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sexual health

We hear quite a lot about the cervical cancer vaccine, and the pros and cons surrounding it.

However, we tend not to hear a whole lot about what EXACTLY the injection protects women against – the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 

Here at SHEmazing, we want to make sure that all you fine females are well and truly 'in-the-know,' so we decided to research the virus. 

So, what exactly is HPV?

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According to The Irish Cancer Society, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) represents a family of very 'common viruses that are passed on during sex'.

Apparently, most people will get HPV infection in their lifetime and it usually clears up by itself. If you smoke, it can prevent the infection from clearing up. Some forms of the virus can also cause genital warts.

It is absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of, especially when you consider almost 75% of women will have HPV at some stage in tehir life. 

The main concern is that certain strains of HPV can ultimately turn cancerous, which is why those regular smear tests are so damn important. 

I KNOW, they're uncomfortable, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right? 

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Anyway, how exactly is HPV spread, I hear you ask? (use your imagination here.)

Basically, HPV can be transmitted during sexual intercourse or intimate skin to skin contact with an infected person, says the HSE.

'Transmission from mother to baby can also occur immediately before or after birth.'

Next question: what treatment is required?

In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer (as previously mentioned)

In relation to avoiding HPV, it can be tricky – however, the HPV vaccine can protect you against certain strains of the virus. 

If you're sexually active, use condoms and you will lower your chances of getting HPV. However, HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom – so condoms may not fully protect against getting HPV. 

The most important thing is to go for regular smears, the doctor will keep an eye on the rest. 

Easy peasy! 

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If you've ever got freaky in the sheets and accidentally took an elbow to the eye – don't fear, you're not alone.

Though it can absolutely murder the mood and you're left completely mortified, amorous accidents and mishaps are more common than you think. 

So you can stop blushing as 99 percent of participates in a recent Superdrug Online Doctor survey said during sexy sessions, they've experienced some sort of misery in this department.

It may not surprise you that the most common form of misfortune was bumping heads with one's partner – I'll go get the ice.

Out of the 800 people quizzed, 45 percent of men and women said they've taken a tumble out of the bed mid-session – although this could be down to overenthusiasm – take it easy lads. 

Onto some of the weird and wonderful ones, almost 12 percent of women and 8 percent of men accidentally vomited during sex – delightful.

Whilst 13 percents of both sexes reported wetting themselves when getting it on – if this does happen, make sure your mum isn't the one washing the sheets.

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Although it can end in tears or laughter – it seems we aren't too proud of ourselves when it comes to coughing up the truth to our doc.

The survey found that we will lie and create all kinds of tales to avoid telling the doctor that we injured ourselves getting the ride.

But how are we sustaining these accidents? Turns out we are uncoordinated messes – well almost half of us are.

Almost half of women who were surveyed said it was down to their lack of coordination, while 35.5 percent of men blamed the same problem. 

Lack of flexibility came in as second, with a quarter of women saying it was a reason for really awkward sex – so stop trying to push our legs over our head, thanks. 

For men, nearly 20 percent of them said lack of stamina and endurance was the culprit for the cricket silence. 

So do we learn from our mistakes and does awkward sex make us more cautious for future lovemaking marathons? – Yes, my friends, they do. 

29 percent said they avoided 69 standing up position like the plague after a previous failed attempt.

Others were less athletic, but they all shared something in common – penetration from behind.

Doggy style, reverse cowgirl, and the kneeling wheelbarrow each made the top five on the list of banished positions. 

Moving to those sexy locations, while it seems steamy in the movies, if you've ever attempted this in the real world – you know the results are far from the Hollywood glam.

Cue the awkward moments, positions and generally just being uncomfortable AF. 

So it comes as no surprise that 27 percent who got their wings in the mile-high club said they wouldn't repeat the experience – have you seen the size of those loos? Just no.

No one wants to see their neighbours going at it – no matter how hot you think you are and a quarter of people thankfully said they wouldn't get it on in a public patio or back garden again. 

Additionally, cemeteries made the list of awkward locations to avoid, as well as the ocean and the shower.

We don't have a solution to eliminate those "I wish the ground would open and swallow me whole" situations.

But I hope you can relate to these saucy encounters to realise that awkwardness is all apart of life – including sex. 

Let's hope the next time you can get laugh it off and get back at it.

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After two years of looking at the same face, it's fair to say some elements of the relationship aren't so exciting anymore.

