Sex and celebrating your sexuality are important parts of what makes us human. Having sexual intimacy, love and being affectionate are essential for promoting healthy relationships. As with any aspect of our daily lives, human sexuality can also be affected by illnesses and infections, conflicting emotions and, in some cases, have consequences that can be damaging to your overall sexual health and wellbeing. That’s why it’s so important to promote open discussion and be prepared to tackle any issues you have head on, to keep you happy and healthy between the sheets.
Just as you go to see the doctor or dentist when something isn’t quite right, you should make sure to prioritize your sexual health check-ups too. It can’t always be easy taking time to check your sexual health, and it’s not something that can be easily dropped into conversation. That said, with STDs on the rise across the US, and statistics seemingly higher than ever, now is the time to put your sexual health first. Far from being a purely teenage problem, infections and diseases can be caught by all ages – providing you are still sexually active. Problems don’t arise from intercourse alone since oral and anal sex, if not practiced carefully and safely, also pose risks too
Have you recently started a new relationship? Or if you’ve had various partners during the past few months, then you definitely should book in for a sexual health screening. STDs don’t always have obvious symptoms, so it’s worth getting yourself tested if something isn’t quite right. Remember your sexual health deserves just as much attention. So what are you waiting for? Read on to find out why you should be putting your sexual health first.
Keeping it Safe
First and foremost, let’s talk about safe sex. Sure, your parents will have told you about the importance of condoms and keeping protected, but safe sex isn’t always sexy. Before visiting a clinic or getting yourself tested, why not check that you are being safe. Even if you are in a long-term relationship, protection still matters. Check that you take your birth control at a set time each day and stock up on the condoms. Remember that condoms, or barrier protection, so called as it creates a barrier between the skins, are the best means of protecting yourself from getting an STD, or from passing it on to someone else.
How to Get Tested
Ready to get tested? There are a range of options available to suit you, from home testing to visiting a sexual health clinic. If you decide to visit a clinic, rest assured that the staff will make you feel relaxed and at ease – no problem or issue is too difficult to treat – so there’s no need to be embarrassed or feel like you are being judged. Be prepared to provide a sample too – you may have to give a small blood sample, pee in a cup or have a smear or swab. Your health practitioner will ask you several questions to help get a better diagnosis, so remember to be honest. Don’t gloss over the number of partners you’ve had recently or feel shy about saying when you last had sex. These are all normal, and part of what you can expect. Going with your partner? It’s great to have some moral support, not to mention the added benefit of you both getting tested.
Have you done your homework? Do you know the difference between what is an STI or an STD. Did you know that STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, whereas the term STD is refers to a sexually transmitted disease? Many STIs don’t come with symptoms, and are often easier to treat than STDs. However, that said, neither are pleasant if you leave them untreated. So, if you’ve noticed a rash, bumps, unpleasant odor or unusual discharge then don’t delay – make yourself an appointment as soon as possible.
There are clinics all across the US, so why not check in where your nearest is? Safer STD Testing provides help and sti testing info, making it even easier for you to get yourself checked out. Don’t be another sorry statistic, and make sure to take time for your sexual health.
You’ve had your test and it’s time for those all-important results. It’s not what you were expecting; bad news, you do have a STD. Fear not, the world won’t end. Now you’ve been properly diagnosed, you are well on the way for getting the correct course of treatment to have you back to full sexual health in no time at all. Different diseases require different medication; chlamydia and gonorrhea will require a course of antibiotics, whereas genital warts can be left to disappear over time.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an STD, chances are your partner will also be infected. Be adult about this, and make sure you are dealing with it together. The fact you have an intimate issue is nothing to be ashamed of, nor does it necessarily mean that infidelity is at play. Tell your partner how you feel up to and during treatment, and consider alternate ways, rather than just sex, to get intimate. Why not go for a different type of date, enjoy dinner out with friends, or use massage to enjoy quality time with your loved one? Be patient. You’re back on your way to reaching full health, and you’ll soon be connecting just as you used to – except, this time, with the appropriate protection.
Be patient and follow your doctor’s diagnosis. STDs can be stubborn and they are highly likely to reoccur if not properly treated. If you do have to go through a dry spell with your partner, make sure to keep communication open and frank. Honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to sexual health.