Three Things You Need to Know About Sexual Health
As the end of summer approaches, many of you will be heading back to school, and for some of you, off to college for the first time. This is exciting but it can leave us feeling a little overwhelmed.
In the back to school rush, it can be easy to forget about our health, but it’s also an excellent time to take stock of what your health needs are and make a plan for taking care of them.
Sexual health is especially important to keep in mind for young adults heading to school. There’s a lot of information out there and not all of it is accurate, but Planned Parenthood can be your ally as you learn to navigate the waters of reproductive health care. There are a few things in particular that are important to think about as the school year starts up — including birth control and STI testing.
There are many different forms of birth control, so it is important to find the best method for you. Options include pills, IUDs, condoms, implants, and shots. Whether you’re continuing with the method you currently use, or starting to explore other options, Planned Parenthood is here to provide you with all the information you need and help you find the method that’s right for you.
Protection Against STIs
Preventing pregnancy is only one part of sexual health planning. Protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is an important part of staying healthy. Correct and consistent condom use is the best method for preventing chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV, so it’s an excellent idea to keep some on hand for yourself, or anyone else, in case they’re needed. Planned Parenthood provides condoms as well as guidance on how to properly use them, and advice for how to talk to your sexual partner about using them. Safe sex is the best kind of sex!
But STIs do happen, to millions of people every year, and since many STIs cause no symptoms initially, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Most STIs, including HIV, are treatable and many are curable. The sooner you know, the sooner you can get treated, and early treatment can help prevent serious health problems from developing. Of all the tests you’ll take in college, this is the most important; you need to know — for your own health and for the sake of your sexual partners. Planned Parenthood offers rapid, cheap, and confidential STI testing, and if you’re not sure whether you need to be tested, give us a call or make an appointment at your local Planned Parenthood health center and we can help!
While I’m in advice-giving mode, what else do you need to know for college? Let’s see…you don’t actually need to separate lights, darks, and colors when you do laundry. That’s a myth — just wash everything on cold. Pizza that has been sitting on your desk overnight makes a completely acceptable breakfast. Wash your hands a lot, and wear sandals in the shower…trust me.
Ok, I think that’s it! Have a great school year!