You might be surprised to learn that you can catch an STI from sharing sex toys. However, if used responsibly and washed regularly, there is no reason not to enjoy them as intended whilst keeping yourself protected. Not washing them and keeping them hygienic can increase the risk of infections being passed on, including blood-borne infections.
Most infections cannot live outside the body for a long time, but even if a sex toy hasn’t been used for a while, you shouldn’t assume that the toy will be free of bacteria. Many infections can be transferred by sharing sex toys, including chlamydia, HPV, gonorrhoea and HIV. Bacterial vaginosis isn’t classified as an STI but is an infection that can spread through sharing toys and causes discomfort and acute itching.
If there are things like traces of blood or bodily fluids on a sex toy, infections like syphilis and hepatitis C can be passed on. If you have any concerns about whether you might have contracted an infection, consider Home STI kits London and visit https://www.greenwichsexualhealth.org/chlamydia_screening/
Safe Use of Sex Toys
Always wash your sex toys between each use
After washing, keep penetrative toys, like vibrators covered with a fresh condom each time you use it
Don’t share sex toys
If you have multiple partners, have a separate set of sex toys for each one
Sex toys can transfer chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and bacterial vaginosis. If there is a possibility that a sex toy could draw blood, this toy should definitely not be shared as this can transmit blood-borne infections. You should also take extra care if you have any sores or cuts around your anus, vagina or penis as there could be blood present, increasing the risk of contracting infections like HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
How to Clean Sex Toys
How you wash your toy will depend on what material it’s made from and whether there are batteries or sections that cannot be washed with water. For those that can be washed, soap and warm water is recommended. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and buy your sex toys from a trusted vendor.
Always clean them before using them on different parts of the body, particularly the anus, mouth and vagina. The toy should also be washed before letting someone else use it, if you feel like you must share. Every device should be regularly checked for signs of damage or scratches in the material where bacteria could be lurking and spreading. This will increase the danger of infection.