A Guide to Sexual Health

by Ellie Johnson

in Lifestyle

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Sexual health is one of those subjects that we don’t like to talk about openly.

But we need to.

Education and discussion are the only ways to get past the problems sexual health presents.

Contraception

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to contraception. The most commonly used is, of course, condoms. They’re cheap, and you can even get them for free from sexual health clinics up and down the country. So, you have no excuse for not using them. That’s not the only option available to people though. If condoms aren’t for you, find another method rather than just ditching the idea of contraception altogether.

For women, there’s the option of using the pill or the coil. These stop women from getting pregnant. But they don’t protect against the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. This is why they’re often most popular among women in long-term relationships with someone they know doesn’t have an STD. If you don’t use contraception when having sex, you can use emergency contraception that will stop you getting pregnant. This is generally known as the morning after pill.

STDs

You put yourself at risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases when you have unprotected sex. If you suspect that you might have one, you must stay calm and get yourself treated as quickly as possible. There are lots of different STDs, and some of them are more serious than others. Most can be cleared up relatively quickly with effective treatment. But others are more severe like HIV. There’s no cure for HIV but treatment is improving all the time, and it’s no longer the death sentence it once was.

There are some common STD symptoms that you might experience. These are often similar for lots of different types of STD. Men and women can both experience pain when urinating, feel itching around the genitals and have blisters or sores. Discharge from the penis or vagina is also a sure sign that you have a problem that needs checking out as quickly as possible.

Fertility

As you grow up, your mind will probably turn towards fertility and starting a family. Most people don’t become aware of the fertility problems they might have until they start trying for a pregnancy but fail. But just because you don’t see results straight away, that doesn’t mean one of you is infertile. But if nothing has happened after a year of trying you should see a doctor. 90% of couples under 35 find that after a year of trying to get pregnant, they’ll do so.

There are certain things that can be done to improve the chances of getting pregnant like getting to know your cycle and having unprotected sex more regularly. If you find that one of you is infertile though, that doesn’t have to be the end of the journey. There are other popular and safe options like IVF that might be able to help you get pregnant. There’s also the option of adopting children.

All of us have the responsibility to look after our own sexual health, so don’t forget about it.

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