Sex, and sexual health, are still subject to stigma and for many people is not a subject they speak openly about. However, sexual wellbeing is fundamental to both physical and mental health.
But what is sexual health and wellbeing? It is a combination of social, physical and psychological factors, and for men, it can feel even more challenging to talk about this topic. However, sexual health is just as important as physical or mental health. In fact, it has been proven that sexual wellbeing is associated with increased happiness.
Here are some top tips for taking care of your sexual wellbeing, with options for discreet approaches and directly accessing healthcare services.
Speak to your GP if you don’t feel right
Talking to your doctor about your physical health is not usually a problem for people, but it starts to get more difficult when diving into mental and sexual health. But getting medical help is essential if you don’t feel right. Your doctor won’t be embarrassed, and the stress it will alleviate is worth 10 minutes of discomfort.
Your GP can advise you on taking care of your sexual health in the long-term and will direct you to specialised professionals if needed.
Information is freedom
Knowledge and awareness of what sexual health looks like allows you to make informed choices and manage your wellbeing. You will be in a stronger position to decide what is right for you, how to avoid STIs, how to manage living with STIs and much more. You will be a better partner if you’ve done this research, meaning you can build a healthy foundation for communication and trust with the person/people you are interacting with, therefore keeping everyone safe and happy.
Get tested regularly
According to Public Health England, young people experience the highest rates of genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhoea and genital warts.
STIs are not uncommon, and most are treated successfully. However, if you experience symptoms, get them checked as soon as possible. You can access treatment via your GP, the sexual health or GUM clinic or via online an online pharmacy.
Online pharmacy websites such as chemistclick.co.uk are a great option if you don’t want to deal with someone face-to-face or speak on the phone. They’re a discrete and quick option, especially if you know what treatment you need. Many of these pharmacies have an online consultation you can complete to get the medication you need.
Talk to your partner
Communication is the key to happiness, especially regarding safe sex. Talk to your partner about whether you’ve had an STI test recently, what birth control options you both want, if you want a family one day – and if yes, how many children.
Check for cancer
Risks of cancer increase with age, so if you notice anything, make sure you get it checked straight away. According to the NHS, for men under 35, testicular cancer is the most common cancer. But if found early, it can be treated successfully.
Although there is no proven prevention strategy, you can reduce your risks by making healthy lifestyle choices such as sleeping well, eating healthily and exercising. It is also a good idea to speak to your doctor about whether you have an increased risk, as there may be medical options to reduce your increased risk, such as medications.
Until next time.