Sexual Health For Women – What Does It Mean?
Sexual health has different meanings for every woman. It encompasses our gender and gender identity, but also our sexual orientation, values, our body, and how it works – how we each perceive these influences how we each experience the world.
It goes beyond just our physical attributes, and is a basic part of our emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. It affects the way we feel and behave.
So how do we take care of our sexual health? We begin by questioning ourselves about intercourse, partner gender, contraceptive choices and relationships. It’s about being honest with ourselves and having a healthy attitude about our sexuality. We should not be ashamed of our sexuality – it is a normal and healthy part of life.
For good sexual health be comfortable with your body and know what gives you pleasure. Know your own values. Respect yourself, and know what you want and don’t want. Trust yourself and your feelings about sex. Do not be rushed.
Communication is very important for a healthy physical relationship. It is important to be able to discuss your feelings with your partner, and seek advice from people you trust. Lastly, know the facts and get them straight. Having sex can be a very difficult decision in itself, so it’s wise to know the risks ahead of time.
Many people will have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) at some point in their life, whether they’re aware of it or not. STIs can have a lasting effect on an individual and the relationship. If untreated, STIs can lead to sterility, cause birth defects, and lead to major illness. We know abstinence and safer sex significantly reduce the risks. Have a yearly gynaecological exam, pap smear and STI testing. Ask your provider to discuss your contraceptive options with you and get informed.
Knowing as much as you can about your sexual self will lead to good sexual health. It will help you to become responsible, healthy and enjoy a satisfying sex life. And celebrate it!
Click here to read everything you need to know about pelvic health.