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Each time one year ends and another begins, people make resolutions or commit to making changes in their lives — a fresh start at the onset of a new year. Oftentimes, these resolutions are centered around certain aspects of health.

We typically hear people committing to eating healthier foods, making plans to exercise more frequently, or deciding to give up unhealthy habits. What people don’t always include in their New Year’s Resolutions are preventive and reproductive care practices that can have long-term benefits on someone’s overall well being. Here are some things you can do to ensure that in the New Year, you are your healthiest self.

Schedule Your Annual Wellness Exam

Many people don’t visit their doctor unless they feel sick, are worried about a possible infection, or have some type of injury. But one of the best ways to make sure you stay healthy is by addressing your preventative care by having an Annual Wellness Exam

“All people–regardless of sex, gender, or age, can benefit from an annual Wellness Exam. This is an opportunity to review your overall health, make sure you are up to date on routine cancer or STI screenings and immunizations, and address any reproductive health needs you may have like contraception or pregnancy planning. At Planned Parenthood, our providers offer expert, compassionate care in a  comfortable and friendly environment,” says Dr. Shannon Connolly, Associate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties. 

Practice Safer Sex

Using protection like condoms or dental dams to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is not only a healthy practice for you, it helps keep your sexual partners healthy as well.

STIs are really common — Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than half of the people living in the U.S. will get an STI in their lifetime. And, most people who have an STI don’t have any symptoms, meaning they could unknowingly spread the infection to a partner.

Without treatment, STIs can lead to serious health problems. But the good news is that getting tested is simple, and most STIs are easy to treat.

Getting tested at your local Planned Parenthood after unprotected sex, and being sure to use protection with any new partners are great ways to practice safer sex and help prevent the spread of STIs. 

Prioritize Healthy Relationships

Romantic relationships can be exciting and fun, but they aren’t always easy. Whether you’re in a “situationship,” casually dating, or falling in love, it’s important to learn how to communicate your feelings and recognize what could be unhealthy for you.

If you find yourself with someone who tries to control you or your time, or always wants to know where you are, it may not be a healthy relationship. Ending relationships isn’t easy, but making sure you are caring for yourself and your own mental health is best

Practicing open, honest communication, and allowing both yourself and your partner to have space and time for yourselves are great ways to nurture a healthy relationship. 

Planned Parenthood, Care No Matter What 

Whether you’re interested in starting the New Year off with scheduling a Wellness Exam or STI test, or are interested in talking to someone about healthy relationships or other reproductive health care topics, Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties is here to help. Our compassionate providers are committed to ensuring that patients get the highest-quality care, and that patient health is prioritized all year long. 

To make an appointment call 714-922-4100.

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