Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Safer Sex for Health


Sex is natural. To keep sex healthy for you and your partner(s), it’s important to practice safer sex. This means knowing how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and surprise pregnancy. This includes:

  • Using barrier protection, such as a condom. This keeps semen (for women), vaginal fluid (for men), or blood from entering your body during sex.
  • Being intimate without sex. There are many ways to do this, such as kissing, touching, massaging, or watching each other masturbate. 

Sex can be complicated. It can affect your emotional health, as well as your body. First, decide what’s essential for you to feel safe in your relationship and during sex. Then, clearly communicate your desires and boundaries to your partner before and during sex.

Prevent STDs

Whenever you’re sexually active, you can be at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This includes oral, vaginal, or anal sexual activity. 

STDs are:

  • Caused by bacteria or viruses.  
  • Passed between partners by skin to skin contact, or through bodily fluids (sperm, vaginal fluid, or blood). 

Some STDs are easily treated with no long-term effects. Others can be carried for life, causing pain, infertility, or serious, life-threatening diseases.

Except for not having sex (abstinence), there’s no way to prevent STDs. You can reduce your risk by:

  • Limiting your number of partners.
  • Using condoms correctly and consistently.
  • Knowing your partner(s) sexual practices.
  • Saying no to anything that feels unsafe to you.

Before using sex toys, always:

  • Wash them in a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
  • Put a condom over them. 
Use condoms and oral dams during oral or anal sex

Some STDs, such as herpes, gonorrhea, and genital warts, can be easily passed on during oral sex. It’s less likely, but possible, to pass HIV this way. 

Many STDs and other diseases are easily spread by anal sex. Fecal material in the anus carries germs. Any time you have unsafe anal sex, you’re at risk. 

Should I get immunized?

Some STDs can be prevented by immunizations, including:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Ideally, boys and girls get the HPV vaccine series starting at age 11 or 12, before becoming sexually active. If you’ve started having sex, you can still get the HPV vaccine. It’s another way to stay as healthy as possible.

Symptoms and Testing

Common STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and hepatitis B. Symptoms may include: 

  • Bumps or sores 
  • Pain when urinating (peeing) 
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina or anus 

Many STDs don’t have symptoms, especially in their early stages. Even without symptoms, you can have an STD and pass it on to others.

Should I get tested?

Contact us and get tested if you:

  • Are concerned that you may have an STD.
  • Have a partner who recently told you that they have an STD.
  • Are under age 25 and sexually active. Get tested at least once a year.
  • Have a new partner, or have more than one partner.

It’s best to get tested and treated early, before possible symptoms appear. Your test results are confidential. This means they won’t be shared with anyone without your signed consent (unless required by law). 

Community health clinics also provide free STD testing.

Prevent Surprise Pregnancy

Did you know that about half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned?

Getting pregnant when you aren’t ready can seriously affect your health and life. Protect yourself by using a reliable birth control method that’s right for you.

You may need to try more than one type of birth control before finding a method that works best for you. Women often change methods at different life stages.

Safer Sex

Be cautious, especially with a new partner. Sharing sexual intimacy doesn’t always guarantee trust and honesty. 

Communicate clearly about sex with your partner(s). This can build trust and intimacy, so you feel better and safer together. Still, talking about sex can feel awkward. It’s usually best to be:

  • Clear about what you will and won't do.
  • Direct about what you need and expect.
  • Honest about your feelings.

It's normal to have conflicting feelings about sex and intimacy. Talk to friends who practice safer sex and find out what works for them.

Contact us if you have an upsetting problem, such as pain during sex, or have any questions about sex.

How to Use a Condom

The male condom (rubber) is a narrow sheath that you unroll to cover the penis. They:

  • Are usually made of latex.  
  • Help protect against STDs and pregnancy, when put on before any sexual activity and used consistently.

About 15 of every 100 women will get pregnant if they and their partner(s) use only condoms for birth control. Using spermicide makes condoms more effective. It’s a good idea to use an additional birth control method, and not rely on condoms alone.

Talk with your partner about condoms

It can be fun to use condoms, as part of foreplay, for example. Remember, it’s not okay for your partner to refuse to wear a condom to protect you from STDs or pregnancy.

If your partner says...You can say...
I don't like condoms.We can make using condoms more fun. I want to be safe.
You don't trust me.It's not about trust, it's about being safe.
I don't have one.We can wait until we have one.
How to use a condom

Use a new condom each time you have sex. Always check the expiration date on the package. If the condom is dry, sticky, or stiff, throw it away.

  • Don’t use lotions, baby oil, Vaseline, or cold cream when using condoms. Oils in these products can weaken condoms.
  • Always use a water-based lubricant (Astroglide, KY, or Probe).
  • Don’t use condoms packaged with spermicide lubricant. Some types increase STD risk.
  • Place spermicide in the vagina to reduce pregnancy risk. Women who have HIV or are at high risk for getting HIV should not use spermicides.

Put the condom on before the penis touches the vagina, mouth, or anus.

  • Hold the condom by the tip to squeeze out the air. Leave some space at the tip, for the semen.
  • Unroll the condom all the way down over the erect penis.

To remove the condom after sex, the man holds the condom at the bottom rim and pulls out slowly while the penis is still hard.

The male condom is a narrow sheath that unrolls to cover the penis. It is usually made out of latex.

Help for Partner Abuse

Being pressured or forced to have sex is common, unfortunately. It can happen even in long-term relationships. But it’s never OK.

It's also never OK for someone to:

  • Refuse to wear a condom to protect you against pregnancy or STDs.
  • Interfere with another birth control method you’re using.

If this is happening to you, get help by talking to us. Or you can call the:

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder.

This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.