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Female Sexual Health Facts

Why Sexual Health is Important

There are many ways in which women can improve their sexual health. It is always important to be aware of general safe sex practices and new forms of birth control, but more than anything it is vital for women to speak up to their doctor if they have any questions or concerns regarding their sexual health.

The topic of sexual health can seem rather embarrassing or awkward, but that is no reason to not talk about it.

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Safe Sex Practices

There are several key guidelines that you should follow in order to ensure that you are practicing safe sex. These guidelines include:

  • Use a condom every time you have sex
    • Help to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV
    • Protect your mouth during oral sex
  • Discuss sexual histories along with a partner before engaging in sexual activity in order to limit the spread of sexual diseases
  • Avoid alcohol and/or the use of drugs
  • Refrain from douching after sex as this does not protect against STDs and could cause a serious infection
  • Receive regular pelvic exams, pap tests, and STD screenings
  • Check your body frequently for signs of a sexually transmitted disease such as a sort, blister, rash, or abnormal discharge
  • Be aware of your partner’s body as well in order to spot signs that they may have a sexually transmittable disease themselves
  • Try to engage in sexual activities that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids

Common Types of STDs

There are several different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases that can be passed from one sexual partner to another during oral, anal, or vaginal sex such as:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • HIV
  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • HPV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pubic lice
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Scabies

Not all patients with an STD will present symptoms, which is why it is always advised to undergo regular screenings for STDs. Not only will these tests help you to treat an STD that you may have received from a partner, but they will prevent you from continuing to spread the disease to someone else.

Different Types of Birth Control

Of course, the primary purpose of birth control is to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but it also has many other benefits. Birth control is another method that can help to prevent STDs and can also help to regulate a woman’s hormones so that she experiences lighter and more manageable periods.

There are many different forms of birth control, all with varying levels of effectiveness and permanence. Birth control methods that you will need to use every time you engage in intercourse consist of:

  • Condom (male or female)
  • Cervical cap
  • Spermicide
  • Diaphragm

Most often, women will choose a longer lasting solution as their preferred form of birth control, such as:

  • Implant
  • IUD
  • Vaginal Ring
  • Shot (Depo-Provera)
  • Patch
  • Pill

For those that are seeking permanent prevention of pregnancy, there is the option of sterilization, otherwise known as a procedure called tubal ligation.

Ask Your Gynecologist

Do you still have questions regarding your sexual health? Just ask your OBGYN specialist! Whether you wish to seek treatment for a common sexual health condition, or simply want to discuss your different birth control options, your physician is here for you.

To speak with one of our gynecologists at CNY Women’s Health Care in Syracuse about your sexual health concerns, please call our office today at (315) 446-4400 to schedule an appointment or schedule an appointment online.

Sources:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/gynecological_health/safer_sex_guidelines_85,P00585

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/safer-sex

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control