefits associated with a healthy sex life.

Read on for the top four tips to integrate so you can enjoy safe sexual practices and harmonize sexual health with sexual wellness.

Use protection

You’ve probably heard it before, but it bears repeating: the single best way to prioritize your and your partner(s)’ sexual health is to use a contraceptive.

Some contraceptives prevent pregnancy, and others prevent STD transmission as well as pregnancy. Condoms and diaphragms are examples of physical contraceptives that help prevent STD transmission.

Bear in mind that certain STDs, like herpes and HPV, can be transmitted whether or not you use a condom [1]. That said, choosing a contraceptive that works for you and your partner can be an effective way to lower the risk of STD transmission.

Be open with your partner(s)

Safe, enjoyable sex pertains as much to your emotional wellbeing as it does to your physical health. To that end, it’s important to create a culture of open dialogue within relationships with a partner.

This may include:

  • Maintaining transparency around your STD statuses
  • Sharing your sexual histories
  • Prioritizing consent before engaging in intimacy
  • Having honest conversations about family planning
  • Being open about your sexual preferences and boundaries

Remember, no matter how close you are with your partner, every sexual encounter is an occasion where two lives (and their histories) converge.

The more awareness you can bring to your relationship, the better you’ll be able to take care of one another.

Get tested

Ultimately, you have the power to foster a more conscious approach to your choices about sexual wellness.

You can get tested regularly for STDs, STIs, and HIV/AIDS by coordinating with your health care provider or by purchasing at-home tests kits from reliable vendors.

If you’re shopping around for testing options that let you check your sexual health status at home, be sure to look for kits screened by CLIA-certified laboratories to ensure your results are accurate and privacy-protected.

Prioritize preventative care

Certain STDs, like HPV and hepatitis A and B, are incurable—but they can be prevented through vaccines.

Vaccines are a safe, highly effective way of participating in preventative sexual health care [2]. They work by incentivizing the body to create the antibodies necessary to combat an infection if it enters the body organically.

Both HPV and hepatitis can have severe medical consequences if left untreated, so it’s important to ask your provider about vaccinations if you’re not protected. In the end, prioritizing your future sexual health can only serve to put your mind at ease and help you enjoy the moment with your partner.

Sexual health testing with Everlywell

Everyone has the right to comprehensive healthcare that can foster a conscious, compassionate, and effective approach to sexual wellness.

To start prioritizing your sexual health, knowing your status is the first piece of the puzzle. The Everlywell STD Test kit lets you screen for seven sexually transmitted diseases with data-protected privacy from the comfort of your home.

Through Everlywell, results are screened through CLIA-certified labs and backed by a clinical team with years of experience in the medical arena. To start taking your sexual health and wellness into your hands, discover our complete range of at-home test kits today.

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1. Comparing typical effectiveness of contraceptive methods. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Accessed March 28, 2022.

2. The Lowdown On How To Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Accessed March 28, 2022.

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