Stay informed and empowered to protect your sexual and reproductive health
Decisions around sex are often made in the heat of the moment. Many forget to take the time to think about their sexual health and fail to consider the affect their sex-life can have on their personal well-being. From contraception to comfortability, everyone has the right to be in control of their sexual health and the best way to make the best decisions for yourself is to have relevant information.
Reproductiveaccess.org is the website for The Reproductive Health Access Network which pulls together nearly 1,400 primary care clinicians from all over the country to work together nationally and in their respective communities to expand access to abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care in their clinical and teaching practices. They offer a thorough analysis of contraceptive methods. Look below:
Making a Sexual Health Plan
There is no right or wrong way to create an individualized sexual health plan that suits you and reflects your values and personal circumstances. Some prefer to write it down, some like to chat about it with people they trust, some like to keep it in their head. The idea is to be prepared so you are in the best position to take control of your well-being.
Here are some questions to help you start thinking about your sexual health plan:
- At this point in my life, engaging in sexual activity with a partner(s) is a good decision for me. Consider.
- How ready I feel
- Circumstances and context
- My values, including religious values if relevant
- My parents’/guardians’ values if relevant
- Do I have the information and resources necessary to protect myself from or treat an STI? To prevent pregnancy if I don’t want to be pregnant? If not, where could I access this information and/or those resources?
- Do I know what I’d do if I got pregnant?
- At this point in my life, I feel comfortable having sex in the context of:
- Casual relationships
- A monogamous relationship
- A non-monogamous relationship
- I believe that I have the information and resources necessary to plan how to:
- Talk to a partner about the importance of safer sex, like using condoms
- Use condoms every time I have sex
- Take the necessary steps to have safer sex if I wish to have condomless sex with a trusted partner (i.e. to discuss both partners getting tested and agreeing to be monogamous)
- Make sure I have access to and can use effective birth control or contraception if I have vaginal sex
- Get tested for an STI, and get treatment if necessary
- Get tested for pregnancy if necessary
- Deal with an unintended pregnancy
Thank for reading. Stay Tuned for more Urban Guides.
Photo provided by: Unsplash by Marion Michele