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October 31, 2023

Tips You Need to Know for Safer LGBTQIA+ Sex

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In some parts of the world, sex education can be inadequate or non-existent, leaving many individuals with few resources to learn about safer sex practices. Even in areas where sex education is available, it often fails to address the unique needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. In this article, we’ll discuss how to have safer sex if you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Effective pregnancy prevention options

If you have a uterus and ovaries, you can likely become pregnant if you have sex with a partner who produces sperm, regardless of your gender. If you have a uterus and ovaries and are taking testosterone, you may still be able to become pregnant, even if you are no longer menstruating. Similarly, if your partner has a penis and is taking estrogen, they may still be able to get you pregnant. If you’re not looking to get pregnant, there are many forms of contraception to choose from.


Condoms are a common form of birth control, as they help to prevent pregnancy and STIs. However, condoms aren’t the most effective form of contraception. When used correctly, the failure rate for condoms is around 3%. However, for the way people typically use them, the failure rate is approximately 12%. Condoms are best used as an additional form of contraception to help prevent STIs.


Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptives that are placed inside the uterus. There are two types of IUDs: the copper IUD, which is 99.2% effective in preventing pregnancy, and the hormonal IUD, which uses a small amount of progesterone and is 99.3% effective in preventing pregnancy. Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals undergoing gender-affirming hormone therapy. However, while the hormonal IUD often reduces or stops menstrual bleeding, the copper IUD does not have this effect on many individuals.

  • Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals
  • Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals
  • Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals

Combined hormonal contraceptives

Combined hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, the patch, and the vaginal ring, all contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. These types of contraception are good at reducing heavy periods, painful periods, and acne. They are very effective at preventing pregnancy, with the pill, patch, and ring resulting in 7 pregnancies per 100 uterus owners per year. If you’re taking testosterone as gender-affirming hormone therapy, you may want to avoid combined hormonal contraceptives, as it is unknown if the estrogen can interfere with testosterone.

  1. Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals
  2. Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals
  3. Both IUD types are safe for trans and nonbinary individuals

Progestin-only contraceptives

Progestin-only contraceptives, such as implants, injections, some pills, and non-hormonal IUDs, only contain progestin, which makes them a good alternative for people taking testosterone. Progestin-only contraceptives often reduce the amount of period bleeding while taking it or stop them altogether. Like the combined contraceptive, progestin-only contraceptives are also highly effective at preventing pregnancy if taken correctly.

Essential steps for STI prevention

Barrier protection

Using a barrier method of protection is one of the most effective ways of preventing STIs, as they protect you from bodily fluids and skin-to-skin contact. There are many barriers, including condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, and gloves. You should use barrier methods each time you have sex for all sexual activities, including oral, anal, and vaginal sex, and when sharing sex toys.

STI checks

As many STI checks have no symptoms, getting tested regularly for STIs is the only way to know if you have them. You should get tested every time you have unprotected sex with a new partner or if you have any symptoms. However, people should also get tested routinely, even if they do not have symptoms or new partners.

People who give oral sex should also have their throats tested for STIs, and people who have received anal sex should have their rectums tested for STIs. Unfortunately, healthcare providers don’t routinely give these tests, so you may need to ask for them.


Vaccines can prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B. HPV vaccinations are available to young people regardless of gender, and the hepatitis B vaccine is available to all age groups and genders. If you are not vaccinated for these STIs and would like to be, visit your health care provider.

Other methods of prevention

Other methods can lower your risk of STIs, including masturbation, only having sex with one person who agrees only to have sex with you, and reducing the number of partners you have sex with.