The Importance of Sexual Health
Have you been looking for different types of birth control? Are you curious about sexuality and what it means to be sexually healthy? Do you know how Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are spread? These questions can feel scary to ask and explore, but they are actually normal and healthy things to wonder about as you grow from a teenager to a young adult and beyond.
Not only are they normal, but they are also very important questions to find answers to. Sometimes finding answers to questions about sex, sexuality, puberty, STIs, and more can be tricky or feel awkward. However, by taking charge of your sexual health and finding the answers to these questions you can become confident as you make your healthcare and sexual lifestyle decisions.
How to Make Healthy Sexual Decisions
Searching for answers to questions about sex on the internet can be overwhelming. That’s why, over the years, many individuals, professionals, programs, and organizations have been developed to support you! A central goal of these various organizations and people is to help you develop reproductive autonomy. Reproductive autonomy means that you have the information and confidence you need to make decisions about your own sexual health care. The Title X (ten) national family planning program is one of these support resources that you have access to! Through the program, money is given to clinics and organizations to provide you with the information and services you deserve for free or low cost. With services like STI testing, pregnancy testing, contraception, testicular examinations and more, Title X allows you to receive services regardless of your income.
Why is it Important For You to be Able to Make Your Own Health Care Decisions?
Chances are that if you found this blog and are searching for answers, you already understand the importance of making the right decisions for yourself, but here are three ways that reproductive autonomy can positively impact your life:
Boost Your Confidence
As the saying goes, knowledge is power! It is frustrating and scary to make decisions on things that you feel unsure about, but when you feel informed and confident about something it is rewarding to make a decision you can feel sure of. By asking questions and getting accurate answers, you can feel good about making decisions about your own sexual health and lifestyle. Where can you start? Schedule a visit with your local Title X clinic to meet with and talk to a provider about any and all of your questions.
Strengthen Your Sexual Knowledge & Foundation
Heightened confidence and self-empowerment come from learning about and making decisions for your own health. Along with that is the benefit that you are not only feeling good about your decisions, but your decisions are backed by information and support from medical professionals. Having the support and access to reliable, scientific information gives you a firm foundation of knowledge to stand on. You can empower your friends to learn and gain knowledge about their sexual health by making an appointment with the same clinic!
Better Health Outcomes
When more and more people like you make the choice to increase knowledge and learn about their sexual health, it improves the overall health of larger populations. Think about it: If you chose not to go through the empowering journey of learning all about birth control and making a decision on what birth control method is best for you, you may have blindly chosen a less effective option. You may have even decided to go with an option that caused you to react with side effects you didn’t expect! The more people that are knowledgeable about birth control and safe sex options, the more likely it is that the spread of STIs will be reduced as a result, and more people will be sexually healthy. The Title X clinics in Iowa hope to support as many young people as possible in order for more people to feel empowered and capable of making informed decisions.
What Should I Expect at a Sexual Health Visit?
The Power to Choose Your Birth Control Method
Title X encourages and supports your right as a clinic patient to choose whichever birth control method best suits your lifestyle, health, and preferences. Your provider should offer you a wide variety of different options and methods, explain each of them to you, and allow you to choose.
ASSURANCE OF PRIVATE, CONFIDENTIAL SERVICES
Title X guarantees that you can receive care and services without having to tell your parents, guardians, partners, or anyone else about it. When receiving care at your local Title X clinic, your providers cannot and will not require that you have permission from parents or guardians to be taken care of. Read more about patient privacy on our blog here!
Ability to Ask Questions & Get Information
When coming in for a clinic visit, it is important that you can make fully informed decisions. This means that you should be given the space and ability to ask any questions you have and give approval (consent) to receive any sort of care. If you do not understand something, you have the right to get the information you need in order to feel comfortable saying yes to any procedure, medication, etc.
Care that Reflects Up-To-Date Evidence
Even though your care at a Title X clinic may be low cost or at no cost, it does not mean that it is a lower standard of care. Every doctor or provider you see at a Title X clinic provides care according to the most recent and recommended evidence-based standards of care. This means that your provider is expected and required to use the most up-to-date and approved ways of giving you care during your visit. This involves up-to-date practices of contraceptive services, pregnancy testing, counseling for pregnancy, guidance on fertility, services to detect STIs, and lots more.
Start Learning & Schedule a Visit Today!
Use our clinic locator to locate the Title X clinic near you and schedule your first appointment! Are you looking for more information or answers to a specific question? Reach out to us and we will point you in the right direction.