Sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives. It is an important part of our physical and emotional health. Being sexually healthy means:
- Understanding that sexuality is a natural part of life and involves more than sexual behavior.
- Recognizing and respecting the sexual rights we all share.
- Having access to sexual health information, education, and care.
- Making an effort to prevent unintended pregnancies and STIs and seeking care and treatment when needed.
- Being able to experience sexual pleasure, satisfaction, and intimacy when desired.
- Being able to communicate about sexual health with others including sexual partners and health care providers.
Our most basic advice is:
- Talk to your parents; they were your age once
- Talk to your partner (before you have sex)
- Make sure you and your partner know how to use a condom correctly
- Find a good health care provider and talk to them
- Get help if you don’t think you’re in a healthy relationship
- Get yourself tested and make sure your partner gets tested (before you have sex)
- Take advantage of the vaccines that will help protect you
- Learn what you need to know—and keep learning
Your sexual health is important—you have a right and a responsibility to protect it!