It is vitally important to be knowledgeable of the risks and outcomes that can result from sexual activity, and to be aware of the overall responsibility that comes with being a sexually active person. There are benefits of being sexually active, including pleasure, sharing intimacy with another person, and the joy of bearing a child, but there are risks as well, which can include contracting an STD, and becoming a parent before one is ready.
There are many aspects to sexual health including reproductive health and the process of attempting to conceive, contraception and birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, male reproductive health including conditions such as impotence and erectile dysfunction, and female reproductive health including menstruation and pregnancy.
Reproductive Health: the realm of healthcare that deals with the process of planning and proceeding to conceive a child. There are, however, obstacles that can interfere with a couple's desire for a baby including conditions such as infertility.
Contraception: Contraception or birth control, are preventative measures taken to avoid pregnancy while still being sexually active. Some forms of birth control include barrier methods to block fertilization and hormonal birth control such as pills, patches and vaginal rings.
STDs: STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are viral or bacterial infections that can occur from unprotected sex with an infected partner. While some are treatable, others have no cure. Regular STD vaccination and testing is essential for those who are sexually active.
Male Reproductive Health: The male reproductive system can be plagued by conditions which make fertilization and impregnation difficult or impossible. Erectile dysfunction and impotence can make conceiving a child difficult. Some males also require additional protection in the cases of sexual intercourse as they are more likely to contract certain STDs.
Female Reproductive Health: The female reproductive system begins preparing early in a woman's life for the eventual need to carry a child to term. Menstruation begins at puberty and the body again changes during the time of pregnancy. Human pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks or nine months from the start of the last menstrual cycle to the time of childbirth.