As we welcome the new year, resolutions are usually made so that we set the tone for how our year will go. Whether your goals are financial, personal, educational, or health based, as women it is good practice to incorporate some personal health goals as well. Here are some tips to help promote your sexual health:
Safe Sex: Make sure to practice safe sex by using condoms and other forms of birth control. Having unprotected sex increases your risk for unplanned pregnancies and STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
Wellness Woman Checks: Get regular check-ups from your doctor to ensure you stay healthy and up-to-date with any necessary tests or screenings. Even if you are not experiencing any discomfort or issues, you should still be tested. It is estimated that 50% of men and at least 70% of women with chlamydia, for instance, do not experience any symptoms.
Take care of your mental health. Make sure to prioritize self-care and get enough sleep, exercise, and healthy food. Incorporate mental health days into your schedule and stick to them. You are your primary priority.
Body Love: Learn about your body and sexuality. Knowing what you like, what you don’t like, and what works for you can help you feel more confident and empowered. Try sex therapy or a course on self-pleasure. If you prefer a more private approach, there are multiple best-selling books available that will fit your niche.
Lets Talk About It: Communicate openly and honestly with your partner(s). Talk about boundaries, desires, and expectations so everyone involved is on the same page. Ask open ended questions, pick up on nonverbal cues, and remember that conversations are a two-way street.
Honor yourself and your partner(s), make sure to practice consent and remember that no means no. Focus on being heard and listening and set clear boundaries.
Hydration: Stay hydrated and lubricated. Drinking plenty of water and using water-based lubes can help make sex more enjoyable. Dehydration can result in sexual dysfunction and cause a decreased libido. It is best practice to start hydrating 12 to 24 hours prior to sexual activity.
As you begin your year, remember to practice healthy sexual habits. Don’t forget to schedule your well-woman exams and mammogram appointments. Hopefully these tips help you stay healthy and safe!