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Being trans can sometimes mean there is already a lot to talk about with new sexual partners without adding on safer sex. But talking about protection and STI testing is an important way to lower your chances of STIs.
With a little practice, the safer sex conversation can go smoothly. You can learn to feel more confident to bring it up. Get some ideas about how to bring up safer sex with partners.
How STIs get passed depends on the kind of sex you have and your anatomy. Use protection that works for you and provides good protection for the sex you have.
If you have had vaginoplasty, it is important to use lots of lubrication. Because there is no lubrication generated from the body, add extra lubrication to prevent condom breakage and any tearing of the lining of the neovagina. Little tears in the skin cannot only be painful, they can increase the risk of getting an STI.
If you are sexually active, it is important to get tested for STIs. Because most STI tests involve genital exams, it is a good idea to see a health care provider that is familiar with and sensitive to transgender health. Testing will be based on what kind of sex you have and your anatomy. Testing may mean having swabs from the vagina/front hole, anus and mouth, as well as blood tests.
If you have a cervix, it is recommended that you get regular Pap tests, which look for changes in the cells that can become cervical cancer.
SmartSexResource has lots of information to help you lower the chances of STIs and practice safer sex. If you cannot find the information you need, please ask us online.
Transgender Health Information Program – A BC-wide information hub that provides information on gender-affirming care and supports.
Trans Care BC – A Provincial Health Services Authority program to enhance the coordination of trans health services and supports across BC.
Trans Vancouver Island – Resources and information for transgender people and their allies on Vancouver Island.
BC Trans Alliance Society – BC-based non-profit organization providing transgender support, education, outreach and advocacy.
Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre – Low barrier health services for transgender and gender diverse people (Vancouver).
BC Children's Hospital – Transgender clinic and resources for youth and their families in BC.
QMUNITY – BC’s queer resource centre
Trans Lifeline – National helpline staffed by trans identified volunteers; call for free 1-877-330-6366
Primed2: A Sex Guide for Trans Men into Men – CATIE (Canada's source for HIV and hepatitis C information)
Brazen: Trans Women’s Safer Sex Guide – CATIE (Canada's source for HIV and hepatitis C information) and The 519 in Toronto
Creating Authentic Spaces – A gender-identity and gender expression toolkit (produced by The 519 in Toronto)
Check It Out Guys – Information about Pap tests for transgender men
Safer Sex Guide for Trans Bodies – A US guide to all aspects of safter sex for trans and genderqueer individuals
Center of Excellence for Transgender Health – University of California, San Francisco