Importance of maintaining sexual health

Katrina Andaya

As female college students, we have reached that age where we are more likely to meet new people and involve ourselves in relationships.

Whether you choose to be in a monogamous relationship or to casually date, it is important as a girl to maintain and take care of your sexual health. This means being informed and knowledgeable of the implications of unsafe sex, keeping your mind healthy, and understanding oneself.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website on sexual health, “Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.”

Being a female in college, I think is important to be informed about all the methods of birth control that are available to us.

According to the CDC’s “STD Rates by Age,” “Young people (15 to 24) have four times the reported Chlamydia rate of the total population (10-65+).”

It may sound easy enough to “wrap it before you tap it,” but to many, this is a difficult and unwanted task, while some choose to not use condoms for personal reasons. But either way it is always important to use at least one method of birth control even if you feel that you are in a healthy monogamous relationship.

According to the Advocates for Youth, “Condoms are highly effective against the most dangerous of sexually transmitted infections- HIV, the virus that causes Aids. They are also effective against unintended pregnancy as well as against gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and trichomoniasis.”

Other methods of birth control a girl can use are birth control pills, female condoms, the ring, the shot, cervical cap, and many others if you really prefer not to use condoms.

We have many choices and alternatives as a woman in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases; so being sexually healthy should not be a burden.

Keeping physically healthy when it comes to being sexually active is not the only concern when dealing with sexual health. According to the CDC, keeping your mental state of mind and social well being healthy is just as important.

Like with anything you do, having a positive outlook is always best. The same goes with relationships and sex. This means having healthy relationships, but at the same time recognizing if you are involved in an unhealthy one.

According to plannedparenthood.org, “one in four women reports physical, emotional, or sexual violence from a partner some time in her lifetime.”

In my opinion, it is never okay for your partner to abuse you in an argument, whether it is physically or emotionally. It is key that your relationship makes you happy in order to be sexually healthy and just mentally healthy in general.

Being sexually healthy also means understanding yourself and your body.

Everyone has his or her own sexual orientation- gay, straight, or bisexual. Knowing your sexuality and being accepting of it is an important part of your emotional and mental health. If you are not true to who you are, then how can you ever be happy with yourself?

Choosing to be knowledgeable in your sexual health and maintaining your sexual health is a lifestyle that will lead to only positive effects for your overall self and your overall health.

For more information on sexual health and birth control you can visit your local Planned Parenthood as well as visit the Student Health Center at your college.

Sadddleback College Health Center:

http://www.saddleback.edu/shc/

Planned Parenthood:

http://www.plannedparenthood.org

Resources:

http://www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth/

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