As you read this article, there are two things that can be pretty certain. One is that you will learn something new. The other is that you will feel very uncomfortable. We feel so obligated to have sex, and as more people become sexually active at a younger age, it makes sense that we could get some information about sexual health.
Fortunately, you’re not alone in feeling nervous or awkward about your own sexuality. A lot of us struggle with finding that sweet spot when it comes to intimacy, let alone masturbation!
It’s totally normal to feel unsure of yourself and your body when it comes to sex. In fact, most healthy adults experience these feelings sometimes. It doesn’t make you less of a person – it just means you’re like everyone else.
Given how important good sex is to overall wellness, knowing what You know Now is a great way to start having healthier relationships and experiencing greater satisfaction. Luckily, we’ve gathered ten fun facts about sexual health for you to check out. Read on for all of our best tips!
1. Having sex isn’t the only way to enjoy it
There are lots of ways to enjoy sex beyond by having intercourse. Many people enjoy oral sex, sodomy (aka 69), vibrators, role playing, and even anal sex.
There are more than 100 types of HPV
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a very common infection that can cause some serious health issues, especially if it goes unchecked. While most people will likely never know they have it, there are ways to identify if you do – and what treatments may be needed.
There are many different strains of HPV. Some only affect your skin or mucus membranes, while others can spread in your genital area and even move into other areas of your body.
Many individuals come across at least one type of HPV during their lives. It’s totally normal!
But sometimes someone who has HPV develops symptoms such as fever, pain when urinating, bleeding between periods, or changes to the color and shape of your sexual organs. These could also include symptoms of pelvic/vaginal discomfort, itching, and irritation.
Some people develop warty growths or bumps around their genitals that don’t go away. Because these can eventually become cancer, early detection is important.
1 in 4 people will get HPV at some point in their life
More than half of all adults have genital human papillomavirus (HPV) – but most do not know it! Luckily, there are treatments available that can prevent HPV infection and also treat those who already have the virus.
Fortunately, one of these treatments is vaccination. Many countries now offer vaccinations for high risk types of HPV to teens and young adults.
These vaccines work by raising your body’s immune system to recognize certain strains of HPV as “foreign” or non-self. Your body then mounts a response that prevents either transmission of the HPV vaccine into your genitals or development of new infections from the same strain of HPV.
Furthermore, because the vaccine works by triggering an immune response, anyone vaccinated against one type of HPV may be protected from other types of HPV as well.
1 in 2 people will get genital herpes
Most people are aware that there is a chance of getting HPV, or human papilloma virus, but less well known is that one in two (or 50 percent) of the population has actually been exposed to HSV-2, the most common type of genital herpes.
There are an average of eight episodes per year with this infection, so it can easily be missed unless you notice symptoms such as blisters around your genitals or pain while having sex.
Because it’s more likely to go unnoticed, many individuals aren’t even aware they have it! This makes it difficult to identify and treat it effectively.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent passing along HSV-2 and reduce your risk of developing genital herpes. By practicing safe sexual habits like using condoms consistently and correctly, and being careful about your hygiene, you can help keep yourself healthy.
Topic and bullet point combination for bingewatching: how to listen to music while you’re studying
Bullet point: Use headphones
You can use earbuds or longer headphone cords to play the song. Either way, put on some good earphones or turn up the volume enough to completely drown out other sounds.
1 in 5 people will get HPV
More than 20 million Americans are currently infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), including 9% of men and 16% of women aged 21-29. Luckily, most people have low risk types of HPV that do not lead to cancer.
In fact, only about half of all people diagnosed with cervical or oral cancers had persistent high risk HPV infections. That means there is still time to prevent HPV infection!
Fortunately, there are effective vaccines for both males and females that can protect against some strains of HPV. Vaccines work by stimulating your body’s immune system to recognize the virus so that you develop antibodies to help defend yourself.
Many individuals already enjoy protection from either vaccine due to past exposure to HPV. However, even if you’ve previously been vaccinated, it is important to continue practicing safe sex until you’re sure you’ve completely protected yourself.
1 in 10 people will get genital warts
Genital warts are caused by prolonged contact with infected fluid, usually through skin-to-skin or oral sex. When you go to the bathroom after an orgasm, you may notice small bumps coming up on your genitals or elsewhere on your body. These could be leftover fluids that have clotted and dried overnight, so make sure to check yourself thoroughly!
If you find any signs of genital warts, see your doctor right away because they can spread directly from person to person via unprotected sexual activity. It is possible to treat most cases on your own, but it can take several weeks, which is why it’s important to recognize the symptoms.
Fortunately, there are treatments available for genitally transmitted HPV.
1 in 20 people will get syphilis
One of the most serious sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is actually quite common. That’s true for both men and women, though it can be tricky to tell which gender is more likely to get it.
Syphilis is caused by bacteria that are usually not harmful to someone with healthy immune systems. But when your body becomes stressed or infected, the bacteria can grow and cause problems.
It’t very easy to detect early stages of syphilis so most people don’t know they have it until it is already at its worst.
That’s why it is important to check your sexual health before you have sex. Because even if you think you are one of the few who is aware of your syphilis status, there is still time to treat it and avoid complications.
Luckily, treatments work well and almost all patients respond to them. So even if you find out you have syphilis later, chances are you won’t need surgery to cure it.
1 in 4 people will get chlamydia
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It can easily be missed, as there are no symptoms for this infection other than slight vaginal or genital itching and irritation.
Many people don’t realize that you can still pass along STI even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms yourself.
That’s why it’s so important to check your sexual health regularly — not just at your doctor visit, but also by testing for STIs online or through apps.
Because while some STIs can cause serious long-term effects, many times they won’t. But if you find you are infected, there are ways to treat yourself and help prevent further complications.
1 in 9 people will get gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a very common infection. Most people who have it don’t even know they have it, as there are only few symptoms.
But if you do experience symptoms such as pain with sex or urine that changes color, discharge from the vagina or penis, then make sure to see your doctor for proper treatment!
Some people worry about contracting HIV when having oral sex or vaginal intercourse. But since most people who get HPV also get infected with herpes, other STIs like HIV can be prevented by practicing safe sexual behaviors.
For example, people who are using condoms consistently should not fear getting HSV-2 due to their protective benefits against genital warts and HIV.