The honeymoon period is firmly over, and he's seen you more often than not, with a top bun and his trackies on. 

However, it seems it's the little things that stand the test of time and go a long way in making our partnerships successful.

Superdrug surveyed 900 Europeans and Americans to find out precisely what small gestures we value the most from our relationships as time moves on. 

In a list of the top ten small things you value most, both men and women rated the most important gesture to be their partner laughing at their jokes. 

They say laughter is good medicine but remember: what's seldom is wonderful – (try chucking along to his fourth bad joke in a row – it's exhausting).

For women, the second spot was taken by when he 'smiles at me often or randomly' – ugh – SWOON.

However, for men 'buys me food I like' nabbed second place – remember ladies and gents, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!

The list also included gestures like 'makes me meals', 'buys me gifts' and remembering personal details about their life.

Getting down to the saucy bit, the participates were asked what were the small things that got them in the mood. – Spoiler alert: it's not picking your dirty socks off the floor.

But next time you want to arouse your partner, tell them that they're sexy or attractive, as both men and women rated this as their number one turn on.

In fact, the survey found that over 31 percent of men and 36.7 percent of women remarked that getting a compliment from their partner calling them “sexy” or “attractive” put them on a fast track to sticking on some Barry White.

Second place for women is when her partner 'buys her experiences', whereas men choose completely differently, with 'gives me a towel when I'm fresh out of a shower'…okay then, lads. I guess it's the little things that count.

Now here is when things get VERY interesting.

Those who took part answered questions about the importance of little things by the length of the relationship.

Say goodbye to buying your boyfriend a burrito, micro-attractions in a relationship, such as buying your partner's favourite foods died a death around the five to 10 years mark into the relationship.

However, remembering to buy your significant other a birthday pressie is a way to earn brownie points, long-term.

'Smiling at them often and randomly' was also a very popular gesture as the years went by.

And surprising your partner with gifts after 10 years together is the way to go.

Keeping things spicy in the bedroom can be a challenge as the years turn into decades.

Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that your sex life will be non-existent, it just changes with time – like a fine wine.

Offers of slipping into something sexy, walking around in the nip and telling your other half what a sexy beast he is, takes a serious decline after 10 years together.

However, never underestimate simplicity.  

Handing them a towel after a shower, flashing an ole smile at them and giving them a pet name meant more to a loved-up person.

In fact, individuals in the five to the 10-year range found smiling to be the least important on the timeline, but a whopping 22.6 percent of longer-term partners felt receiving a smile randomly or often was a huge factor in arousal. 

The real conclusion of this survey is to invest in good dental hygiene so you can keep smiling away to your partner for many years to come…(joking).

No, but really, small things can go far when it comes to the ones we love.

This survey proves that less is more and it might be the things you do daily, that your partner appreciates the most.

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When it comes to sexual/ reproductive health issues, the more information you can provide your doctor with, the better.

Sure, nobody wants to delve into their sexual history or describe the ins and outs of their heavy flow to a complete stranger, but it's got to be done and luckily, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

According to Dr Sara Kayat from netdoctor.co.uk, there are seven things every woman needs to know about their sexual health.

Know your cycle

How long does your period last? Is it regular? How much do you bleed? What about spotting?

If you ever talk to a GP about changes in your menstrual cycle, you better be prepared to answer all of the above and more.

Contraceptives aren't always plain sailing

The pill is not one-size-fits-all, in fact, it can take some women years to find the method of contraception that suits them.

Be sure to monitor any undesired side-effects, such as mood swings or headaches so that your GP can advise you on the best alternative.

Delayed periods can be normal

It can take several months for your periods to return to normal after stopping contraception.

According to Dr Sara, it will take most women between one and three months to start producing enough hormones to get back to their normal rhythm.

Be honest about your sexual history

There is no room for white lies when it comes to the diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections.

Not only is transparency vital in order to assess the potential risk of infection, but it will also help clear the problem up as soon and possible, meaning the risk of passing it on to a sexual partner will be greatly reduced.

Red flags shouldn't be ignored

Dr Sara explains how there are certain symptoms or reproductive health issues that should be closely monitored. 

These include bleeding in between periods, bleeding after sex, deep pain on having sex, unexpected weight loss, unexplained change in discharge, and pelvic pain.

Listen to your biological clock

Sure, if you're under the age of 35 you probably haven't given much thought to the fact that you are only born with a certain amount of eggs.

However, it if you do happen to be struggling to get pregnant after a year of trying, Dr Sara recommends visiting your doctor to investigate further.

