How Can Chlamydia and Gonorrhea be Prevented?
The surest way to prevent the transmission of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and other STIs is to abstain from sexual contact.
The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. Decreasing the number of sexual partners will reduce the risk of chlamydia and gonorrheal infections. Practice fidelity with a spouse or partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.
When used consistently and correctly, condoms are 98% effective and are the only form of birth control that can also prevent STIs.
What Doesn’t Work
Washing the genitals, using spermicides, urinating, or douching after sex will not prevent chlamydia, gonorrhea, or any other STI. If an individual has any STI symptoms, they should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately.
How to Use Condoms: Dos and Don'ts
Read all the information on the package. Know what you are using.
Check the expiration date on the package. If it is expired, get a new package of condoms and throw away the old ones.
Use only condoms that are made of latex or polyurethane (plastic). Latex condoms and polyurethane condoms are the best types of condoms to use to help prevent pregnancy, STIs, and HIV.
Use a pre-lubricated condom to help prevent it from tearing. If you only have a non-lubricated condom, put a little bit of water-based lubricant ("lube") inside and outside the condom.
Condoms come in different sizes, colors, textures, and thicknesses. Talk with your partner and choose condoms both of you like.
Do not use two condoms at once.
Do not use condoms made of animal skin, sometimes called "natural" condoms. Animal skin condoms can help prevent pregnancy but don't work as well as latex or polyurethane condoms to prevent STIs, including HIV.
Do not keep condoms in a place that can get very hot, like in a car. If you keep a condom in your wallet or purse, be sure you replace it with a new one regularly.
Do not use any kind of oil-based lubricants (like petroleum jellies, lotions, mineral oil, or vegetable oils). These can negatively affect the latex, making it more likely to rip or tear.
Do not reuse condoms.
Do not use condoms that are torn or outdated.
A latex allergy may prevent the consistent and correct use of latex condoms during oral, anal, and vaginal sex. Fortunately, non-latex condoms are available.
Female condoms are also an option. When a male condom is not being used, sex partners should consider using a female condom. If used consistently and correctly, the female condom might substantially reduce the risk for STIs.
Learn more about STIs and staying safe during intimacy here.