Sex is great, and so are relationships with the right person (or people), but respecting each other’s sexual health is the most important part. But what some people don’t know is that sexual health is a lot more than physical needs. It includes mental health as well.
Regulating one’s sexual health is a part of everybody’s life, whether they identify as a male, female, non-binary, etc. However, as college comes around there are more chances to meet people and become sexually active. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20 million STIs are contracted each year in America, with half of those people being 15-24 years of age. With such high statistics, it’s very important to be mindful of your sexual health, but that leads to the question, “Where can I go to get my needs met?” The answer is simple, Planned Parenthood.
Like any other sexual health doctor or clinic, Planned Parenthood does more than the basic pelvic exams and abortions. They get a bad rap in internet slander, taking form in memes especially when there are negative stereotypes about abortion that surround the clinic already. The clinic focuses on reproductive health for every patient without judgment of any problem that arises.
According to Jenn Haney, Champaign’s Planned Parenthood community engagement coordinator, for both men and women, “We offer STD and STI testing, family planning services, transgender therapy and hormone replacement therapy which something that a lot of people don’t know that we offer. We have vasectomy services and we also offer Sex-Ed.”
Planned Parenthood will discuss insurance policies and how to set up insurance if the patient is new. The clinic will help in whatever circumstance. Whether the patient is insured or uninsured, they will welcome anybody.
In regards to sex education, Planned Parenthood provides a whole series of programs, from talking about the effects of unprotected sex, to covering sexual development from puberty all the way to an adult. With that being said, there are a lot of college students that are seen in the clinic because of its location within the campus town, which is a good sign that college students are taking their sexual health seriously.
Planned Parenthood acknowledges that Valentine’s Day is coming up, but people are having sex all of the time. There is no statistical information of heightened sexual activity or circumstances within the clinic, but this does not excuse anything than compromises one’s sexual health because there are so many ways to stay safe during sex.
“Number one, communication. Number two, establish consent and boundaries. Number three, agree on your birth control methods and whether you’re in a relationship or not, getting tested every 6 months if you’re sexually active is important. If you have multiple partners or are dating, every 3 months is recommended for testing” Haney said.
Planned Parenthood also takes into account those who a might be too shy or too scared to start taking care of their health or people who truly don’t know how to go about sexual health in general. “If you have questions that you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone about, the Planned Parenthood site or YouTube channel (is) a wealth of information and they can answer a ton of questions with accurate information,” Haney said.
However, this isn’t the best part of the communication options that Planned Parenthood has. They have just launched a chatbot that answers sexual health questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “It’s a great thing to ask questions if you feel awkward, to ask another person, just hop on the Planned Parenthood website and ask Roo,” Haney said.
Planned Parenthood serves a reliable source for every demographic’s reproductive health with benefits that all end in getting the help you need. Being sexually healthy is a major part of life and Planned Parenthood is here to help to the best of its ability. The clinic can be found at 302 E. Stoughton St., Champaign, IL.