Sex education in high school can only cover the tip of the iceberg when discussing health and reproduction. Some adults seem to think that by throwing around condoms and yelling out “practice safe sex,” they are teaching teenagers something important. But that is nothing more than a Band-Aid solution.
A comprehensive sexual education can teach adolescents about the dangers of unprotected intercourse, knowing how to make healthy decisions, being comfortable with their sexuality, and the importance of consent. These are some sensitive topics that should be taught better in schools.
That’s why many adults grow up to become closed-minded individuals who believe in stereotypical prejudices and establish a culture of taboo around proper reproductive healthcare. If these people received better education while they were young, they might become more open-minded adults now.
The human body is complicated. The systems within the body are all intricately designed to perform their functions, and yet no two bodies are the same. That’s why you must have a doctor to consult whatever you’re experiencing with because the internet can only do so much.
It’s Important to Have Your Own Doctor
Contrary to popular belief, going to an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) isn’t only for when you’re expecting a bun in the oven. Many women go to an OB-GYN to consult about their experiences with their bodies, whether it’s regarding changes that already happened or to ask hypothetical questions.
It’s always better to have an expert who can answer your questions instead of searching online for answers because this can often be incorrect or vague. Also, since no two bodies are the same, it can be hard to gauge the answers online because what may apply to one person may not apply to you.
That’s why being comfortable around the presence of an OB-GYN can be beneficial to you in the long run. This is because you will be more inclined to ask for their guidance when you’re experiencing something out of the ordinary in the future.
Don’t Be Afraid of Regular Consultations
Constant monitoring of your health is a good preventive measure against chronic conditions and serious diseases that may occur within your reproductive system. When you choose to pay no mind to the pain or discomfort that you’re feeling in the hopes that it will fade away, you might be endangering yourself in the process.
For instance, getting painful cramps, experiencing breast soreness, or feeling more irritable than normal are all symptoms of menstruation. However, if the pain becomes so severe that it hinders you from functioning normally, then it might be time to consult an OB-GYN.
Another situation where it can be best to ask for an expert’s advice is when you’re experiencing irregular period cycles, sudden weight gain, and fluctuating mood swings. These are all symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, and it’s more common among women than you might think.
For Adolescents and Young Adults
Girls as young as 13 years old or even younger can visit an OB-GYN to gain more information about menstrual cycles, especially if they don’t have a female figure in their household to guide them through such a difficult time. This is also around the time they should start learning about safe sex and birth control.
Instead of teaching young girls to abstain from sex because they aren’t aware of the potential dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancy, they should be taught about the responsibilities that come with performing intercourse.
Furthermore, this age is when women should learn about their different birth control options. If they choose to become sexually active, then at least they should be educated about contraception such as condoms, birth control pills, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
For Older Women
There will come a time in every woman’s life when they will notice the signs of aging within their bodies. On average, women experience menopause by the time they reach their 50s, which means that they can experience pre-menopause or perimenopause in their 40s.
Pre-menopause refers to a time when a woman still has their period even at 40 and experiences no symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, irregular periods, or worsened premenstrual syndromes. Perimenopause, on the other hand, is the time when a woman experiences all the symptoms of menopause.
Around this tender age, women are recommended to visit their OB-GYN to have mammogram screenings every two years to detect early signs of breast cancer or pap smears every three years for cervical cancer. Women are also more likely to have osteoporosis or thinning bones as they grow older, making them more prone to fractures and hip dislocations.
When you familiarize yourself with the changes that your body can undergo as you grow older, you can be more prepared to adapt and adjust to your body’s needs. Only then can you learn how to properly take care of yourself and lead a healthier lifestyle.