Sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives. It is an important part of our physical and emotional health. The act of sex itself is a healthy bodily function and has been shown to promote better sleep habits, less stress and more happiness. Our bodies thrive on the chemicals released during orgasm, so a healthy sex life is part of a healthy body.
Sexual health and reproductive health are intertwined. The phrase ‘sexual and reproductive health’ loosely means having access to educational information related to prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, to seek care for sexually transmitted diseases and to get treatment if needed in order to ultimately protect one’s reproductive health.
Sexually transmitted diseases can affect reproductive health. Most people don’t realize that the reproductive system is the most fragile system in the body. Even if you’re not ready to start a family, you still need to know how to protect your future fertility. You would be surprised at how many people are scared of catching a cold but yet they are not worried about contracting a sexually transmitted infection, something that has great potential to harm one’s reproductive organs and ultimately affect one’s fertility.
When it comes to sex, it must be safe. Period! Make it a habit, especially if you and your partner are not that serious or committed to each other. In fact, nowadays, you can be committed to someone and that person is not committed to you. So, I would say, until you are married to that person, practice safe sex. In 2018, many people are still messing around without protection, and they aren’t teenagers. If you or your partner does not like condoms, at least make sure that both of you get a full health exam to ensure that you both are STD- free.
Sexually transmitted diseases can and will affect fertility if they are not treated. The two most important ones that affect reproductive health are Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that affects both male and female. In females, it can infect the entire female reproductive tract while in males, it affects the urethra. Females with gonorrhea usually have a greenish-yellow discharge, pelvic pain and pain when urinating. Most men usually show no symptoms (another reason why we must practice safe sex), but those that do usually have painful, smelly, yellowish discharge from the penile opening.
Chlamydia is one of the most common bacterial disease transmitted sexually. It can affect the entire reproductive tract, anus and the eyes. Most common cause of Chlamydia is unprotected sexual intercourse or having multiple partners. In females, Both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea have the ability to cause total blockage of the Fallopian tubes if left untreated. Untreated STDs would most likely progress to a condition known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This is a far worse condition because there is major scarring and adhesions in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and other reproductive organs caused by untreated bacteria.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a major cause of infertility and ectopic pregnancy. PID also affects a woman’s pregnancy experience and the well being of her new born. It is imperative that you visit the doctor often to do a full health check including STD screening. Don’t ever wait till you start getting a funny feeling or smelly discharge from your intimate parts. The truth is you may never get a discharge because most times these sexually transmitted diseases are asymptomatic; so you might be enjoying life as usual and having fun while your reproductive organs are being damaged on the inside. The decisions you make now can affect you later in life. Please try to live a healthy lifestyle and make the right decisions about your sexual behaviours as it has a great impact on overall reproductive health.
Disclaimer: The medical information provided on here by Dr. Nini Iyizoba is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment
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