Looking after your sexual health is important for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Here are three steps you can take to ensure that you maintain good sexual health.
Visit your area's sexual health clinic on a regular basis
If you are sexually active, it is crucial to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on a regular basis. These types of tests can be conducted at a sexual health clinic.
Getting tested serves two purposes. First and foremost, it enables your doctor to identify and treat any infections you might have developed before they reach the point where they may affect your fertility or cause other serious problems with your reproductive system.
Secondly, it allows you to maintain an awareness of your own sexual health status. This will reduce the likelihood of you unintentionally transmitting infections to those with whom you are physically intimate. If for example, you are found to have chlamydia, you can then abstain from sex until the infection has been resolved, and thus spare anyone you are intimate with in the future from contracting this infection. For more information, contact establishments like Travellers Medical Services.
Practice safe sex
One of the most crucial elements of maintaining good sexual health is to practice safe sex. Using condoms each time you are physically intimate with a partner is perhaps one of the best ways to protect yourself from contracting an STI.
However, because condoms are effective most but not all of the time, it's also important to pay attention to any changes to you or your partner's sexual health. For instance, if either one of you develops symptoms which could potentially indicate that you have caught an STI, you should avoid having sex (even with condoms), until the person with the symptoms has been tested and, if necessary, treated.
Get into the habit of having open and honest discussions with your partners
Having open and honest discussions with those that you engage in sexual activities with is vital if you wish to avoid developing sexual health problems.
For example, before you partake in any form of physical intimacy with a new partner, you should have a conversation about your sexual health statuses. Both of you should state when you were last tested for STIs and if you have had sex with anyone since you underwent these tests.
This discussion will enable you to make an informed decision about whether it is safe (from a health perspective) to be physically intimate with this person.
If you do not feel comfortable having this type of conversation with your new partner, then it is perhaps best to abstain from having sex until you reach the stage where you no longer feel awkward or unable to talk about such matters with them.