Sexual health advice for backpackers

Sexual health education is often a topic that is neglected but one which we at Travset place importance on.

Such education is all the more important prior to backpacking our way through far-flung, exotic lands as the chances of not meeting someone we fancy is a hard task indeed. Such relationships are made easier with the numerous parties, free-flowing alcohol and the reduced inhibitions we experience during our travels.

It is important to remember that being far away from home does not make you immune to any sexually transmitted diseases and/or unwanted pregnancies. Taking the same precautions you would take to protect yourself at home is therefore wise when abroad.

Below are a few tips that we, together with our backpacking experts compiled to ensure that you are prepared for all sexual experiences that you might enter.

1. Use condoms

This goes without saying but condoms next to not engaging in intercourse are the best way to protect yourself against STDs. it is also highly effective in preventing pregnancies.

We do however recommend taking condoms with you as a brand you are comfortable with is bound to make their use easier. This is also important as the condoms found in certain countries might not be the right size or the quality as the ones available at home.

Make sure you store the condoms in a location that is of average temperature and not in a wallet where the heat and friction could damage it. It is also a good idea to check the expiry date of the condom prior to using it.

More information about condom usage is available here.

2. Contraception pill

Another highly effective means of preventing pregnancies, the contraception pill is widely used by travelers abroad. This, however, does not prevent the spread of STDs, so a condom is definitely needed prior to engaging in intercourse.

We recommend talking to your GP or a travel health specialist and taking enough contraception pills to last you for the duration of your trip (or even more, should you decided to lengthen your trip).

It is also important to familiarize yourself with how the pill works when to consume it and what medication could reduce its potency.

3. Intrauterine device (IUD)

Another very effective contraception device is the IUD which is helpful in preventing pregnancies for long periods of time. It as with the contraception pill, however, does not protect you against STDs, so it is important that you wear a condom during intercourse.

4. Morning after pill

The morning after contraception pill is used for those mornings that follow risky sexual behavior. Obtaining such pills in sizable quantities, however, is tough.

It also does not prevent one from contracting STDs. Condoms, therefore, are highly recommended.

5. Regular check-ups

Mishaps happen despite taking precautions and regular checkups are important to ensure your health and those you interact with on an intimate level.