Sexual health means taking responsibility for your body, your health, your partner’s health and your decisions about sex.
It entails taking care of your genital, avoiding risky behavior to stay free from sexually transmitted diseases and preventing unplanned pregnancies.
It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences free from coercion, discrimination and violence.
Sexual health is influenced by social attitudes, our upbringing and cultural practices and the ways in which sexuality and sexual experiences are represented to us in our environment.
- Education and Counseling as appropriate on sexual health matters. This is the focal point and most powerful key to being sexually healthy. Basic advice given are:
- Abstinence is good and can happen at different times in life,
- Talk to your parents and to your partner especially before sex
- Make sure you and your partner are aware of contraceptives and how to properly use them
- Find a good health care provider, get tested and ensure your partner gets tested before sex
- Get help if you don’t think you are in a healthy relationship
- Take vaccines that will help protect you, like the newly introduce cervarix vaccine against human papilloma virus which causes cervical cancer
- Learn what and all you need to know and keep learning.
- Family planning counseling. This must be handled and considered on an individual basis to carefully assess the right family planning method.
- Pre natal care, safe delivery and post natal care. Pregnancy, delivery and after- child birth care are a matter of importance and must be received from proper health facilities to reduces the maternal mortality rates in line with the millennium development goals to the nearest minimum-however resource poor countries still have a staggering high rate of pregnancy and birth related deaths.
- Prevention and appropriate management of infertility- the incidence of which is rapidly rising and becoming an increasing bane especially to the African woman.
- Prevention of abortion and the management of the consequences of abortion. Sadly, debates about pro choice or pro life have cast a dark shadow on abortion issues that so many languish in silence and suffering as they are afraid of the stigma that is associated with just mentioning the word.
- Treatment of reproductive tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases and most especially contact tracing and treatment.
- Active discouragement of female genital mutilation
- Management of HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and genital cancers.