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Body Talks: STI Risks in Same Sex Hookups for Women


When talking about STI prevention it is usually focused around sex between a man and a woman, or men who sleep with men. Although the risks are lower, women who sleep with women are still at risk for STIs. So which ones are they at risk for? In short—all of them—but let’s dive into how and why.

When women have sex with women less bodily fluids are exchanged, which is the most common way STIs are spread. STIs primarily spread through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and the discharge from sores or lesions. You are most likely to contract an STI through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex. However, you also can get infected through skin to skin contact when lesions or sores are involved, such as herpes (OurBodiesOurselves). This means that a woman engaging in oral sex or having skin on skin contact with another woman who has an STI-related lesion or sore is at risk.

How are STIs transmitted from person to person you ask? By way of the mucous membranes found in the vagina, penis, urethra or anus, as well as the throat, mouth, respiratory tract, eyes and nose. These mucous membranes are thinner than skin and allow microbes (bacteria or viruses) to cross into the body. It’s also important to note that minor breaks in the skin due to abrasions or cuts further increase the risk of infection (news-medical.net). Bringing it back to woman on woman, oral sex and through the use of sex toys are common ways that STIs are spread.

So what are the best ways to prevent the spread of STIs between women? First, get tested frequently, including pap smears, and use preventative measures such as the HPV shot. Second, use lube! Small abrasions or cuts in the vaginal wall can come from dryness or too much friction. Condoms on sex toys or dental dams during oral are also options, and lastly, make sure you clean your toys regularly. (stdtestexpress.com)

When it comes to STIs the best way of preventing them is taking away the stigma that is associated. The more you have an open conversation with your partners, the more you can do to stop the spread of them. The more we all talk about STIs, without negative connotations in general, the more people will get tested and get treatment. The majority of sexually active people will get a STI at some point in their lives, so why not talk about it the same way we talk about getting the cold or a flu? The stigma stems from fears around sexuality, but with brands like What’s In Your Box? these fears are being questioned and refuted. So talk about sex and talk about STIs, for a safe and satisfying sex life!

Xo,
Nina
WIYB subscriber and contributing writer

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https://www.news-medical.net/health/STD-Pathophysiology.aspx

What STDs should women who have sex with women worry about?

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