Get to know your vagina

A change in the smell or texture of discharge could indicate the presence of thrush or bacterial vaginosis.

While there are many over the counter remedies for conditions like these, there's no harm in consulting a doctor if the problem persists.

 

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At our age, we are poorly attempting to juggle a career, a social life and self-care.

Honestly, it can be exhausting.

So it's little surprise that when it comes to getting our freak-on – we would rather watch Netflix without the chill.

It seems that our perception of this is skewed, according to this research.

The BBC asked people in Britain and US how much sex they think people between the ages of 18-29 were having.

The results were in and to be honest, we are kinda shook – they're wild.

The average guess were that young men in both countries were getting down and dirty 14 times in a month.

Sorry lads – but it couldn't be further from the truth – it was actually just five times in Britain and four in the US, says surveys on sexual behaviour.

But wait, it gets better.

It's our turn ladies and supposedly Brits think we are getting our bit 22 times a month, while Americans think it is 23 times. 

Now, let's crunch the numbers properly.

This means we would be having sex EVERY weekday.

PLUS, doubling or tripling up on special occasions.

Immediately, our first thought is how on earth do we find the time? 

I call it a success when I manage to get three square meals in, never mind trying to squeeze a daily sexy session in.

Here is where I will burst the bubble, in reality women our age are having sex five times in four weeks. – That sounds a tad more accurate.

But, why are the misconceptions around how much sex we are having, so big?

Well, people white lie for various reasons around their sex life.

Judgement remains high and societal norms surrounding gender and sex are prominent. 

This was evident when in the same survey the BBC asked three different nations how many sexual partners they had notched up, by the time they reached the ages 45 to 54. 

Guesses for males were scarily accurate, in Britain and Australia the average was 17, and in the US, 19. – Most participates guessed these correctly.

However, when it came to questions around sexual behaviour in female and males – eyebrows were raised and perhaps lies were told.

Women reported much lower sexual experiences than their male counterparts, even saying that they've had half of the sexual partners in comparison to men.

However, there's a problem statistically – the amount of sexual partners for both genders should somewhat match.

Since both men and women are saying they're having sexual relations and they make up roughly the same amount of the heterosexual population – it would be impossible for women to have half the partners of men.

But time and time again, this is a common finding in surveys, amongst our friends and depending on the circumstance – some of us have even tweaked our number. 

This survey goes to show that perception has a seriously powerful influence on society.

Our age group probably needs to get laid a little bit more.

And gals – you aren't defined by a number so own your experiences and don't be shy about your sexual partners.

And if you're friends are bragging about the amount of sex they're having – you can presume that they're fibbing. 

 

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We finally have an excuse – not that we need one – to unleash our emotional mess on our other halves, as it turns out – he LOVES it. 

Blessed are those couple of months that your partner hasn't discovered your inner crazy yet.

But embrace the mood swings as he may dig it, particularly between the sheets.

According to a German study, men prefer getting frisky with women who are emotionally unstable.

A possible explanation for this? An image of a knight on the white horse coming to save the day, springs to mind.

On the other hand, us gals enjoy men who won’t give us our own way. (Sounds about accurate, and a plausible reason for why we fall for f*ck boys…)

Additionally, attention to detail is a big turn on for us ladies, according to the findings of this study.

Lead researcher Julia Velten and her team investigated volunteer’s sex lives, sexual function and their personality.

Research into personality traits and sex is an area that has been neglected, according to the experts.

A thousand people took part in the sexy survey.

The team concluded that "men whose partners had less emotional stability reported better sexual function."

Meanwhile "lower agreeableness of a sexual partner was predictive of better sexual function in women".

The study was published in the Journal Of Sex Research, and the average age of the volunteers were 51, with the majority being in their current relationships for 24 years. – so they know a thing or two about a lifetime of sex.

For the women, topics of sexual desire, arousal, satisfaction and orgasm were examined.

For our male counterparts, it was erectile function, satisfaction, orgasm and desire.

Their findings revealed that men enjoyed sex more with a partner who had similar traits, in particular being easily stimulated.

"In men who are easily aroused by erotic fantasies or visual stimuli, having a partner who responds in a similar way may facilitate sexual function," the researchers explained.

An attentive man is one to keep around, as sex tends to be better with them.

The team said: "men who are thorough and dutiful may feel the need to satisfy their partner sexually, which may in turn lead to better sexual function of their partners".

