The power to protect yourself
Welcome back from spring break, everyone. We are now back on the grind and we only have six weeks left. Hallelujah!
I am going to write on what may seem to be a touchy subject but one that, especially in a college setting, should be discussed. The reality is we are young adults and we have to take responsibility for our bodies, because what we do now, will affect us years from now. While it may not be convenient to think about our actions it is necessary. I am almost certain most of our parents have preached the importance of safe sex. Along with our parents, I am sure our doctors have badgered us. However, I know in the heat of the moment, protection may not be your first thought. I want to continue that lecture of the importance of making protection your first thought for both males and females. There are several options of protection that offer defense for different things such as pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Diseases. As you continue to read on, I will discuss where you can find protection, the harms of not using protection and what to do or where to go if you are concerned or want even more information.
So, at this stage you are looking for protection and either don’t know where to get it or what to use. I will say first and foremost that condoms, other than abstinence, are the only method to protect you against Sexually Transmitted Diseases. If you are looking for condoms you can go to a few places.
All drugstores and super markets have them for under $5, but if you go to your doctor or local Health Department, Planned Parenthood or comparable, you can get free condoms with anonymity. Condoms offer protection against STD’s, pregnancy and possibly most importantly HIV/AIDS. Keep in mind that condoms must be used correctly in order to be effective. They must fit properly and one offers more protection than two (the friction can cause it to break).
Other protection for pregnancy, and pregnancy only, includes birth control pills, the birth control patch, birth control insertion devices—like the IUD and the Implanon or Nuva Ring that goes into your arm, birth control injections and of course, in cases of emergency the morning-after pill, which I have discussed in an earlier blog. These can be found from your physician and billed through your insurance or even kept anonymous. If you do not have the funds to purchase birth control once a month, try going to Planned Parenthood or your local health department—there is one in Hudsonville. They offer birth control on donation basis only and give it generally in three-month supply packs. They are certified and can offer facts and answer your questions on how to properly use the methods so they are the most effective.
When you don’t use forms of protection you put yourself at risk for diseases—some permanent—and some with permanent effects. Sexually Transmitted Diseases like Gonorrhea or Syphilis can go on for months without symptoms and can lead to infertility in both males and females. HIV/AIDS can lead to serious diseases such as rare, advanced form of Cancers due to the weakened immune deficiency. Herpes can cause sores and is not curable. All of these diseases can be prevented with safe sex measures. Taking the step to protect yourself takes less than one minute and is very affordable compared to the costs—both time and monetarily that it takes to handle these diseases.
If you are concerned you may be infected or at risk or simply want more facts on STD’s you can get more facts at the Campus Health Center, call your doctor, online at itsyoursexlife.org or even in magazines such as Cosmopolitan because they have sources such as a sex therapist, Medical School professors and an OB/GYN.
You can make decisions now that will make your health future better. You have the power to protect yourself.
“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”—Muhammad Ali
Pictures of the Year 2012-2013
6:30 pm | Broadway Theatre - Anything Goes
7:30 am | GVSU Downtown Toastmasters
11:00 am | GVSU Track & Field at NCAA Championships
5:30 pm | MBA Information Meeting: Holland
7:00 pm | Failure Lab
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