Sexual Health is a topic that may seem taboo to some, however it is super important to your health. We’ve interviewed Deakin nurse, Katrina Molloy, who works at the Deakin Waurn Ponds Medical Centre, and asked her for some advice when it comes to addressing your sexual health.
Why is sexual health an important part of self-care?
Sexual health is important and contributes greatly to our overall health. Most sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) have no symptoms and that’s why regular check-ups are encouraged as self-care.
What is some important information for people who are engaging in sexual activities?
If you are sexually active that is great! It is healthy and normal between two consenting adults. You may want to discuss types of contraception, STI test results, symptoms, or ask for further education; (there are still myths out there!).
How do you reach out to doctors/medical professionals? How do you suggest starting the conversation?
Please make a booking with a doctor or nurse. You do not need to state what the booking is for, and this can be done online or over the phone. While it can be embarrassing for some, you can just ask for an STI check-up. The doctor may have some further questions about the timing of your last sexual encounter, if you are using contraception, and if you have any symptoms. There is no judgement, and Deakin medical staff ask all young people who are sexually active to go in for a yearly STI check.
How do we maintain and create boundaries when experimenting sexually?
Boundaries are very important when experimenting with sex. Knowing what you and your partner are comfortable with during this time of experimentation will make it a more enjoyable experience. Enthusiastic consent is a must!
What are some stigmas around getting STI checks and the truth?
Some people are scared about the negative responses they may receive when asking for a STI check, they may also be scared about the result. The truth is that there is no judgment from our male/female GP’s and nurses. We want to do what is best for you and your health.
How do you talk to your partner when you have received a bad outcome on an STI check?
You can speak to them directly, or if this is difficult there are anonymous text services to notify partners such as Let Them Know.
What services offered are at Deakin? How can I book an appointment?
There are medical centres located on all four Deakin campuses and you can book an online appointment or call 03 9244 5577. You can either see a male or female doctor or a nurse. It is a free service for all students including international students. Services offered can be contraception, STI testing, discussion of healthy relationships, mental health and general health and wellbeing.