Healthy New Years Resolutions: Better Sexual Health

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Blogger Natalie explores what you some New Year's Resolutions you can make to improve your sexual health.

This time of year the television is filled with ads for gym specials, diet plans, and even somewhat scary diet pills (bad idea) to get healthy in 2009, likely a fairly common goal or resolution for the new year. Getting healthy is a great goal and exercise and diet changes are one way to do it.

So why this blog post? I was thinking about a different kind of resolution – one that focuses on your sexual health. Here are some tips to live a healthier sexual life in the new year:

  • Become more sexually literate.
  • Learn more about your body. It seems like people might laugh this off, but do you know all the different parts of your anatomy? Do you know what’s normal for your body when it comes to smell, texture, look, etc? It’s important to be familiar with your body so that if a problem does come up (an odd discharge, a bump, etc) you recognize it more quickly.
  • If you’re sexually active, know your status. This means getting tested for all STIs, not just those with obvious symptoms (which are few). You can easily do this at your campus health center or with your healthcare provider. Ask for a full STI or STD panel and an HIV test. It’s easy, simple, and relatively painless. The hardest part might just be talking to your doctor about your sex life, but they are the ones who need to know it all to keep you healthy.
  • Related to testing, protect yourself. This can come in many forms – obviously abstinence (the only way to totally prevent any STIs or pregnancy), latex barriers (or other types of protection if you’re allergic to latex) and other forms of birth control.
  • Subscribe to the Kinsey Confidential Blog or Podcast!
Natalie Ingraham (M.P.H.)

is a recent graduate of Indiana University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at University of California San Francisco.
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