Women understand the importance of sexual health. More than ever, women are now expressing a desire to speak with a healthcare provider about sexual health. Reproductive health is a considerable priority for women today. Learning about your body and seeking medical care for routine checkups or when something seems amiss is essential for maintaining good reproductive health and sexual well being.
Know Your Body
Knowing who you are and how your body works is important for women to understand. Today, just as women explore ways to express themselves and their sexuality, they’re also necessarily concerned with protecting themselves and their reproductive health. In terms of sex, this translates into choosing partners wisely. Women must choose partners that respect their boundaries, treat them with respect, and also care about their own sexual health and well-being.
Making wise decisions also involves choosing to visit your healthcare provider on a regular basis to ensure that your sexual health is intact. Your doctor or gynecologist is likely to recommend vaccines for conditions such as HPV to protect your health and will screen you for STIs and STDs routinely if you are sexually active. Getting checked periodically for infections is vital for safeguarding your sexual health, particularly if you have multiple partners. On the other hand, even if you are in a long-term monogamous relationship, you should be screened, especially if you notice any symptoms, even mild ones, which are unusual for you.
Look Out for Changes
Most women know their own bodies better than anyone, so who better than a woman to recognize her body’s own changes. Although some women may feel shy about discussing matters associated with sexual functioning or performance with their healthcare provider, it’s important to find a medical caregiver that you feel comfortable talking to. Sex is a basic function of our existence and there are many healthcare providers who devote their entire careers to helping women understand and protect their sexual and reproductive health. If you have concerns about related conditions or diseases, it’s also important to have a frank discussion with your healthcare provider in order to better protect your own health.
Body awareness is also important in terms of family planning. It’s a good idea for women to understand their menstrual cycles. If you know when you ovulate you can enhance your family planning strategy. Recognizing normal cervical discharges helps you understand what’s happening with your body. Knowing what’s typical can more easily help you recognize an abnormal happening. Your healthcare provider can help answer all your questions about family planning and reproductive health, but only when you ask them!
Understand Warning Signs and Risks
For centuries, sex has carried certain health risks associated with infection and disease. Although countries like Cuba have declared themselves “syphilis-free,” STDs are still a part of modern life, and women are at risk when they have unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Other risk factors for disease include having multiple sex partners, sharing needles, or having an untreated STI. Knowing the warning signs is essential for protecting your health against the onslaught of infection and disease. Many can be treated and cured, but some diseases cannot be cured. Warning signs like an itchy rash, irregular vaginal discharge, sour odor, irregular bleeding, a burning sensation, muscle spasms, and pain during intercourse should never be ignored. If you experience any of these warning signs, it’s important to visit your doctor–and to do so before having intercourse again. Because you could spread the infection to someone else.
Be sure to visit your healthcare provider regularly so you can maintain your reproductive health. Sex is an integral part of life and can be a health aspect not to be ignored. Keep this information in mind and be sure to schedule your reproductive health checkup soon with a healthcare provider who welcomes your comments and information.