Travel and sex. Getting busy under the sheets in some hostel dorms happens more often than you think. I’ve witnessed my fair share of dorm mates getting it on while I and other people are pretending not to notice. It’s one of the many reasons why I hate hostels. I have over a dozen stories to tell in various hostels all around the world – but that’s for another day. Since we’re just humans, after all, getting horny is only part of it, and it also permeates to travel. It’s especially true when you travel alone, and the call for companionship starts to take hold.
Most travelers come prepared when it comes to traveling. However, most don’t expect to get laid, so safe sex preparations are often overlooked. If you are likely to engage in sexual activities on your travels; come prepared and practice safe sex. This means preparing any means of contraception and having a solid plan to stay healthy during your travels.
This article will give you an overview of things to consider, plus information about common STIs, prevention, and treatments. Whether you intend to have sex or not when you are traveling, this article will benefit you.
Sexual Health Preparations Before Traveling
Before your travels, it is a good idea to visit your GP or local sexual health clinic to find the right form of contraception for you. The proper contraception can take some time to figure out; and often comes with trial and error of different ways. Therefore, it’s best to give yourself as much time as possible to try out different methods before settling for one. This is particularly important if you are traveling for an extended period and may not have access to facilities. Besides that, finding contraception overseas is an expensive affair.
Types of Contraceptives Available
There are some different contraceptive options available; some are more convenient than others. Contraceptive pills are the standard option but can easily be misplaced. Doses can easily be missed which can lead to complications. Also, some women do not react well to contraceptive pills and may experience irregular periods, depression, or other symptoms. If your body responds well to hormone-based contraceptives but often miss doses, there are other options available.
The “implant” is a fairly new but popular method of contraception. It goes under the skin of the arm. It works similarly to a contraceptive pill but doesn’t rely on you having to remember to take the pills. Your GP will be able to provide further details about the “implant” and discuss whether or not it is right for you. Some women do have complications with the implant and end up having to have it removed earlier than initially expected. On some occasions, your GP may suggest another form of contraception not based on hormones like a non-hormonal coil.
For those that do not wish to take pills or have devices implanted into their body. Condoms are always the best option. Condoms also protect against STIs which other methods of contraception will not. For safe sex, it is recommended that condoms are used in conjunction with another form of contraception such as the “the implant,” or contraceptive pills. Condoms are also fairly widely available when traveling; unlike other forms of contraception.
Protecting Yourself Against Infection
STIs can come in a variety of forms, and some are virtually undetectable. Most hurt future fertility. Therefore, it’s always best to understand how to protect yourself against any sexually transmitted infection. Many people don’t know how quickly an STI can be transferred from one person to another. Sexual intercourse isn’t the only way an STI can spread.
Oral sex, anal sex, sharing sex toys, or any other genital contact can put an individual at risk of a sexually transmitted infection. Condoms are the safest way to protect against this type of disease and should be worn by anyone engaging in casual sex. Sexual contact without condoms shouldn’t be considered unless both partners have been tested for any sexually transmitted infections and are not having sex with anybody else.
Anyone who partakes in unprotected sex during travel can be at risk of catching some different STIs. These can include, genital warts, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes — nasty things to be sure. These STIs are treatable but can have lasting damage your health and fertility if not treated. In addition to these common STIs, unsafe sex can put you at risk of catching life-threatening diseases like HIV. To minimize the risk of catching such infections or diseases; condoms are always the most effective option.
Symptoms of STIs
Although some STIs are symptomless, you could still have it. Essential signs to look for include itching in the genital area or anus, rashes, or unusual discharges from the penis or vagina. If you have any of these symptoms, get checked at your local clinic, pronto! If you experience any of the symptoms during your travels, locate the nearest hospital and get tested ASAP.
Be aware that you might take a financial hit when seeking medical treatment overseas. It is, therefore, best to practice safe sex to avoid unnecessary procedures. Being tested before you travel should give you the reassurance and peace of mind. You certainly don’t want to pass it on to others. A full test will check for all types of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. It will include a blood test, along with collecting swab samples from the penis or vagina.
Treatments for STIs
If you do manage to get infected, and I hope you don’t. Most minor STIs are easily treated with a course of antibiotics. That’s all it usually takes to get rid of the infection altogether. Antibiotics, however, can be costly depending on where you are in the world. That’s why it’s good to have travel insurance to cover for medical expenses. Be that as it may, getting an STI is just nasty business so avoid it at all costs. Stay safe, and be sure to use condoms when engaging in any sexual activity. There is nothing worse than getting sick with an STI when traveling abroad.
The Final Word
Protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections or diseases during travel is essential. However, you should also ensure that you have an effective contraceptive plan to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancy is the worst at the best of times. This can additionally be magnified if it happens in a place away from home.
Pregnancy requires a lot of medical care and attention. This can be a huge hassle and very costly when overseas. This can also put a damper in all your travel plans. Therefore, you should find a reliable contraceptive method before you set off on your travels. Always remember to have fun, but not at the expense of your health. Engaging in casual sex will very likely happen when meeting new people. But still exercise your due diligence; make sure you are adequately prepared to avoid any negative consequences.
Discuss the best method of contraception with your GP and familiarise yourself with ways to protect yourself. Your GP in your local sexual health clinic will provide you with the assistance that you require to put your mind at ease before your travels.