How Will A Sexually Transmitted Disease Effect You?

images-4Sexual relationships are tricky, no matter what your situation. It can be a delicate balancing act of physical attraction and emotional interest in your partner. But what if your partner has a sexually transmitted disease? Would you still sleep with them? Would you be concerned about becoming infected yourself? How does it change the dynamic of your sexual relationship with this person? Having an active sex life while having a sexually transmitted disease can be a hot button issue between sexual partners, but how should it be handled?

Having an STD can drastically change your sex life. There is a large amount of shame that comes from having a sexually transmitted disease. Shame in the fact you have a disease and shame that you could pass it on to others and drastically change their lives. Society puts a label on those that have an STD, one that defines them as unclean, promiscuous, unprepared, and undesirable. The truth of the matter is that some people contract STDs from those that they love and trust. Yes, your chances for contracting an STD go up with the number of partners you have, but there are many people who have slept with very few people and contracted an STD from a long term partner. The tried and true “don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies here just as it does to other situations. It may be disheartening to many people that you have something you could pass on to them. The risk for transmission can be very high for diseases, even higher when you engage in unprotected sex. Unsuspecting partners are much less likely to protect themselves, than those who know they are sleeping with someone who has an STD. It is extremely difficult to tell someone that you are interested in that you have a disease of this nature, but there are responsibilities on both sides of the table.images-2 (1)

For the person that is living with the disease, responsibility is important. Owning up to the fact that you are infected is so important. You have a responsibility to inform your partners and make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect them as well as yourself from contracting further infections and diseases. You are not your disease. It is important to remember that you have value and can contribute more than just sexually. You will be rejected by some people, and others will have questions. It is important that you prepare yourself for these situations by owning your disease and having responsible practices when it comes to sex.

For the person that is considering sleeping with someone with a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to remember that it is completely your choice. It is your choice to engage or not engage in sexual activity with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease, but you need to know the facts. The best way to protect yourself is to be informed. Know what you are getting into 110%. The internet may be a good resource but a medical professional is the best. Talking to someone first hand will allow you to ask the important questions. And don’t be afraid to ask your potential partner the questions that you have.

images (1)So where can you get support and information about sexually transmitted diseases? One place to start is your GP, gynecologist, or medical doctor. They will be able to provide you with the information that you will need or at least point you in the right direction of that information. There are also resources in the community that can assist you with your sexual health. In Toronto, there is the Bay Centre for Birth Control. It is centered around women’s health and can help you with examinations, information, counselling, and referrals. (Links provided below)

Having a sexually transmitted disease does not have to stop your sex life. As long as you are responsible and respectful, there are many options for those wishing to have intercourse with someone who is/isn’t infected. There are many couples that have successful and fulfilling relationships when one or both partners is infected. It is important to remain hopeful and look towards total wellness; mind, body, and spirit.

Links:

http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/family-planning-fertility-care-sexual-health/bay-centre-for-birth-control460/

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=30865e67bbee0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=default

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Connecting the Mind, Body, and Soul: Meditation and Other Relaxation Techniques

Many times in life we experience times of high stress. It is often a combination of work, home, and personal turmoil that causes us to forget to take time out for ourselves. With busy schedules and not much personal time, it may be hard to relax and forget about stressful situations. There are many different techniques you can try to clear your mind and to truly relax.

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Focusing on breathing is a great way to set your worries aside and distract your mind. By focusing on your deep inhale and refreshing exhale, you are allowing your mind to drift into a state in which you are only conscious of your breath. An example of this is:

Inhale deeply through your mouth. Count 1…2…3… Exhale completely through your nose. Focus solely on your breathing. Let all of your thoughts outside breathing drift away.

Another great technique is meditation. Focusing on breathing and clearing your mind are important parts of meditation. Eventually letting even the thoughts of breathing drift from your mind is the goal of meditation. It is used to create a sense of clarity and it takes great focus and practice.

Some find yoga to be relaxing. A combination of both exercise and focus, yoga stretches not only your body but your mind as well. The more advanced yoga positions can take years and much practice to get right to make them effective.shutterstock_60220876

Making time for yourself is essential. Not taking time out to do the things that you enjoy will leave you feeling burnt out. A great way to relax is having a hobby or something that you like to do by yourself. Painting, fixing/building things, or even going for walks are things that can be enjoyed and not too mentally taxing. The point of relaxing is to focus on yourself and recharging your batteries.shutterstock_6374107

Doing things for yourself is also essential. Maybe having a little extra splurge on an outfit, or buying that DVD you were really looking forward to can be a nice treat for yourself every once in a while.

We all have busy lives. The constant running around and changing schedule can wear deeply on a person. This wear comes in many forms; fatigue, depression, irritability, etc. Others will feed off of that energy and interact with you accordingly. Taking time out for yourself will not only improve your mood, but also improve the mood of people that surround you.