Sexual health is fundamental to your overall health and well-being. As leaders in the delivery of innovative, compassionate, and patient-centered care to the women of the greater southeast Columbus region, the physicians at OB/GYN Associates of Lancaster seek to help you maintain excellent sexual health. That’s why we provide a full range of gynecological and obstetrical services including STD testing and contraception counseling.
What is sexual health?
The World Health Organization defines sexual health as the emotional, mental, and social aspects of sexuality, not just the absence of infirmity, dysfunction, or disease.
Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships. At OB/GYN Associates of Lancaster, we offer patient-centered medical care based on mutual trust and communication.
What is an STD/STI?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are more common than most people think. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated one in five people in the United States have a sexually transmitted infection. These infections are passed from person to person through a wide variety of sexual activities.
But STIs are preventable. If you have sex, it is your responsibility to understand how to avoid STIs through safe practices.
When should I get tested for an STD/STI?
Since STIs don’t always cause symptoms or may only cause mild symptoms, you may not even be aware that you have an infection. If you’ve had unprotected sex, have a new partner (or more than one partner), or for any reason are worried you have been exposed to an STI, talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested.
The keys to avoiding or delaying severe or even life-threatening health issues and avoiding infecting others are timely diagnosis and treatment.
What is contraceptive counseling?
As part of overall sexual health, contraceptive counseling helps to prevent unintended pregnancy. Our approach is focused on reproductive health and working to develop a close, trusting relationship with our patients using a shared decision-making approach to determine the best contraception options for you.
What contraception should I use?
While there are various types of contraception out there on the market, not all types are right for every situation. In the end, the best method of birth control depends on your overall age, health, frequency and nature of your sexual activity, and how many sexual partners you may have. Other factors include family health history and if you want to have children in the future.
Five common types of contraception include:
- Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) – intrauterine devices or implants that block sperm or inhibit ovulation.
- Hormonal methods – use of hormones to stop ovulation and prevent pregnancy.
- Barrier methods – prevents sperm from entering the uterus.
- Emergency contraception
In choosing a method of contraception, dual protection from the simultaneous risk of STIs also should be considered. While highly effective at preventing pregnancy, contraceptives and IUDs are poor protectors against STIs.
Want to know more about sexual health?
Give us a call to schedule an appointment for an STI Test, contraception counseling, or any questions regarding sexual health.