8 Sexual Health Habits Every College Student Should Know

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Whether you get care through your college, a local Planned Parenthood clinic, or another provider not associated with your campus, you’ll probably also want to know how your provider handles information you’d like to keep confidential, such as prescriptions for fever control. birth rate, says Dr. Lincoln. For example, even though you have a legal right to medical privacy, your parents can get statements showing that you visited an OB/GYN if you go through their insurance for the visit. Dr. Lincoln says he can ask his provider what kind of information the member might receive in the mail, noting that a Planned Parenthood or campus clinic is more likely to be discreet.

If you live in a dormitory, your resident assistant may also have some answers to your questions about your school’s sexual health services, including those that are specific to the LGBTQ+ community. For example, at least 149 colleges and universities offer insurance plans that cover hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for transitioning students, according to data compiled by the nonprofit organization college pride.

And even if you’re not sexually active right now, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the health care services available to you so you feel comfortable using them when you need them. If you have a vagina, it’s particularly important to have a provider to talk to when you suspect you have an infection, such as bacterial vaginosisa thrushor a AND YOUas you will want to receive prompt treatment.

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3. If you want to avoid pregnancy, decide on a birth control plan.

using a condom during sex They can significantly reduce your chances of getting an STI or getting pregnant. with perfect use, they are effective in preventing pregnancy 98% of the time. But user error is common: In a 2017 analysis of contraceptive failure published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, condoms had, on average, a 13% failure rate within one year. In other words, if you’re having the kind of sex that can lead to pregnancy, you’ll ideally have backup birth control.

choose a natality control However, the method can be daunting since there are so many options available, says Dr. Lincoln. His best bet is to do a little research beforehand so that you have an idea of ​​which method would work best for you. “It’s important to go to legitimate sources, and not TikTok, which can scare you with almost all birth control options,” says Dr. Lincoln. She points out that the birth control experiences you see on social media are a lot like business reviews online: People only share “if it’s really amazing or really horrible.”

Dr. Lincoln recommends find my method Y bedsider.org as sites to refer to when beginning your research. Once you have compiled a list of pros, cons and possible side effects for some birth control options, you will be better able to talk with your provider.

4. Understand when to get tested for STIs.

STIs it can be an unfortunate part of being sexually active. That’s true even if you’re not having penetrative sex of any kind. If bodily fluids such as saliva, semen, or vaginal secretions are exchanged, your risk of infection will never be zero. Dr. Kristen Marksexual health adviser everlywell and professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine Institute of Sexual and Gender Healthhe tells himself.

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