The German scientists also put to the bed the misconception that being in a long-term relationship means you’re not gonna get your bit.

"This finding implies that a healthy sexual life is possible even in long relationships," the researchers said.

And, remember – consensual, safe sexy time is always the best. 

Happy humping!

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If this study is anything to go by, we seriously need to have a long, hard look at the issue of consent in Ireland.

Shockingly, an NUI Galway study found that the majority of third-level students do not think 28 standard drinks makes a person too intoxicated to give sexual consent. 

The researchers gave 753 online participates two different scenarios which involved drink and being able to give consent to do the deed. 

So here's how the survey worked:

The online respondents were given the same story of two students of Neil and Carol.

They go home together after a night out on the town to celebrate exam results.

However, those who completed the survey were split into two groups: one was given a "moderate" drinking level and the other was a "heavy" drinking consumption.

For clarity's sake as our opinion will majorly vary on what "moderate" and "heavy" consumption of alcohol is –  we will called in the experts.

Drinkaware.ie states that 28 standard units adds up to around 12 pints of beer at four percent alcohol or 700ml of spirits at 40 percent.

Carol and Neil's story starts off with them bumping into each other at a night club where they're both celebrating exam results from their college course.

"By midnight Neil had had the equivalent of about 5 (10) pints of beer, when he bumped into Carol, also 21, who is in one of his classes at college. She had also been out celebrating with her friends since the early afternoon.

“She had been drinking vodka (the equivalent of 4 pints (8 pints) of beer altogether). They started talking at the bar. Neil bought Carol a drink."

It continues with Neil knowing that Carol lives in the same student accommodation, so offers to share a taxi with Carol at the end of the night.

In the club, things begin to heat-up between the pair.

"Neil started kissing Carol and touching her. She moved his hands lower on her body."

The story finished with: “They took a break and had one more drink (three rounds of drinks) before the nightclub ended. In the taxi on the way home at 3 am Carol closed her eyes and dozed off for a few minutes. When they got to Carol’s apartment, Neil woke Carol up and they went into his flat. He made her tea and put on some music. They were having a good time laughing and joking together.

“He took out a bottle of whiskey and they each had one shot (a few generous shots). Both at this stage were a bit unsteady (and slurring their words), they talked for another while and shared a bottle of Coke (Neil spilled the tea all over the table and Carol nearly fell off her chair getting up to go to the bathroom). Then they went to his couch and started kissing again.

“Soon they had each removed their clothes. Through his actions, Neil made it clear he wanted to have sex with Carol. She asked him to put on a condom first. He did so and they had sex,” it concluded.

The results have somewhat floored us.

Twenty percent of respondents in the moderate drinking group "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that Carol was too drunk to give her consent to sex, while 14 percent thought Neil was too drunk to give his.

In comparison, to the heavy drinking participates, 33 percent thought Carol was too drunk and 30 percent thought Neil was too.

Furthermore, in their evaluation of the results, the report said: “Even when 28 standard drinks were consumed, 67 percent of students did not agree that Carol was too drunk to give consent, and 70 percent of students did not see Neil as unable to give consent.”

The study also highlighted that student's opinions, more often than not, didn't differentiate between "moderate" and "heavy" in alcohol intake, despite the stories varying. 

"These findings suggest that it is urgent to achieve enhanced awareness among young adults in college of the impact of drinking on the capacity to give consent," said the report.

Dr Pádraig MacNeela at NUI Galway said in relation to the results:

“The survey findings show that the social environment in which consent takes place among college students is often unsupportive – most women experience harassment, a large majority of all students are dissatisfied with their sexual health education at school, and social norms for drinking minimise the true impact of alcohol on the capacity to give consent.”

The study was conducted as part of a SMART consent research report which is run in NUI Galway

If you want more information surrounding the work they do and consent, please click here.

The report was published on Tuesday by Minister of State for Education and Skills, Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

Sexual consent has been a hot topic in Ireland over the last year and this study has given us a lot to mull over.

It's crucial that you arm yourself with the right information surrounding what is consensual and what isn't.

Remember: Safe, protected and consensual sex is always the sexiest. 

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It's time to double check your johnnies.

A recall for two types of Durex condoms, Durex Real Feel – Latex-Free and Durex Latex Free Polyisoprene has been issued by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

It comes after fears arose over the affected condoms potentially bursting as they come closer to the end of their shelf life. 

