Sexual wellness and sexual health self-care are vital and sometimes overlooked aspects of our overall well-being. Sexual health can drastically affect mental and physical health. Thankfully, taking care of sexual wellness can be simple, and you might already be taking steps toward sexual wellness in your current wellness and health routine. Follow these tips to keep your mind and body happy and healthy.
- Don’t Skip Out on Yearly Wellness Visits at All of Your Physicians: Seeing your primary care physician is a vital part of keeping yourself healthy. They’ll be able to answer any questions regarding your health and treat any issues you might have. Make sure you do the same with your gynecologist. Once your primary refers you to a gyno or when you start having sex (whichever comes first), make yearly appointments.
- Get Tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections Often: Getting tested for infections often is essential so they can be treated as soon as possible. While protection is a great way to avoid STIs, they aren't 100% effective. Getting tested is the only way to know if you are clear of infection. Get an STI test two to three weeks after having sex, especially if it's unprotected or with someone you don't know. Even if the partner(s) insist they are clean, it's better not to take that chance. These tests can be as simple as a urine sample or, in other cases, a blood draw. Whatever you do, always use protection and get tested often.
- Only Participate in Sexual Acts That You Feel Comfortable Doing:
While wellness usually deals with physical health, it has as much to do with mental health. Never participate in anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. You shouldn't participate in it if someone makes you feel unsafe or uneasy. Tell your partner(s) how you think and that it isn't suitable for you. If they respond poorly to your discomfort, leave the situation immediately and get somewhere safe.
4. Steer Away from Unsafe People and Locations:
When choosing a partner for life or even just the evening, feel the situation before you go to a private location with them. Ask them if they have roommates, if you share a mutual friend, what they want to do when you get to a more private place, and even a picture of their driver's license. Take all the precautions necessary to keep yourself safe, even if you feel silly. If someone's story doesn't add up or they just seem off, don't leave with this person.
5. Seek Professional Help if You or Someone You Know Experiences Sexual Assault:
Sexual assault is a severe and harmful offense. There are resources for those who have experience. Therapy, medical care, and legal care are available to victims, typically at low or no cost if they want it. Victims should never feel alone in their trauma. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is an excellent place to start in terms of resources available.
Sexual wellness should become a typical part of your self-care routine. Use these steps and resources to keep yourself healthy and happy in all aspects of your life.