Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School: Sexual Health

Hello readers! I know that summer is winding down on us and pretty soon, we will all be back to campus.While this blog focuses on health and nutrition, we all know that sooner or later we will experience sex on campus. I am writing this post with the best intentions and I am in no way an OB/GYN or a sexual health expert...just a student who cares about the lives and well being of other students. Here we go!
STD/STI- Often times referred to as sexually transmitted infections or venereal diseases, STD's can occur in the vagina, vulva, urethra, penis, anus, mouth, oral cavity, and eyes. Here are some infections that you should protect yourself against.

  • Gonorrhea- symptoms make take 30 days to develop; 70-90% of men will develop symptoms such as painful urination and painful erections; can spread to prostate, bladder and may result in infertility in men. In women, 75% of women do not show any symptoms. If symptoms are visible, one would most likely experience clear or white discharge that changes to green or yellow; irritated vaginal walls, infections of the pelvic organs and infertility. In all cases, people with gonorrhea are more likely to contract HIV
  • Syphilis- it starts out at a single painless sore at the site of entry that will heal on its own but the bacteria will spread through the blood stream
  • Chlamydia- the cervix is main site of infection contraction of chlamydia can increase your chances of contracting HIV by 3-5 times. For males, half of all infected individuals will be asymptomatic while the other half will develop frequent and painful urination. 
  • Genital warts- these are caused by the human papolloma virus- or HPV. 
  • Herpes-You know what they say, once you get the herp you have it for life. Herpes is generally transmitted while sores are present HOWEVER you can still contract it when sores are not present. So that means, that just because looks clean doesn't mean that they don't have the herpes disease laying dormant in their bodies.
If you are not practicing abstinence, then condoms are your best choice. Just be aware, that they are not 100% effective in protecting against diseases and make sure both you and your partner know how to properly apply one. Laslty, wearing condoms will prevent natural disaster like the picture on the right and often times come free from your school Health Services Center.

Douching- Although I highly doubt that people still do this, I will still mention this. Before I start, I would just like to mention that douching is not needed for cleanliness. It increases your risk of STD and pregnancy (ladies, post coital douching actually might push sperm further into vagina...and we don't want any fertilized eggs implanting in your uterus) and  will increase the risk for cervical cancer and alters the pH balance of the vagina. So just don't

Before you engage in any kind of sexual activity, please make sure that you are comfortable doing so. There is no need to do things that you feel pressured into doing--whether it is kissing or going all the way. Also, make sure you know your limits BEFORE you go out. Drinking tends to lead to unwanted sexual experiences so IF you are planning on drinking, then be extra cautious. Ladies and gentlemen, NO MEANS NO. If you or your partner do not feel like engaging in sexual relations, then DON'T force you/him/her to do so. Lastly, always protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies and diseases

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