Should we consider masturbation as a potential risk to get an STD?

You might know that STD stands for 'sexual transmitted disease'. But do you really know about STDs and how you can get an STD? We are willing to bet that you have thought at least once about the possible ways to get or to spread a certain STD. And you wonder whether masturbation is one of the possible ways to get an STD.

Masturbation is the “performance” of having sex with yourself. And almost everyone loves it. But, guess what? It is generally safe! At least if you don’t have an STD, you can’t get one from masturbating for sure. But, there are some chances to get an STD if you are using certain things while masturbating.

In order to understand the risk factors, and whether or not masturbation can cause an STD, you should first get a better idea of how STDs are spread.

How are STDs spread?

STDs can be caused by bacteria, viruses and some parasites. The bacterial diseases are: syphilis, caused by a bacteria called Treponema Pallidum, chlamydia is caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis, gonorrhea by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhea. For viruses: HIV caused by human immunodeficiency viruses, HIV-1 and HIV-2. HPV is another viral STD caused by the human papillomavirus. For parasitic STDs: trichomoniasis, scabies and pubic louse.  Most of the sexually transmitted infections can be spread by sexual activity, but there are STDs that can be gained without sexual contact.

Few STIs, like Chlamydia, HIV, and gonorrhea can be transmitted from an infected mother to the infant during pregnancy or delivery.

If you are sexually active, you have a higher potential of being exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. Some of the factors that play a great role in getting infected are:

  • Having unprotected sex;
  • Having multiple sex partners;
  • Misuse of recreational drugs;
  • Been infected with an STI before;
  • Being young (between the ages of 15 and 24);
READ
If I Swallow My Boyfriend's Sperm Will I Get an STD ?

Can I get an STD from masturbating?

Masturbating is actually the safest sexual activity. You can’t get an STD from satisfying yourself by touching your own genitals. STDs are mainly transmitted from one person to another. But, like in any rule, here are some exceptions as well. If you are having herpes on your mouth and you have touched it, make sure that you wash your hands before touching your own genitals. If you touch a sore and then touch some other part of your body, you can easily spread the sore in the other area as well.

You CAN get an STD if you are touching some other person’s genitals. Mutual masturbation is when you are masturbating with your partner and touching each other’s genitals. If the other person is infected with some STI, it can be easily transmitted to the other person with semen or vaginal fluids. Mutual masturbation with gloves on your hands is a good idea as well.

If you touch your partner’s genitals, make sure you wash your hands before touching your own.

STDs can also be spread by sharing your sex toys with another person. If you want to avoid this from happening you can put condoms on the toys. Change the condoms every time a different person uses it.

Another possible way to get a sexually transmitted infection while masturbating is by irritating your vulva or vagina. Masturbation, especially when using toys, can lead to skin irritation and skin rashes. Sometimes, using Vaseline, lotions or oils can worsen the irritation as well. Germs from the anus can lead to vaginal infection. Tip – don’t put anything in your vagina that has been in your anus before. First, wash it, or put a condom on it, and then you can put it in your vagina.

READ
What are the Chances of Catching an STD?

Also, be careful about the environment where you are masturbating. If it is a shared environment, be sure to clean the place before and after masturbating to avoid the risk of getting an STD from potential infected fluids that can be found around.

Other benefits of masturbation

Not only because is the safest way not to get an STD or to get pregnant, but masturbation can also be good for you for various other reasons. Some of the benefits of masturbation are:

  • Masturbation can help you discover what you do and what you don’t like in sex.
  • Embracing and exploring your body can improve your self-esteem.
  • Masturbation is lowering stress and helps you relax.
  • Endorphins are released during orgasms. Endorphin reduces pain and boosts pleasure, which results in a feeling of well-being.

What are the common symptoms of STD?

STDs have a range of signs and symptoms, but also there are STDs that don’t have any symptoms and they are hard to discover. Common signs and symptoms of STDs are the followings:

  • Fever
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Painful urination
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Bumps on the genitals

Are you experiencing some of the signs and symptoms mentioned above? Did you use some objects or toys while masturbating that might be a potential source of some STI? If yes, you should see a doctor.

Can I masturbate while being treated for an STD?

If you are diagnosed with a bacterial STD like chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomoniasis, you are safe to masturbate while being treated. These types of STDs are treated with antibiotics, and they can’t be transmitted by skin contact. But, if you are having sex with your partner, don’t forget to use condoms. Until you are done with your treatment, safe sex should become a practice for you in order to avoid infecting your partner.

READ
Can I Get an STD From Sharing Sex Toys?

So, if you are receiving antibiotic treatment for your STD, then you are safe to masturbate. Your body is getting treated and you cannot infect yourself again.

But, if you are using gel or cream to treat your STD, then you should be careful. The infection can be easily transmitted from one place to another. You might be putting the cream on one area, but that doesn’t mean that the other areas are protected as well.

How can I make masturbation safer?

There are several ways that can help you avoid, or at least reduce the risk of getting an STD while masturbating.

People sometimes don’t really know they are infected with an STD. The main purpose to be safe while masturbating is to avoid transferring bacteria from your genitals to another person’s genitals, or vice versa.

  • Always wash your hands before and after the masturbation.
  • Try not to share sex toys with your partner. If you do this, remember to wash the toys before and after masturbating and to always put a condom on it. Don’t use the sex toys if you haven’t disinfected them before.
  • Take regular care of your skin and especially of your nails. Clean the area under your nails, and try to keep them short.
  • If you notice that you or your partner are having some skin rashes, pimples or sores in the genital region, wash your hands before touching anything else.

References: