As a woman, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care plays a prominent role in your overall well-being. It’s not only important to your physical health, but also to your ability to make sound decisions about when and whether to start a family, maintaining healthy intimate relationships, and carrying out safe health practices.
At University OB/GYN Associates, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for women of all ages. As part of that commitment, we offer these tips for protecting and maintaining your reproductive and sexual health:
1.) Be sexually responsible.
Maintain a monogamous relationship and get to know your partner to make sure they are free of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Use contraception if you are not ready to become pregnant and if you are inclined toward variety in your sexual activity.
If you use sexual devices, clean them after every use. If you use lubrication, be sure to apply products specifically designed for that purpose. Do not use petroleum jelly or oil as it may disrupt the natural pH balance of your vagina and cause irritation and other problems.
2.) Get the recommended vaccinations.
Recommended vaccines for sexually active women include those for HPV, the virus linked to cervical cancer, as well as hepatitis B, which is a liver infection that can be spread through sexual contact.
3.) Limit your alcohol intake.
Alcohol abuse can impair your sexual function and increase your risk of developing certain chronic conditions.
4.) See your OB/GYN regularly.
Often, certain types of STDs do not usually produce symptoms. To reduce your risk and protect yourself and your partner, visit your OB/GYN regularly for testing if you are sexually active. This ensures you get prompt diagnosis and treatment if you contracted STD and are asymptomatic.
Moreover, regardless of whether you are sexually active or not, you should see your OB/GYN every other year after the age of 30 unless, of course, you are pregnant or being treated for a disease.
Whatever your age, see your OB/GYN if you experience the following:
- Vaginal itching or redness; a mass in your vagina
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
- Changes in your menstrual or vaginal discharge (odor, color, and/or texture)
5.) Maintain good feminine hygiene.
One of the keys to ensuring your sexual and reproductive health is maintaining good feminine hygiene. Washing your intimate area with mild soap and water will suffice: other measures, such as douches and special scrubs may contain harsh chemicals which can hurt the natural pH of your vagina.
It is normal for your vagina to have a slight scent: strong odor accompanied by itching and burning may indicate an infection, which warrants prompt medical attention.
Reproductive and Sexual Health Services in Syracuse, New York
At University OB/GYN Associates, our dynamic team of women’s health experts are committed to providing you with compassionate care and the most up-to-date services at every stage of your adult life. These services cover all aspects of women’s health care: gynecology, obstetrics, breast health, gynecologic oncology, urogynecology, and maternal and fetal medicine, among others.
For more information about our services and to get started toward maintaining your reproductive and sexual healthcare, call us today at (315) 464-5162 to schedule an appointment.