Sexual health covers not only medical or reproductive issues, but all aspects of sex such as sex education, sexual behaviour and sexual attitudes. In physical terms, sexual health deals with how well one tackle issues such as unplanned pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and safer sex practices.
To be sexually healthy, we should have positive and respectful attitudes towards sex, sexuality and sexual relationships.
Understand your sexuality
Your sexuality is defined by your attitudes and values regarding sexual matters. It spans across a range of issues - from sexual thoughts and actions, to gender identity and roles.
You have sexual rights. Understand that you have the right to choose whether you want to be sexually active or not, and you have control over who you want to have sex with and how it is practised.
Understand your partner's sexuality
You may have attitudes, feelings and desires that are different from your partner. You can improve your sexual health and pleasure when both of you understand and respect each other's sexuality. It is important to try to communicate your views to your partner and vice versa. When you share what you are comfortable with and what you want, you are both better prepared for sex.
Develop a healthy self-esteem
Having a healthy self-esteem is to feel good about yourself and be comfortable with who you are. If both partners in a sexual relationship have a healthy self-esteem, acceptance and enjoyment in each other's presence is increased.
Practise safe sex
STIs are contracted during unprotected sex. You can reduce the risk by practising safe sex, through the use of condoms. However, a better option is for a couple to be in a monogamous and faithful relationship. Some common STIs include:
• HIV and AIDS
• Genital Warts
If you suspect that you have an STI, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. It is important to treat STIs early.
Take charge of your reproductive health
Sexual health includes being able to have children, and planning when to have them. To look after your reproductive health, visit your doctor regularly. Practise family planning so that you do not have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy or worry about passing an infection to your child.