Sexual Health and Decision-Making

Self-Care

A major part of your personal health and wellness is your sexual health, whether or not you choose to be sexually active at this time. Overall sexual health is a combination of your bodily health and your mental and emotional capacity to make healthy decisions regarding sexual activity, which is why sexual health is important for those that choose to be sexually active and those that do not. Being informed about sexual health issues and preparing yourself to make decisions about future possible sexual encounters is important for everyone.

While sex is a natural occurrence and will be part of most of our lives either in the future or at the present time, engaging in sexual encounters can be risky and dangerous to bodily and emotional health. The following are consequences of having unprotected, unsafe sex:

  • pregnancy,
  • STI transmission,
  • other illness transmission,
  • emotional disturbances,
  • struggles with body image and self-esteem,
  • and changes in your relationship with your partner.

Ways to avoid the negative physical and emotional consequences of sexual encounters are easily accessible to Auburn students. While taking these precautions might require planning ahead for future possible situations, the effort is well worth the end result of overall sexual health and wellness. Here are ways that college students can protect themselves:

  • choose abstinence,
  • do not make the decision to have sex while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug,
  • use male or female condoms to prevent the transmission of STIs and other diseases,
  • use contraception in the form of the birth control pill, patch, implant, shot, vaginal ring, or IUD available through medical consultation to prevent pregnancy,
  • ensure that you and your partner have good hygiene by washing hands, brushing teeth, and showering to prevent the spread of illness,
  • make sure that you are entering the encounter because you want to, not because you are being pressured, bribed, or convinced,
  • ask yourself whether or not you are emotionally ready for sexual activity,
  • if you choose to have sex, have sex with someone you trust.

Consult a physician at the AU Medical Clinic for further information and resources about sexual activity, and check out the list below that provides more information about safe sex.

Last Updated: 9/14/2011