If you have purchased "Durex Real Feel – Latex-Free" and "Durex Latex Free Polyisoprene" condoms, please check their batch number to see if they are amongst the recall.

The batch number for the Latex Free are as follows: Durex Latex Free 12-Pack – Sku number 3014272: Batch numbers 1000444367 – expiry February 2021 and 1000433145 expires January – 2021.

As for Durex Real Feel 12-Pack: the Sku number is 3014277 –  Batch numbers 1000419930 January 2021, 1000444367 February 2021 and 1000416206 December 2020.

The HPRA is urging consumers to check the date at the bottom of the outer packaging and the brand.

You should also check the foil wrapping to see if they are amongst the recall batch.

If you are in possession of the condoms with the brands/batch numbers, the authorities have advised people to “immediately discontinue the use of the affected product” and return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund.

The regulatory authority has cautioned that six and 18 pack boxes of the Real Feel condoms on sale in the UK could be on Irish shelves. 

The HPRA is “requesting consumers to also check the below list of batch numbers. Although the HPRA have received no confirmation to date that the following batch numbers are on the Irish market, we strongly believe these products may have reached the Irish market,” its statement warned.

The batch numbers for the UK products are Durex Real Feel six pack: 1000438054, Durex Real Feel 12 Pack: 1000444370, 1000474804. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack: 1000434066, 1000430479 and Durex Real Feel 18 Pack (RF Tag): 1000430479

Safe sex is sexy!

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Your sexual health is more important than ever, as latest figures show an increase in sexually transmitted infections.

In response to the concerning rise, HIV Ireland, in collaboration with Durex is launching its Just Carry One initiative.

Be prepared to see half of our beloved Dublin Buses transformed into hubs of information reminding us to practise safe sex.

If you aren’t already, it’s time to buckle down and get serious about safe sex as 10 people in Ireland are diagnosed with HIV every week.

Furthermore, 2017 saw a 10 percent increase in STI notifications compared to 2016 in Ireland.

Chlamydia cases climbed by 7.6 percent and gonorrhoea grew by 15.6 percent.  

Reports of genital herpes also rose by 14.2 percent.

The age group which have the highest rate of STIs are people aged 15 to 24 years of age.

According to research, they account for half of the chlamydia diagnoses, 39 percent of gonorrhoea cases, and 38 percent of genital herpes cases.

Additionally, Durex found 68 percent of Irish people in the 18-24 age group have never had an STI check.

Another one in 10 have experienced an STI scare.

The campaign will be running from June 22 to July 6 and will promote the use of condoms EVERY time you have sex.

You can avail of a free packet of condoms when you pop into HIV Ireland’s offices.

Condoms are the ONLY form of contraceptive to protect against STIs, including HIV.

If you fancy a chance at winning a special Durex goodie bag on HIV Ireland’s social medias, just answer the question – ‘How do you carry yours?’

Remember there is nothing sexier than safe, consensual sex.

If you’re concerned about your sexual health, talk to your GP and organise an STI check.

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Worrying new research has shown that Irish people have a seriously laid-back attitude when it comes to sexual health.

A new study conducted by Durex as part of its 'Wrap Up' campaign found that some 49 per cent of Irish people have had sex without protection against STIs, while just 27 per cent of us are making a conscious effort to prevent the transmission.

The research comes at a time when the HSE reports a rise of Chlamydia, Herpes and Gonorrhea amongst youths year on year, with the later having  increased by over 50 per cent between 2015 and 2016 alone.

Despite well over two-thirds of 18-24 year olds saying they feel confident in their knowledge of how to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, Durex's recent findings suggest that just 27 per cent use any form of contraception against STIs at all.

So, why do we decide to takes risks when it comes to sexual health?

Here's the top three reasons cited by respondents.

1. “Confidence the other person is not carrying an STI” (35 per cent)

2. “The thought simply didn’t cross my mind” (23 per cent)

3. “Taken over by the heat of the moment” (35 per cent)

Reports show that  20–29-year-olds are most likely sufferer from an STIs, with The Health Protection Surveillance Center’s (HPSC) latest findings (October 2017) showing  the age group account for over half (58 per cemt) of diagnoses. 

What's more, Durex's findings also found that just one in six Irish women have ever purchased condoms – and of those who do to use them, only 37 per cent admit to using them every time they have sex. 

Speaking about the recent findings, Dr. Jack Lambert, Consultant in Infectious Disease and Genitourinary Medicine at The Mater Hospital, commented: “The rise in sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Herpes in the past 12 months is a clear reflection of young people’s casual attitude to preventing the spread of STIs. Youths are incredibly liberal in terms of behaviour but the same approach is not taken in terms of carrying out regular STI checks."

