Summer Lovin’: Research Finds That We Have More Sex In The Summer

Summer Lovin’: Research Finds That We Have More Sex In The Summer

Our sexual behavior patterns change with the seasons--and with the shift from spring to summer just around the corner, research suggests that a change in sexual behavior is likely to follow. Specifically, there seems to be a reliable peak in sexual activity during the summer months.

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Taking Antibiotics After Unprotected Sex May Reduce STI Risk

Taking Antibiotics After Unprotected Sex May Reduce STI Risk

New research finds that the antibiotic doxycycline reduces the odds of contracting some bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if taken within 72 hours of condomless sex.

The findings, presented earlier this year at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, came from a study of 232 HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Half of the men were given a prescription for the drug and instructed to take two pills (100 mg) within three days any time they had sex without condoms. The remaining men did not receive the antibiotic regimen; however, everyone was given condoms and counseling about safer sex. All participants were tested regularly for STIs for several months afterward.

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How Are Rates Of STDs Changing In The US? (Infographic)

How Are Rates Of STDs Changing In The US? (Infographic)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health concern in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are estimated to be 110 million infections in the U.S. today, with 20 million new infections occurring each year. So what's been happening with STD rates over the last few years? Have they been rising or falling? And is the pattern similar or different across various infections? For a look at the data, check out the infographic below, which includes selected figures complied from the CDC's website.

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Could Antibacterial Mouthwash Help Prevent the Spread of Gonorrhea?

Could Antibacterial Mouthwash Help Prevent the Spread of Gonorrhea?

One sexually transmitted infection (STI) that has public health officials increasingly worried is gonorrhea. Although infection rates have declined dramatically from their peak in the 1970s, research has found that not only is gonorrhea on the rise again, but that this infection has also become more resistant to antibiotic treatments. Essentially, what this means is that we have fewer and fewer drugs available that can successfully clear it from the body. Scientists fear that, eventually, a strain may emerge that we can’t cure. As such, more research into gonorrhea treatment and prevention strategies is urgently needed.

A new set of studies suggests that one tool that could potentially help in the fight against antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is—wait for it—mouthwash. But not just any mouthwash—we’re talking specifically about antibacterial mouthwashes, such as Listerine.

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Summer Lovin’: Sexual Activity Peaks During Warmer Months

Summer Lovin’: Sexual Activity Peaks During Warmer Months

Do our sexual activity patterns change with the seasons? A new study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections suggests that they do, and that there’s a reliable peak during the summer months.

In order to determine this, researchers looked at data obtained from patient visits to the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre located in Melbourne, Australia between the years 2006-2014. Specifically, they looked at how diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and patients’ reports of the number of partners they’d had in the past three months changed throughout the year.

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Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Infographic: Recent Trends in STD Rates in the United States

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major public health issue in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are as many as 20 million new infections that occur each year in the U.S. and that we spend upwards of $16 billion annually on health care to treat them. So what's been happening with rates of STDs in recent years? Are they increasing or decreasing? Check out the infographic below for a look at some of the data. To learn more, check out the CDC's full report here (please note that HIV/AIDS is covered separately in its own report here). In addition, visit this page for information on the CDC's current STD screening recommendations.

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Did The Invention Of Oral Sex Give Rise To Gonorrhea?

Did The Invention Of Oral Sex Give Rise To Gonorrhea?

Humans aren’t the only ones that have to deal with sexually transmitted infections—animals do too. Indeed, chlamydia, syphilis, and several other STIs known all too well among humans have been documented in the animal kingdom with some frequency. Among primates, however, one STI that is unique to humans is gonorrhea. This observation has led some scientists to question why. What gave rise to gonorrhea in humans, but not in other primate species? Some scientists argue that it might have something to do with the fact that humans frequently practice oral sex, a behavior that is rare in non-human primates.

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Sex Question Friday: Should I Be Using Condoms During Oral Sex?

Sex Question Friday: Should I Be Using Condoms During Oral Sex?

A reader submitted the following question:

“Is it necessary to use condoms/dental dams for oral sex? What if it is not used? Does that guarantee transmission of sexually transmitted infections?”

Thanks for this great question! Oral sex has become a very common sexual activity in the Western world. For instance, most U.S. adults under age 50 say that they have given and/or received oral sex in the past year in the form of fellatio or cunnilingus, a number that has increased significantly during the past few decades.

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Does Grindr Really “Lead To Gonorrhea?”

Does Grindr Really “Lead To Gonorrhea?”

So far this year, two studies have been released reporting that use of Grindr and other smartphone hook-up apps is linked to a higher prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among men who have sex with men (MSM). One of these studies was published in January in PLoS ONE (co-authored by yours truly), while the other was published just this month in Sexually Transmitted Infections. The latter study made quite a media splash this past week, generating headlines such as this gem from The Daily Beast: “Grindr-ing Leads to Gonorrhea.” The subtitle for this headline pretty much sums up the current media narrative: “Log on, hook-up, get STD.” So there you have it—smartphone hookup apps cause STDs, right? It sounds like an intuitive conclusion, given the ease with which these apps allow one to locate sexual partners. But is the story really that simple? A closer look at the data suggests that we might want to rethink the notion that these apps cause risky sexual behavior. 

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Six Myths About Sexually Transmitted Infections Debunked

Although most people are sexually active, it is surprising how little some people seem to know about sex. In particular, there are a multitude of myths and misconceptions about the topic of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Below, we will review six of the most persistent false beliefs about STIs.
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Sex Question Friday: Do STDs Affect Women's Ability To Reach Orgasm?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a college student who wanted to know whether having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can interfere with a woman’s sexual pleasure.

If you happen to contract an STD, is it more difficult to induce a female orgasm?

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