If and when we want to reduce the risks of STIs as much as possible, while still engaging in sex, then:
Read the rest at Scarleteen here.
(P.S. When we say “safer sex,” we use that term as it was originally developed and intended, to describe the choices and practices to help reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections, not to describe birth control or contraception. When we’re talking about those things, we’ll say birth control or contraception.)
Many people — and probably most — don’t grow up knowing how to arrange for or manage their own healthcare. For some, that’s because our parents, guardians, or other family members did it for us. For others, it’s because we never got regular healthcare so we could learn how it works. Some of us only went to the doctor, clinic, or emergency room when something was very very wrong; some of us had yearly check-ups with the same doctor, in the same place and knew we (or more likely our parents or guardians) could call the doctor’s office any time we were sick.
Whatever your healthcare was like growing up, you may be responsible for it now or very soon. Sexual healthcare is a kind of care that people don’t want parents or guardians involved in, so it may be that seeking out sexual healthcare is where you find you first need to navigate your healthcare on your own.
We know that can be daunting or intimidating. But managing your healthcare mostly just comes down to the following things:
- Doing some research.
- Being and staying organized.
- Communicating clearly and respectfully, asking questions and taking responsibility for gathering and keeping the information you’re given.
- Recognizing that your health matters and is very important, and keeping that strongly in mind, and in practice, in all your interactions with healthcare providers.
Those are the barest of basics. What follows are specifics so that you can hopefully feel more capable and less frazzled as you start managing your own healthcare, or find some helps to troubleshoot care that’s not working out for you in any way. What the healthcare you get, of any kind, is like, and how it’ll go, will depend on your own health, the kind of healthcare you have access to, and your personal preferences about the kind and frequency of healthcare you get. How it all goes will also often have just as much to do with you as it does a provider.
This is the well-being of your own body and mind we’re talking about here: being able to navigate the healthcare system, to whatever extent you choose to do so and are able to do so, is a crucial skill for maintaining or improving that well-being. So, have a read about choosing a doctor, calling to get an appointment, preparing for an appointment and getting the most out of your interactions with healthcare providers and healthcare support staff.
Have a read at Scarleteen here!