A lot gets written and published about the health and well-being of women. However, a lot of women tend to overlook the vital health information that most of these articles provide. Sexual health is a big part of any woman’s well-being, and she should definitely not ignore this aspect.
We try and bring to you here, the basics of how a woman can prevent common s*xual health problems. Some of these tips might seem a little too rigid, or a put-off for your man, but these are vital to ensure that serious s*xual health-related illnesses and infections are prevented.
#1. Make a rule: no rubber, no pleasure
There is a big misconception among women that unless their men have a history of s*xual illnesses or have been Casanovas, they cannot infect them with STDs. The virus causing Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs can remain dormant in carriers for years before they get passed on to someone else and break-out. Your man could be one such carrier, no matter how obsessive he seems about his personal hygiene.
The spread of Herpes through unprotected s*x is the biggest testament to this fact. The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV causes different types of Herpes. This virus can literally survive for decades before raising its ugly head. So, there is a chance that you might get infected today, through your partner, and the infection might show-up after a few years. So, insist on him wearing a condom everytime you get intimate.
P.S.: If you are planning to have kids, it is best to consult your doctor regarding tests you have to get done.
#2. Drink lots of water
One of the most common infections among women is Urinary Tract Infection or UTI. Often, women are a bit relaxed about UTI, assuming that it is a common condition among their kind. However, Urinary Tract Infections often become invasive and start to weaken the urogenital tract. This lays the foundation for serious vaginal infections in the future. The easiest way, to avoid UTI, is to drink water throughout the day. Gynaecologists ask women suffering from recurring UTI to drink water like a fish! You need to be particular about one more thing as well. Always clean your privates before and after intercourse. The stress induced on the tissues during intercourse often irritates the bladder, catalysing UTIs.
#3. Keep clean
Any place outside the sanctity of your home should be considered a cesspool of germs and possible infections. This holds true even if you are working in the biggest of organisations. This also means that you should carry your own dry and wet tissues, everywhere. Before using the facilities, ensure to wash your hands or dab them with a hand sanitizer. Avoid using public bathrooms, particularly while travelling as these are the biggest source of common vaginal infections.
#4. Don’t ignore pap smear tests
In the US and many other western nations, women are required to undergo an Annual Wellness Exam. However, in India we don’t have any such mandatory tests. The concept is slowly catching here, but only in the metros. Even if you do not undergo a comprehensive range of tests, ensure that you do order Pap Smear, twice-a-year. This is the most precise of indicative tests for common s*xual health challenges like cervical cancer. Many voluntary organisations and some hospitals too have started hosting cervical cancer check-up camps. Use them to your advantage to get tested easily and affordably.
#5. Consider pre-marital counselling
Every source of information on women’s health, be it online or any magazine, will only give you a basic idea. You need to have a more than just a general idea of how to take care of your s*xual health. This means, educating yourself by seeking an appointment with a specialist in this field like a gynaecologist or a s*xual health expert. This counselling can be sought before getting married or before becoming s*xually active.
These are just some of the basics that we have put together to ensure women can sustain a better, s*xual health. Keep this checklist in mind before you enter a new relationship in life, and you will realise how just a few precautions will help you maintain your s*xual health for a long time to come.