Women’s Health Care Month
April is Women’s Health Care and National STD and Education Awareness Month! In addition to mental health and life’s changes, I wanted to bring awareness to this topic. We have to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Sometimes we neglect the importance of our physical health. Here are some statistics from the Office of Women’s Health:
-Nearly 1 in 4 people with HIV are women.
-Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common vaginal condition in women ages 15 to 44
-Nearly 20 million people in the United States get an STI each year
-Only two types of birth control can protect you from STIs, including HIV: male condoms and female condoms.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sherita Perry, MPH of The Real Sex Ed. Podcast. Sherita studied Biology at Norfolk State University. She received her Master’s at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where she studied Public Health. On her podcast, she talks about everything sex! Her topics range from STD’s/STI’s, myths, contraceptives, and sex toys! Check out our interview below:
1. What made you want to start a podcast on sexual health?
“Well, I have a background in Public Health specifically health promotion and prevention and I thought it would be a great way to engage the younger generation, and anyone that may be interested, on the importance of positive sexual health.”
2. What kind of information do you give on the podcast?
“The podcast provides information on reproductive health issues, sexually transmitted infections, and general sexual health information.”
3. What are some ways women can maintain good sexual health?
“By having routine visits with your OB/GYN. In these visits, one should be sure to communicate your sexual history and specific activity to ensure the best recommendations from your physician. Also, maintaining positive self-image, self-respect, healthy partner relationships and protecting yourself.”
4. What are some common misconceptions or myths about women's sexual health?
“No symptoms mean no sexually transmitted infections
• You can’t get sexually transmitted infections from Oral sex
• You can tell that someone has HIV by looking at them
• Everyone is having sex
• Everyone has orgasms
• Women are not entitled to pleasure during sexual activity.”
5. What are the most common diseases or infections that effect women's health?
“The most common diseases/infections are HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis. Specifically, for women of color, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Uterine Fibroids are very common, even though they are not considered diseases and are not contracted through sexual activity.”
6. What advice would you give to teens or young women who are sexually active?
“My advice to teens/young women who are sexually active would be to: make sure that you are sexually active solely because you have made a personal choice to be without any outside influence (friends, partners, social media, etc.).
• Get tested regularly for as long as you are sexually active, testing is recommended three months after an encounter for every encounter. Get tested with your partner, if at all possible, or ask for RECEIPTS if they say they are negative.
• Schedule routine OB/GYN appointments
• Cliché I know but ALWAYS USE A CONDOM. It is the only way outside of abstinence to protect against BOTH STIs and Pregnancy
• Communicate honestly with your partner and expect the same in return
• Only participate in sexual activity that you feel comfortable doing. If you are being pressured that is not a good sign from your partner”
7.What's the most surprising thing you've learned in studying topics related to Women's sexual health?
“ People over 50 contract STIs at a rate similar to that of those ages 15-24 and all women are not able to self-lubricate.”
8. What's the most important thing you've learned from studying topics related to Women's sexual health?
“That women have to protect themselves regardless of what they are being told by their husband, boyfriend, boo thang, etc. I say this because women have some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections.”
You can follow Sherita on Instagram: @therealdealsexed and listen to her podcast here: https://anchor.fm/therealdealsexed !! If you have any other questions, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org !!
Office on Women's Health. (2019, March 12). Retrieved from https://www.womenshealth.gov/office-womens-health