The short answer is yes. It is possible to catch and STI from a vibrator and other sex toy. Most STIs cannot survive outside the body for very long. However you should never assume that if you leave it long enough, they will disappear. Infections such as Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia and Herpes and HPV can certainly be transferred by sharing sex toys. Do not share any sex toy that may draw blood from the skin, because this type of sex toy can pass on blood-borne infections. If there are any cuts or sores around the vagina, anus or penis, and blood is present, there is an increased risk of passing on infections. Body fluids or blood on the toy can transfer HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Bacterial Vaginosis is linked to an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. You are at a higher risk of developing the condition if youare sexually active. It can be transferred by sex toys. There is an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis in women who have sex with women, who have a history of sharing sex toys, or whose partners have bacterial vaginosis.
If you clean your gadgets thoroughly after each use, you should not have to worry about giving or getting an infection. Sex toys should come with advice about how to clean and store them. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Washing the toy after every use with soap and hot water is usually all you need to do. They also need to be washed between using on different parts of the body, such as the mouth, vagina and anus or between one person and another.
Check sex toys regularly for any scratches or breaks in the surface material where germs could be present and spread, as this can increase the risk of infection. If the whole toy cannot be submerged in water remove any batteries and clean whatever parts come into contact with skin and particularly body fluids. Make sure to be thorough, so that no bacteria or particles are left in any of the cracks and crevices. Silicone can be immersed in boiling water. Penetrative sex toys that are inserted inside the vagina or anus carry the greatest risk for transferring infections so it is a good idea to put a condom over the toy so that you can just throw it out afterwards.
If you are worried you may have caught an STI call our friendly booking team for advice and a speedy appointment at a clinic near you.
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