pcc_features_sexualhealth

 

A possible pregnancy can be a very scary experience, especially for single women. Taking a pregnancy test can be a time to evaluate current relationships and lifestyles. Many women have questions, such as, “Is he the right one for me?” “Am I in a good relationship?” “Is it time to break up?” “What makes a relationship good?” At Pregnancy Care Center of Homer we want to help you make decisions that protect and support your well-being and future, as well as promote successful relationships. Make an appointment today.

What is Sexual integrity?
Sexual integrity is making a decision to postpone sexual activity [remove] “at this time in your life” to protect yourself from unhealthy choices that you may regret later- choices that may leave you feeling hurt and empty when a relationship ends. Sexual integrity redefines intimacy to encompass more than the physical aspect of relationship. It enlarges your relationships to include the mind, will, and emotions – the whole person. Though you may never have thought of waiting to have sex in marriage, this choice is a legitimate and valuable option for your future.

Benefits?
No need for birth control which means no worries about methods failing
No stress about STDs or unplanned pregnancies
You can focus on your education, work, and interests
You’re taking good care of your spirit, soul, and body
You can have healthy relationships not complicated by sex
You are free to grow in confidence and discipline, which carries over into other areas of your life
It reinforces your core values rather than compromising them
Sexual integrity requires a lot of maturity. It’s a huge decision because it serves your highest interest. Are the benefits worth it? Only you can decide, but if you’d like to talk with someone, we are available for a confidential, non-judgmental discussion.

 

STDs/STIs
Sex and Dating

There are many pros and cons to dating, and it all depends on how you approach your relationships. If you feel that you are not ready or interested in having a committed relationship, you may want to postpone dating until you feel that you are ready. There is no rush to start dating.

The decision to have sex is a very important one, and there are lots of things to think about. Sexual relationships affect your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Whether you are considering sexual activity, or you have already had sex, there are risks for pregnancy and STIs even when using birth control or condoms. The only sure way to avoid getting an STI or to prevent pregnancy is to practice abstinence. Once you are in a long-term, mutually monogamous and committed relationship with an uninfected partner (in marriage), you will have no reason to worry about getting an STI.

Do you want to talk with someone about your relationship? We are here for you. Please feel free to contact us.

The Basics
There are now more than a dozen STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), several of which are chronic, life-long infections. In the United States, it is estimated that there are 19 million new infections each year – over half of these occurring in young people ages 15-24. Presently, over 70 million people in the U.S. are infected or have been infected with an STI or STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) ii.

STIs & STDs: What are they?
An STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) is an infection that does not show any physical signs or symptoms. It is contracted from another infected person through sexual activity. It becomes an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) when symptoms appear. It’s important to remember that not all infected people will have signs or symptoms. The problem is that some of these STDs can cause a lot of damage and can be passed to your partner without your knowledge. You do not have to have symptoms to be contagious; you can spread the disease at any time.

What causes STI’s?
Certain STI’s like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are caused by bacteria. Others, like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, and HPV, are caused by viruses. And the trichomoniasis infections are actually caused by a parasite. The two most common STI’s (according to the CDC) are Chlamydia and HPV.

How do you get them?
You get STI’s during sexual activity. This includes vaginal sex, oral sex and anal sex. A few herpes and HPV– can even be spread by contact with infected skin. HIV and hepatitis can also be spread through needle-sharing. You can get an STI from a person who has no symptoms.

What are the symptoms?
Most STI’s have no symptoms, yet they can still pass on the infection. Some symptoms may include abnormal discharge form the penis or vagina, burning sensation when urinating, and abdominal pain. You may also notice a rash, ulcer, or wart.

What are the complications?
In women, complications from STI’s include pelvic inflammatory disease (which can lead to infertility); tubal pregnancy; cervical cancer; and can even be life-threatening. In pregnant women, STI’s can lead to miscarriage, stillbirths, preterm delivery and birth defects. In men, HPV infections can cause penile cancer and HIV can be life-threatening.

How can you find out if you have one?
Because most STI’s have no symptoms, usually they are not detected until complications develop. If you or your partner have had more than one sex partner or have ever injected drugs, talk to your doctor about getting tested. You can also visit www.stdwizard.com and take a confidential quiz to see what STI’s you might need to be tested for.

Can they be treated?
Most bacterial STI’s can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Treatment, however, does not guarantee that complications have not already occurred. Most viral STI’s can be treated for symptoms, but not cured. You should discuss all treatments with your doctor.

Can they be prevented?
Yes! Avoid all sexual activity until you are in a committed, monogamous relationship (such as marriage) and remain faithful to that (uninfected) partner for life. This is the only way to avoid the risk of an infection. Sex is a big deal. Know the facts. Make an informed decision. Know you are worth waiting for.
Reference: Information on this page gathered from referenced and reviewed articles on www.medinstitute.org (The Medical Institute’s website)
This information is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice.