University provides methods for maintaining sexual health

Rebekah Alvey

According to a study done by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases are found among 15 to 24-year-olds. This statistic, among many others, is why Juliana Pace, adjunct instructor and Graves-Gilbert Clinic employee, said it is important for students to make sexual health a part of their daily lives.

WKU offers several resources to students to better maintain an essential part of their overall well-being, one of which pertains to sexual health.

Pace said sexual health can sometimes be thought of as less important than other aspects of health. However, preventing issues related to your sexual health is essential to making life easier. She said that the human body functions as a well-oiled machine, and if one part is damaged the entire system is at risk.

Along with maintaining sexual health, Pace said you can stay energetic, thoughtful and hormonally-balanced.

The most important thing, Pace said, is prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and education. Through Topperwell, a campus health promotion program, she said there is thorough sexual education.

Also through TopperWell, Pace said, WKU received a grant involving prevention. The grant supplies TopperWell with free condoms available for students.

Another resource on campus is through the Graves-Gilbert Clinic Family Care Center. Pace said GCC will see patients for any form of sexual health problems in a private and confidential way. Some of these problems include sexually transmitted infections and STD testing, annual sexual health visits, pregnancy testing and HIV testing.

“It’s not something to be ashamed of,” Pace said. “It’s something to discuss with your practitioner with confidence that it will stay confidential.”

During a woman’s annual visit, practitioners will also discuss the different forms of birth control for women. Pace listed different forms that serve as estrogen receptor blockers that range in method and regularity of receiving the birth control.

Pace said one of the different forms recommended are oral birth control in the form of daily pills. Pace said this method is most effective when taken at the same time.

Birth control patches, Pace said, are worn on your arm and reapplied weekly. Pace said there are monthly options in the form of an intrauterine device, or IUD, which is implanted, and Depo-Provera, which are injections.

With the different methods, Pace said it is best to discuss with a health care provider to find which best fits an individual.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].