Parasites don’t just exist in the third world. And, you don’t have to be bitten by a mosquito to get them.
While most of the following parasitic invasions aren’t officially considered to be STDs, they can easily be spread through sexual activities.
In fact, just coming into close contact with someone who has parasites can put you at risk for catching them. If you or the children in your family have ever experienced the horrors of head lice, you know what I am talking about. Got a raging case of the creepy crawlies yet (scratch, scratch, scratch)?
Scabies- Sarcoptes Scabiei
These nasty little buggers are responsible for the term “the seven year itch,” simply because they itch like hell and are extremely tough to get rid of. Scabies are in the mite family and are invisible to the naked eye. They burrow beneath the skin and lay eggs and are most active at night and after coming into contact with water (shower, bath, etc).
Skin-to-skin contact will very often result in the transmission of scabies, as will sharing a bed or fabrics, but it can take up to 6 weeks to notice signs of infestation. For this reason, it is recommended that sexual partners and/or other members of the household be treated simultaneously with a cream or anti-parasitic pill from a medical professional.
Crab Lice- Pthiriasis
Crabs, a.k.a. pubic lice are spread through sexual contact and were once more common than they are today, due to the current fad of less-is-more when it comes to pubic hair on the genital regions. Much like head lice, crabs live on the shaft of the hair and lay sticky eggs which firmly attach to the hair. Special delousing shampoos are the primary treatment, but some people choose to shave or wax their hair in order to bulldoze their bushy breeding grounds.
Washing towels, linens and clothing in hot water and drying them on the hottest dryer setting can help to eliminate remaining eggs (also called nits). Condoms do not cover the pubic hair region and therefore do not offer protection from pubic lice, so it’s best to abstain until delousing is complete.
Pinworm- Enterobius Vermicularis
If someone in your household has pinworms, abstain from manual sex (including masturbation), as the eggs tend to reside underneath fingernails. If can’t resist the allure of finger filled pleasure, wash your hand and use a latex glove.
I was recently asked if it is safe to have unprotected anal sex with a partner who has pinworms. The answer is a resounding, “No.” I always recommend anal sex be protected, to reduce the likelihood of bacteria and STDs becoming an issue, but in the case of pinworms, who reside in the colon– eggs are transferable even by sharing a bed or toilet, much less through direct entry of the rectum.
It’s safest to abstain from anal sex until all the members of the household have been cleared, through professional medical treatment. Using a condom like the Kimono Thin or the FC2 is always recommended for anal sex, along with a generous amount of lube like Wet Uranus Water-Based for the safest anal sex experience.
Very frequently confused with a real worm, ringworm is not technically a worm or a parasite, but is a skin-to-skin transferrable condition which is caused by a fungus. It can live underneath fingernails and in moist areas of skin on the human body. Just another reason to wear a Crown Skinless Skin condom and to use a latex glove during manual sex.
Also known as jock itch and tinea cruris, ringworm around the groin area can be located on the inner thighs, buttocks and genital region. Ringworm gets its name from its pink, scaly and ring-like appearance on the skin. It is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact with the skin or through the sharing of unwashed linens, such as towels or sheets. Treatment includes a topical anti-fungal cream and it can take 2-6 weeks to dissipate.
Other than crabs, this is the only other official STD on this disturbing list of parasites. We recently covered trichomoniasis in full detail in our article “The Trick to Avoiding Trichomoniasis (Trich)- A Parasitic STD.” These microscopic protozoans can cause vaginitis and a discharge from the urethra in males, however, trich is largely asymptomatic.
If symptoms do appear, it is usually within 28 days of becoming a host to these little guys. Trich can be tested for and treated with an anti-parasitic drug by your doctor. Of course, correctly using a condom such as the LifeStyles Pleasure Shaped or Rough Rider Studded can help keep the trich out of your or your partner’s system.