Sexual health. Stay protected.
Sex is one of the main aspects of human life, and it is meant to be a pleasureable, fulfilling experience of connecting with another person or with oneself. Besides old taboos established by cultural and religious belief in the past, happily in the 21st century the issue of human sexuality is becoming more and more open for everyone to experiment and to learn about.
However, all coins have two sides. Sexual activity has its risks. The two main problems that sex could imply are unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmited Diseases (STDs). This does not mean that people should not have sex at all; but it just implies that we all should take care when we do it, so the fun is not spoiled by this unwanted consequences.
Who is at risk?
Technically, anyone who has sex is exposed to certain hazzards. Of course, the context varies and so do the risks. A touch-and-go couple is more exposed to unwanted pregnancy than a well established young marriage, just because in the second case pregnancy is less likely to be unwanted. People with multiple sexual encounters are more likely to get an STD than monogamic people. Everyone should be aware of the level of risk that they face and take action to protect themselves and the ones they are with.
It is no unusual for people to underestimate the risks of sex. However, safe sex is really easy to have. Simple protection measures just as the use of condoms can prevent a lot of trouble. Many people do not bother to take this simple measure because they believe that undesirable events such as unwanted pregnancy or STDs will not happen to them. That is what people with unwanted pregnancies and/or STDs used to say.
How difficult it is to take care of our sexual health?
Not difficult at all. The simple use of a condom can prevent almost 100% of unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Extra measures such as contraceptive medication can be taken to increase the probability of everything going okay. Sexual health is a right of everyone, so the National Health Service takes care of the sexual health needs of people providing Free Condoms to the ones who request them. Condoms can also be ordered online from some webstores and received in the mail in a sealed envelope that does not reveal its content.
Besides this, in the last few years, health professionals have developed an increasingly complete and wide network of sexual care for people. There are plenty of institutions and professional websites in the Internet that provide information and diagnostic services.
Internet resources for sexual health
Even if some people love to brag about and show off their sexual achievements, at the same time many feel shy about certain aspects of their sexual health. This could result in them not getting advice on sexual health and end up with not so pleasant situations that could have been totally prevented. The idea is to have a satisfying, pleasurable sex life, and that includes avoiding unwanted consequences of it, so people can freely enjoy their sexuality.
Some find it embarassing to go to the doctor to have a consultation about sexual health matters, or admit that they might have some kind of STD. Now, if for one reason or another you do not want to go to a clinic or hospital to have yourself checked, there are other ways that you can obtain help without leaving your home, just by turning on your computer.
Websites like Brook Advisory provide large amounts of information regarding sexual and reproductive health. Also, Get Connected - Advice Service is available 24/7 for any enquiry. This website is devoted to young people who are statistically most at risk. There is no such thing as a stupid question, especially regarding a matter as important as sexual health. One or two simple questions could change your complete outlook for the better, so they are worth it, even if they might not seem so at the time.
There are also other services available that are absolutely confidential and led by healthcare professionals. For example Home Diagnostics - Sexual Health can provide a testing service that you complete by post, so you do not even need to arrive at the clinic to have some invasive procedure.
We also recommend using this helpful Sexual Health Assessment that is provided free of charge by the NHS to help you find out how much you know about sexual health matters. You might be surprised by what you do not actually know. Things that we thought we understood from a medical perspective a few years ago may have been undermined by more recent discoveries so it is always good to stay on top of the latest information available.