Take charge of your sexual health in 2018! Here are the top five habits you should develop in 2018 to get healthy, stay healthy and enjoy a fabulous, infection-free sex life.
5 important sexual health habits you need to start practicing today
1. Take (even better) care of your vagina
From getting that discharge checked out to avoiding unhealthy cleaning habits, there are loads of things you can be doing to make sure your vagina is properly cared for. A healthy vagina is critical for overall reproductive health, and will give you more confidence too. Make sure you keep up with your annual women’s wellness check-ups, and that you see your healthcare provider anytime you experience pain, discomfort, discharge, strange smells or any other change.
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- Vaginal health: 8 mistakes you could be making
- What is normal and what is abnormal vaginal discharge
2. Have regular pap smears
Cervical cancer is deadly, but it’s also preventable. A simple annual test called a pap smear can detect abnormal cells before they turn cancerous, offering potentially life-saving diagnoses. Sexually active? Over the age of 21? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you need to have regular pap smears – no exceptions!
3. Use protection every time you have sex
Don’t let an STI or unplanned pregnancy be your enduring memory of 2018. Many STIs, including HIV, have no cure, and once you have them, you’ve got them for life. Remember: birth control can only protect against pregnancy, so you must use condoms every time you have sex to avoid the risk of STIs, even if you’re already using birth control.
- Female condoms: 5 reasons we love using them
- STI symptoms: talking sexually transmitted infections with your partner
- Condom conversations: 6 easy ways to discuss safe sex with a partner
4. Know how to protect your partner from HIV/Aids
Just because you’re HIV positive doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun, fiery and fulfilling sex life. However, there are some things you must do to keep your partner safe and to maintain the best possible health yourself.
5. Don’t ignore symptoms
We get it: it’s scary to go to a doctor or clinic when you’re experiencing strange symptoms. But with most sexual health issues, the earlier a problem is pinpointed, the better the chance of treating it. From itching to pain and anything in between, if you’re experiencing something abnormal, get to your gynae or clinic ASAP. Trust us, it’s the best thing you can do.
- 6 Things your period may be telling you about your health
- Bleeding after sex: when should you worry?
- What to expect at your first gynae appointment
- 10 myths about breast cancer
- 7 reasons you may be experiencing pain during sex
Make an appointment at your nearest Marie Stopes centre
For contraceptives, STI and HIV screening, women’s wellness check-ups and pap smears, find your nearest Marie Stopes centre and make an appointment online. You’ll receive affordable, caring and confidential treatment at all of our centres across South Africa.