Is Your Sex Life Putting your Health at Risk?

Take your pick.
sexually transmitted diseases
sexually transmitted diseases (Photo credit: Adams999)

Is your sexual life putting your health at risk?

It’s great that you’re having sex on a regular basis because that would mean that you have found the love of your life (or someone you are comfortable enough to do it with) and you’re getting the best exercise a person could probably have but pause for a while and think about it. Are you putting yourself at risk?

Try asking yourself the following questions honestly. It’s for your own good.

Do you have multiple sexual partners? The thrill of being sexually attractive to, not just one, but a lot of  people, may be exciting and at times, self-reaffirming, but it can have a few disadvantages. Whether you are having sex with multiple partners or with a with a single partner (Monogamy isn’t a protection from sexually transmitted diseases if your partner is infected with it), remember to use protection so as not to contract STDs.

Do you use any protection? If the answer to that is yes, I say “You go sweetheart,” but if you are not, think  about these:

You can fall pregnant or you can get your partner pregnant. No matter what circumstances you’ve had sex, drunk or not, the first time or not, any penetrative sex or contact between the male and female genitalia may result in pregnancy.

Sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydiagonorrheaHIVsyphilis, and others are passed on by vaginal, oral and anal sex. Most of these diseases are highly treatable but when left untreated, can lead to serious reproductive complications. If you are sexually active and are doing any of the three above, you should get yourself protected.

What you could use:

A condom is a barrier device made of thin rubber used on a man’s genitalia to avoid pregnancy and to prevent contraction of sexually transmitted diseases. It also effective in blocking the ejaculated semen from entering the woman’s reproductive system. This has to be used while having sex and can only be used once.  Condoms are available over the counter. When used correctly, this method  is 95% effective.

Dental dams are rectangular barriers made of latex used for protection from STDs. This protection is used for oral-vaginal sex and oral-anal sex since these types of sex can spread STDs thru vaginal fluid or blood exchange if one of the partners is infected.

A vaginal ring is a type of contraception used by women to prevent pregnancy. It is a thin, transparent and flexible ring inserted into the vagina. The ring is left inside for 3 weeks but provides protection for a month. It slowly releases estrogen and progestin hormones into the body to stop ovulation and thickens the cervical mucus to prevent the egg from fertilizing. This contraception has 92-99.7% effectivity rating in birth control but does not provide protection from STDs.

The contraceptive patch is like a square bandage that can be applied to the abdomen, buttocks, upper arm, or upper torso and should be used  on a four-week rotation. It is changed each week for three weeks and should be absent on the fourth. It works by slowly releasing a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones through the skin. Like the vaginal ring, it prevents ovulation and it thickens the cervical mucus so the sperms cannot enter the uterus. When used correctly, it is 99% effective in preventing pregnancies, but less if you weigh 198 pounds or more. It does not protect users from STDs.

Birth control pills are contraceptives taken orally but works the same way as the patch. BCPs are hormones that will also prevent ovulation and also thickens the cervical mucus. The pills have to be taken  at the same time of the day for it to be effective. If you forget, take one as soon as  you remember it and take the next pill the next day following the previous schedule. It does not provide protection against STDs and it’s effectivity rate is around 92%;on the average, 8 out of 100 couples who rely on the pill will encounter pregnancy.

Like BCPs, the birth control injectables work by preventing ovulation in a woman’s reproductive system. These are hormones that are injected either in the arms or in the buttocks. Some brands provide protection for a month while some brands are only to be taken once  in three months.

Take your pick.

IUDs or intrauterine device is a small T-shaped device that is wrapped in copper and is inserted into a female’s uterus(only to be done by a doctor). This type of contraception damages the sperm so fertilization will not take place. Depending on the type, an IUD can provide 5 – 10 years of protection.

Having sex is always gonna be your option but such freedom does not come without any risk. You owe it to yourself to be protected. Among those mentioned above, only the first two can be purchased over the counter. All the others would have to be  approved and used with the supervision of a doctor. To know what best suits you, consult  your GP as soon as possible.

 

References:

http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Safesextool.aspx?Tag=Sexual+health+

http://contraception.about.com/od/overthecounterchoices/g/dentaldams.htm

http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/birth-control-overview

http://singlemindedwomen.com/womens-health/the-sexually-healthy-single-woman/

http://contraception.about.com/b/

http://womenshealth.aetna.com/WH/ihtWH/r.WSIHW0==/st.41823/t.42866.html

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