"The surge in recordings of STIs year on year reflects several behavioural changes, with no two cases being the same. However, what can be taken from the recent findings is a need for further education on the matter and an open conversation when it comes to safe sex, not only with regards to preventing pregnancy but also STIs.”

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When it comes to sex, we all know there's a first time for everything, and that includes a visit to the sexual health clinic.

But before we go any further and delve into the details of your debut appointment, it's important to remember that there is not a single thing you can present to a healthcare professional that they won't have seen before.

And now that that's out of the way, it's time to focus on the practicalities of your visit.

The wait

Look, no one exactly relishes the prospect of prolonged stay in a crowded waiting room.

And when that waiting room is littered with pamphlets that are enough to make your imagination run wild, the waiting game is made all the more agonising.

So, in order to make your first visit as stress-free as possible, be sure to research your chosen clinic, and establish whether they provide appointment slots or operate on a walk-in basis.

Upon arriving, you'll generally be presented with a form which you'll fill out and return to reception. Providing the correct details is vital in order to receive your results, so this is not the time to go incognito.

Sexual History

Once the wait is over, you'll be brought to a private room where you will meet your healthcare professional who will do their utmost to put you at ease.

The slot will generally begin with a chat about your sexual history. And again, this is not the time to get coy.

Be honest, be candid and be prepared to answer questions that may make you squirm, but don't, above anything else, be embarrassed.

You are taking responsibility for your health, and there's not a single person in that clinic who will have anything but respect for you.

Physical check-up

And now comes the moment to hop aboard the examination table.

Your practitioner will talk you through everything they need to do, and explain the process as they go. You can expect to have your genital area checked for rashes or lesions, a smear test  conducted depending on your age, and a swab of your throat, vagina and anus depending on your sexual history.

Your practitioner will ensure the examination is as brief and comfortable as possible. And yes, you can be examined while on your period, but if you'd rather wait that's totally up to you.

In addition to this, you may be required to give a blood and urine sample so the practitioner can test for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis

Results

Following your examination, your practitioner will talk you through the clinic's follow-up procedure, and explain how soon you can expect the results of your visit.

Some results can be provided on the day and if you have tested positive for a particular infection, you'll be prescribed medication and given a thorough overview of the treatment required.

This post-examination period is your opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding your visit or your sexual practice.

Whether you're unclear of symptoms to look out for, unsure of the reason for a particular test or need clarification on the results procedure, do not bite your tongue, but instead speak up and ensure you leave your appointment with a clear idea of what just took place and what to expect in the future.

And once it's over? Go treat yo'self for prioritising your health and taking responsibility for your welfare.
 

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A lot of information is thrown our way these days, and when it comes to our sexual health, it can be difficult to make decisions.

What birth control is right for me? Should I switch my pill? Is skipping my period actually safe? 

These questions all run through our minds every now and again, but a lot of the time, they go unanswered.

Whether you have a fear of doctors or life just gets in the way, these decisions are difficult to make with little or no guidance, and that's where this app comes in.

 

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The new iPhone app, Tia, aims to be your personal assistant when it comes to your sexual health.

According to Refinery29, Tia is "for millennial women by millennial women, and run both by a bot and by human sexual health educators."

You can privately ask a question about birth control or sexual health, and if the bot knows the answer, it will shoot it right back at you.

However, if the app doesn't know any information or doesn't understand the question, then it will be sent over to a "wing woman," or in other words, one of its sexual health experts.

Wing women are online everyday between the hours of 8am and 11pm, so you'll always have someone there.

As well as being a source of sexual health information, the app also reminds you to take your pill and can track your menstrual cycle.

"She’s your go-to for all those 'ugh!' 'oops' and 'huh?' moments," according to a source in Refinery29.

While this app seems like a total Godsend, we understand that some women might be a little wary depending on an app to give them solid information.

 

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Tia was developed with the help of two doctors – Aparna Sridhar, MD/MPH, a practicing ob-gyn and Sally Rafie, PharmD, a pharmacist specialist and they were the key to developing the app's algorithm.

In saying that though, if you do want to make any changes, small or drastic, it's always better to sit down with your doctor face-to-face to see which course of action is right for you.

But as for Tia, we'll be using this as a guideline for our everyday 'oops!' moments.

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