Whether you’re single, dating or in a long-term relationship, it’s important to take care of your sexual health if you’re sexually active or plan to be in the near future. There are a variety of things you can do to prevent problems from developing in the first place, such as practising safe sex, getting tested for sexually transmitted infections, and discussing any concerns you have about your sexual health with a healthcare professional.
However, even with the greatest of efforts, problems can occur, and burying your head in the sand won’t resolve them. Here are just some of the sexual health issues you can’t afford to ignore:
Erectile dysfunction – or the inability to get or maintain an erection – is a common male sexual health problem. Men between the ages of 40 and 70 are most likely to suffer from this condition, but it can affect younger men too. The root cause of erectile dysfunction can be physical, psychological or a mix of both. If you suffer from this problem, it may be the result of high blood pressure, diabetes or even depression, so it’s important to get yourself checked out. In the meantime, there are a variety of medicines that can help. For example, these days you can buy sildenafil online through a number of web-based doctor services.
Bleeding after sex
Bleeding after sex – also known as postcoital bleeding – can be frightening, but women are often too embarrassed to talk about it. If you experience this issue, it may be due to vaginal dryness. This can happen as a result of stress, a lack of foreplay or as a response to certain medicines. Bleeding after intercourse is also a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia. In rare cases, it can be a symptom of cervical or vaginal cancer so it’s important to see a trained medical professional to identify the underlying cause. Women between the ages of 25 and 64 should also attend cervical screening tests to identify and treat any problems as early as possible.
When it comes to vaginal discharge, what’s considered normal can vary from person to person and from cycle to cycle. Any sudden changes to what’s usual for you may suggest an infection. Symptoms of infection include changes in the colour, consistency or amount of discharge. An offensive smell and unexpected bleeding can also be tell-tale signs. Aside from differences in your discharge, you might experience pain in your pelvis or unexpected bleeding. Not all infections are sexually transmitted, but if you are having any of these symptoms, it’s important to get them checked out.
In men, discharge from the penis can be a sign of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. These conditions can lead to serious complications, including infertility, reactive arthritis, inflammation of the testes and prostate problems.
If you or your partner experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to get them checked out as soon as possible. Remember that the earlier you are seen by a healthcare professional, the greater the chance that your problem can be resolved.