Are you Sexually Active?
If you are sexually active or are thinking of becoming sexually active, planning ahead is important. If you are in a casual or serious relations, then there are a few things you can do to take care of your health. Here are the top three things to consider.
Well-Woman Health Care
Once you are sexually active, making an appointment with a women’s health care provider – a Gynecologist – should be your first step. The physician will ask you questions related to your health and your sexual activity. These questions are important to help your provider know what things to look for or potentially test you for, such as a Sexually Transmitted Disease or Infection (STD or STI). Give honest answers to all their questions. Your healthcare professional has heard it all before, so there is no judgment. Your provider will do a pelvic exam. This may feel scary, but it’s important to have this exam done annually, starting at the point you become sexually active, or by the age of 21. The provider will do a pap smear as well and possibly other cultures to test for STDs/STIs.
Test for STDs/STIs
Get screened annually for gonorrhea and chlamydia at a minimum, if you are sexually active. These are the most common STDs/STIs. You may want to get screened for other STDs/STIs as well. The clinic who does this will help you determine what tests you should have. Any time you become sexually active with a new person, you should get screened. Many women do not experience any symptoms with many STDs/STIs. These infections can cause can damage to your reproductive organs, potentially affecting your ability to get pregnant in the future. Make sure you take good care of yourself by being tested.
Think about Pregnancy
Are you thinking about becoming pregnant? If you do not want to get pregnant then you should use a birth control method that works for you. It is important to talk with your partner about pregnancy, your goals for the future, and what you want out of life. It is always better to know if you have similar goals and dreams as your partner. Therefore, having these kinds of conversations before you are sexually active with someone will make sure you are on the same page.
In conclusion, planning ahead when you are sexually active may protect your health and give you peace of mind. Make sure you get your information from reliable sources. The Nurses at Journey Clinic are happy to talk to you any time. Call today for an appointment.