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Transwomen & Sexual Health

The basic information regarding safer sex is the same: use a barrier like condoms or a Femidom with water based or silicon lube. Lube is very important because, depending on the type of surgery you may have had, it will reduce the risk of tearing and help make sex more comfortable, especially if your vagina cannot lubricate naturally.

Whilst condoms can protect against many STIs, some like genital warts and herpes are passed on through close skin to skin contact, so a condom may not protect against these.

A vagina created from penile and testicular skin (called a vaginoplasty) can be less vulnerable to STIs because it is not made from a mucus membrane (see below), but there are risks from tearing, which is a way STIs and HIV can enter the body, unless well lubricated. Warts on the penis must be treated before surgery otherwise they can continue to grow inside the vagina and can cause problems later on.

A vagina created from a mucus membrane from your colon (called a colovaginoplasty or intestinal implant) can be more vulnerable to STIs because the membrane is absorbent and this can be a route for STIs and HIV into the body. Many people who have a colovaginoplasty are able to self-lubricate due to the nature of the membrane. However lubrication is always recommended when having sex as this can prevent potential tearing.

Dental dams are a sheet of latex (they are also available in latex-free) which can be used for vaginal or anal oral sex. The sheet is used to cover the genital area and provides a barrier which can prevent the transmission of STIs.

For more information on STI's click here