Safer Sex: Reducing Your Risk

Safer sex is anything someone does to reduce their risk for things like sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

Harm reduction is another term for safer sex—it’s reducing the risk for harm that could come from certain sexual activities. The term “safer” sex is used because there are things people can do to make sexual activity safer—but it’s not 100% safe. Anytime there is genital skin-to-skin contact or bodily fluids are exchanged there is a risk for STIs and maybe pregnancy (depending on the people and the activity). The only surefire way to prevent STIs and pregnancy is abstinence. It’s important that you (and your partner) determine what safer sex looks like for you and how you plan to reduce your risk.

If someone decides to engage in sexual activities, there are things they can do to reduce their risk for STIs and unintended pregnancy. Learn more about protecting your sexual health:

 

Sexually Transmitted Infections: Prevention, Testing, and Treatment

Contraception and Pregnancy

Using Barrier Methods for Safer Sex