Discover the importance of sexual health awareness. Learn more about how to stay informed and make informed decisions about your sexual health. The approach to sexuality should be with positivity and respect, particularly in regard to sexuality and sexual relationships.
Not everyone is aware of what sexual health is and what aspects of our lives it covers. Having the correct information can give you the power to maintain an optimal level of health. This applies to you, your partner, your family, and your community.
What is sexual health
Sexual health isn’t just about intimacy and reproduction, it also involves the physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions. Sexually healthy individuals should:
- Be able to communicate and interact with all genders with respect to verbal and non-verbal cues, limits, and boundaries.
- Be capable of developing relationships and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.
- Appreciate themselves, be comfortable with who they are, and be confident of who they want to be.
- Understand its importance and limitations, and the consequences of any sexual activity.
- Tolerate and respect people with different values and not be threatened by those with different sexual orientations or genders from theirs.
- Practice safe and healthy sexual behaviors and habits
Common sexual health problems
There’s a wide range of issues related to sexual health. It covers a diverse community of varying sexual orientations, gender identities, and more. The most common problems include:
- Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV
- Sexually transmitted infections or STIs
- Reproductive tract infections or RTIs
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sexual violence
- Unwanted pregnancies
- Harmful sexual practices
Tips for practicing self-care
Every individual can achieve optimum sexual health. Minor issues can easily be resolved by making a few adjustments in your lifestyle, relationships, and personal habits.
Practicing safe sexual health and hygiene habits
Taking good care of yourself is a manifestation of self-love. Making sure that your body is clean, healthy, and functional is a step forward to overall sexual health and well-being. Get regular checkups for reproductive health-related issues, eat a balanced diet, and practice safe sex and after-sex habits.
If you’re sexually active, get tested for HIV and sexually transmitted infections or diseases regularly. Most STIs and STDs don’t manifest symptoms. If you feel like you’re at a higher risk, get tested at the nearest urgent care center.
Getting reliable sexual health education
Scheduling sexual health and wellness visits with your doctor gives you opportunities to ask questions. When you’re equipped with the right knowledge, you’re more confident and comfortable in choosing partners and making better decisions in relationships, family planning, and self-care.
Access up-to-date sexual health information
Knowing your options is important especially when it comes to birth control. It can seem overwhelming but a healthcare provider can help narrow it down for you.
It’s important that you have access to reliable information about birth control. This way, you can choose the most suitable option for you and your partner. Here are a few reliable sources of information about sexual health:
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- State and local health departments
- Sexual health clinics
- Urgent care centers
Discussing sexual health with your partner
If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to have “the talk” with your partner. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable talking about it. It’s a sensitive topic and it’s not common for people to discuss it.
But when it comes to safe sex, being on the same page can help you resolve differences in values and desires. Some of the few things you may want to talk about are:
- The risks of STIs and STDs, regardless of whether you’re exclusive or open
- Preferences when it comes to pleasurable and safe sexual activities
- Birth control and what to do with unwanted pregnancies
- Starting a family
- Number of children you want to have
Sexual health awareness
Raising awareness of sexual health is consequential. Everyone can gain so much through sexual health education, outreach, and prevention efforts, especially at the local community level. So, make sure that you get information on safer sex practices and health issues from reliable resources.
Participating and getting involved in prevention and treatment activities can help encourage other people to do the same. It’ll also help empower the sexual health awareness month campaign.
And where prevention falls short, medical professionals and healthcare providers are there to assist and support. How? By providing excellent sexual health services, STD screenings, and treatment.