This semester seems as though it is zooming by with papers, exams, and all the other things we have to do. But it’s time to empower ourselves by taking care of our sexual health. Here are a few steps to gain control over one’s sexual health
Step 1: Learn more about it
● Learning about your sexual health is important, but sometimes family and friends can give out false information. Also, if you use the Internet, you might find some unreliable sources. Try to stick to reliable information such as:
● Centers for Disease Control at: www.cdc.gov/sexualhealth
● American Sexual Health Association at: ashasexualhealth.org
● Also the Student Health Services (SHS) offers a Sexual Health Awareness Workshop. This workshop covers safer sex, various contraceptive options, and information on sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Call today at 562-985-4609 to make an appointment.
Step 2: Figure out your Plan
● Create a plan for your sexual health. Whether this means going to the doctor and discussing birth control or buying condoms and dental dams to keep in the nightstand, it is a plan of protecting your sexual health. When researching your plan, it is important to think about all options and what would work best in your life. There are health educators to talk to in the Student Health Services to help you figure out a plan and ways to be safer.
Step 3: Get Tested
● Be responsible for your sexual health by getting tested for STIs and HIV. The SHS offers STI testing for: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and HIV. You can make an appointment by calling 562-985-4771 or go online to csulb.edu/shs.
● There are also testing facilities besides the SHS, like Planned Parenthood, and Out of the Closet. The Health Resource Center has a variety of outside referrals if you want to go somewhere else.
Step 4: Create Boundaries
● Being in college allows us to an opportunity to grow! Discover what you are comfortable with. Think about boundaries you want to set, so when you do decide to become sexually active, you are aware of your limits. If you are currently sexually active, it is still the perfect time to set up guidelines for yourself and your partner.
Step 5: Communicate
● Communicating is part of being responsible regarding one’s sexual health. It is important for each individual to stand up as their own sexual health advocate. This means being able to discuss wants, needs and dislikes openly. Empower yourself- you are the only one who will advocate for your sexual health!
By Jessica Elderkin