After ejaculation, pull out (of the vagina, anus, or mouth) while still erect, holding the condom at the base to prevent semen from spilling. Wipe any remaining ejaculate off the penis.
Never double-up on condoms, as the friction of rubbing together can cause slippage and breakage. Be sure to use a new one every time you do the deed.
4. Don’t assume that an STD screening tests for all STDs.
If you are or have been sexually active, it’s important to get tested for STDs. Though most people think their doctor routinely tests for STDs, the reality is they don’t. The most common STDs that can only be treated, not cured, are: HPV (approximately 20 million people are currently infected, another six million become infected annually, and at least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives ),1 herpes (one out of six adolescents and adults are infected with genital herpes),2 and HIV (data from 2006 shows more HIV infections occurred among young people ages 13-29 (34% or 19,200) followed by persons ages 30-29 (31% or 17,400).3 Bacterial infections that can be cured if caught soon after being contracted include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. So, request to be tested for all diseases by name. The caveat: Not all STDs can be diagnosed through a test. Guys, for example, can’t be tested for HPV unless a wart is present on the skin and visually identified.
5. Emergency contraception can reduce the chance of pregnancy.
If your contraception failed or you had unprotected sex and are concerned about pregnancy, consider taking emergency contracption (EC). Plan B® One-Step and Next Choice are two brands that can be obtained from a pharmacist without a prescription if you are 17 or older. Essentially, EC can be one or more pills made of concentrated doses of the hormones that are in regular birth-control pills. Depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle, EC can work in one of a few ways, including: stopping or delaying an ovary from releasing an ovum (egg) during ovulation; disrupting the journey of the egg or sperm; interfering with fertilization; altering the lining of the uterus such that a fertilized egg cannot implant. Though studies show that EC should work when the first dose is taken within 120 hours after intercourse, effectiveness increases when the first pills are popped within 24 hours. Just realize that the high amounts of hormones in these risk- reducing pills have temporary side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
6. HIV and other STDs can be transmitted during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
Rubbing below-the- belt areas against each other when you’re naked is also a risk. An estimated 19 million new infections occur each year in the United States, almost half of them among young people aged 15 to 24.4 Unless you know that you and your partner are STD-free and mutually monogamous, reduce your risk by using a latex or polyurethane condom before any genital contact. Though it may be awkward at first, use a condom or dental dam (a sheath, placed over the vulva or anal opening, that can be purchased at sex shops or online sex-toy stores) during oral action.
D.I.Y. Dental Dam:
If you don’t have a dental dam within reach, you can easily make one from a non-lubricated condom. Take a condom out of the package, unroll it completely, and cut off each end (the tip and the rim) with scissors.