From the perspective of health, sex is a good form of exercise. The body produces oxytocin, creating that sense of attachment. Sex also lowers the risk of prostate cancer, improves sleep, improves heart health, regulates blood pressure, and may even help relieve stress and pain at some level.
If you want to reap these benefits from sexual intercourse and increase sex drive, you can increase your testosterone levels by exercising, taking Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia or longjack), strength training, staying hydrated with water and electrolytes, and having a holistic diet. The benefits of having sex also entail a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection especially if you have multiple partners. This is the reason why it is imperative for anyone who is sexually active to regularly visit a health care provider, such as a doctor or a nurse, for a sexual health check-up.
Here are some of the sexual health check-ups available:
Genital Skin Examination
Genital skin examination is the process by which the doctor or the nurse will check the genital skin and see if there are rash, lumps, bumps, rashes, and sores which may be symptoms of genital warts, herpes, or syphilis. As part of your check-up, the doctor or nurse will offer to examine the genital skin looking for lumps, bumps, sores or rashes which may be signs of infections such as genital warts, genital herpes or syphilis.
Nurses and doctors are clinical experts on checking your genital area for symptoms. However, if you are too embarrassed since understandably it is a private matter, you can provide samples testing.
Vaginal or cervical swab (women) Female Testing
Female testing is done by taking swabs from the vagina, throat, or anus depending on the symptoms. A microscope is used in order to detect bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas, and gonorrhea.
This can be detected during the day when the check-up is conducted and will also be sent to the laboratory for further testing.
AIDS / HIV Testing and other STD tests
HIV testing is vital in order to know if a person is infected with human immunodeficiency virus which causes an immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is the highest stage of the HIV infection. Factors that can increase the likelihood of HIV is sexual intercourse without using a condom with someone who is positive in HIV, sharing needles, sexual intercourse with multiple partners, having syphilis and other sexually transmitted disease. Tests for HIV and other STD tests may include antibody tests, Combination HIV antibody and HIV antigen tests, and nucleic acid tests.
Antibodies tend to rise when there is HIV in the body. This can take 3 to 12 weeks to manifest in the person’s blood stream. Combination tests both antibody and antigen levels. This takes 2 to 6 weeks for a person to make enough antigen in order for the test to be accurate. This is more recommended compared to the antibody test alone. On the other hand, nucleic acid tests detect HIV after 7 to 28 days after the person has been infected. This isn’t usually used as a test because it is quite expensive. This is only used when a person has a high-risk exposure and almost sure experience that may severely cause HIV.
A pap smear is a test done to women to check the state of her cervix whether it has cancers. The test is done by the doctor and it takes about 10 to 20 minutes. The female has to lie on the table with her feet placed firmly in stirrups, the legs must be spread, and the doctor will insert the speculum, which is a metal or plastic tool into the vagina. He will open it to widen the vaginal walls and allow him to see the cervix. When the cervix is visible, he will take a sample of the cells from your cervix using a swab and place them in a small jar and send it to the laboratory for testing. This might sound a little too extreme for those who are not familiar, but it is not as bad as it sounds and it is necessary in order to detect cervical cancer. Pap smear does not hurt but you may feel a little pressure or a little pinch.
You can get the results after a few days. When you get a negative result, it means that the doctor did not find any questionable looking cancer cells and you will not need another pap smear until your next regular health schedule. If you get a positive result, it does not automatically mean you have cancer. It could mean that you are suffering a slight inflammation or might have minor cellular changes that may subside on its own. So it is better to wait and see but the doctor will most likely suggest another pap test in a few months’ time. If after that, the cells have not cleared up, more tests will be required and you may even have to undergo a procedure called colposcopy.
Anal, urethral or throat swab (men) Male Testing
Male testing is conducted by taking a urine sample and checking if it is positive with Chlamydia or gonorrhea. It is recommended that males should undergo this test if they feel pain during urination or if there is a discharge coming from the penis. It is done by taking a small swab from the opening tip of the penis. The samples will be checked in the laboratory through a microscope.
On the same day, it will be checked so that the doctor can decide whether further treatment is necessary. For males who engage in sexual activities with men, it is recommended for them to have swabs taken from their throat as well as anus for testing. Certain sexually transmitted infections may be passed in the throat and anus through oral or anal sex or by sharing sex toys and fingering.
Questions to Anticipate
When you have your first sexual health check-up, the doctor or health practitioner may ask you a few questions about your sexual history. So do not be surprised and think that they are invading your privacy, it is all part of the process. Here are some of the questions that the doctor, nurse, or practitioner will ask you:
1) Are you sexually active?
2) How many sexual partners have you had?
3) How many sexual partners do you currently have?
4) Do you have sex with the same sex or both?
5) Do you have any symptoms of sexually transmitted infection?
6) Do you inject drugs or have you shared needles?
7) Do you have any body piercings or tattoos?
8) Did you have sex with someone suffering a sexually transmitted infection?
Let’s face it, these questions may not be a breeze and it may be quite uncomfortable for you to answer these questions. But, when you are it, you have to give accurate answers because these will help your doctor distinguish the checks you need to undergo. Answering accurately will also help you get rid of future dangers in your health and may enable you to get treatment if you have an infection. The medical practitioners are also obliged to ethically keep your records confidential.
A sexual health check-up is necessary for a sexually active person to monitor his sexual health and prevent any long-term problems. This can also help their partners or previous partners get treatment in case they have an infection that they have passed on to a partner. Telling them might be embarrassing but it is important to do so considering that the purpose of having a sexual health test is not only to help your sexual health but to generally make sure that people are in their best state of health.