Male condoms

Sexual Health is a  very  broad term. Covering topics from sexually transmitted diseases to different forms of contraception is impossible to do in an article the length of this one. And chances are, you probably won’t be looking for “How to Use a Dental Dam for Someone with Latex Allergies”. Or you might. The point is, not every issue applies to everyone, making it hard to write specific articles that are as useful. Instead, it is recommended that individuals do their own research about specific aspects. Here are 4 ways that you can become more informed on sexual health.

  1. The Wellness Center

The best resource you’ll have to learn about different aspects of sexual health on campus is found on 15 Salem St: The Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center. Inside are registered nurses, physicians assistants, Dr. Amy Patel, and wellness educators who are always willing and happy to help answer any questions you may have regarding sexual health. A student can simply walk in and ask to talk to a nurse or another healthcare provider about any questions they may have. At the Wellness Center, their goal is to enrich Andover’s wellness. Part of this goal is to make sure that when students engage in sexual activities, they are safe and well informed. Additionally, in the wellness center are pamphlets, mentioned below.

2. Pamphlets

Many pamphlets can be found in the Wellness Center. These contain quick and easy-to-understand facts about STIs and different contraceptives. Each pamphlet may focus on a different aspect of sexual health; one might focus on chlamydia, and another on using a tampon. However, these pamphlets do not offer extensive knowledge and insight into what they teach. Instead, their purpose is to offer a basic understanding about an aspect of mental health, one that can be followed up with a visit to a nurse practitioner or wellness educator.

3. The Internet

In the digital age, the Internet is such a great wealth of knowledge, and it also contains information about sexual health. However, it is also important to recognize that not all sources on the Internet are reliable or valid. A few of the trustworthy health websites found online are WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and the Centers for Disease Control website. On these websites is a host of information of STIs, as well as the efficiency of different contraceptives. It is recommended that you still check in with someone at the Wellness Center to verify any information that you read online.

4. Ask a Friend

Your friends may not know much about the history of syphilis. However, what they may know is how to use a sanitary pad, or a tampon. There are some things about which students are uncomfortable talking to wellness educators. However, in most cases, your friend should not be your sole source on becoming informed about an aspect of sexual health. They are there to help out in a few cases, but the information they can offer you on preventing an STI may be inaccurate. Again, they are not always a reliable source; follow up with the Wellness Center or a reliable online source.

By Dear Sam, student club at Andover