Important Tips for Looking After Your Sexual Health
August 23, 2021
Sexual health is more important than ever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are over 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections each year in the United States alone. STDs are quickly passed between partners under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Yet, preventing the spread of such harmful diseases is simple and effective, can help save lives and reduce misery for millions.
Use Contraception Whenever Possible
You are probably aware, but the biggest problem facing the prevention of STIs today is the lack of safe sex. Safe sex is best performed by using contraception like condoms and dental dams. These are available from pharmacies and some supermarkets. You can also order the contraceptive pill online if you are uncomfortable asking your GP or a shopkeeper. Birth control pills won’t prevent STIs, but they can help prevent unwanted pregnancy. This will ensure that you don’t need to make a life-changing decision, which could harm your reproductive system and mental health.
Keep Yourself Clean
One of the most crucial aspects of sexual health is keeping your intimate areas clean. This goes for both men and women. The vagina and penis should be washed every day with soap and hot water. Some people, especially women, can be sensitive but low acidity shower gel and soaps are available. Additionally, the vagina can develop a PH imbalance that can cause an unwanted odour. This doesn’t mean you are unclean; instead, there is an excess acid or alkaline in the area. Specialist treatments like Femme Fresh will restore your natural PH balance.
Don’t Have Sex with Strangers
This might sound obvious, but it would be best if you were very selective about whom you have relations with. Someone you don’t know could be infected with anything and not tell you about it. Furthermore, a stranger could harm you physically with unwanted sexual acts, sexual violence or physical abuse during the act. If you have sex with a stranger, always make sure you use a condom or dental dam and never share sex toys as these can pass along gonorrhoea and chlamydia that can stay alive on surfaces.
Refrain from Excessive Sexual Activity
Additionally, try not to have too much sex. The more you engage in sexual activity, the higher the risk of infection, especially from casual relations with people you don’t or hardly know. Also, excessive sexual activity can cause issues with your muscles, organs and intimate areas. For example, vaginal rashes and swelling are symptoms of too much sex, and a painful bladder infection might occur. If you cannot stop yourself and are developing an addiction, speak to your GP, a counsellor or a sexual health clinic therapist as soon as possible. The average amount of sex is one session per week for most people.
Seek Medical Advice ASAP if You Suspect Anything
The sad truth about many sexually transmitted diseases is that they can go undetected for an extended period. Some, like chlamydia, don’t show noticeable symptoms. By the time they have been detected, they can cause severe damage such as pelvic inflammation, leading to infertility. Also, you should never feel ashamed or afraid to see a medical professional if you have concerns. GPs, sexual health advisors and even pharmacists see people about these issues every day, and all interactions are confidential. Most STD treatments only require tablets and/or injections and work almost immediately.
Get Checked Regularly
Whether you have a lot of sex or not, you should go for a sexual health checkup regularly. Your GP can perform a variety of tests that not only help with diagnosing an STD but the overall health of your reproductive system. However, more intricate tests will be performed by a gynaecologist. This is important because even if you are clean and have a good relationship with one partner, your partner may have had sex with someone else. If you know for a fact that they have, then get checked immediately.
Talk to Someone if You Feel Coerced or Abused
A significant problem with people contracting STDs or sexual-related issues is abuse and coercion, whether physical or mental health-related. Coercion is when someone pressures you into having sex with them or someone else when you don’t want to. Even if you haven’t said no, this is a crime and needs to be reported. Additionally, if you are being sexually abused, i.e. violently forced into having sex or raped, talk to someone as soon as possible. The police are very helpful in these cases, but you can see your GP or a therapist if that is more comfortable.
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