1. Annual Exams-
I’m sure you’re thinking… “Why go to the doctor if I’m not sick?” But in fact, studies have shown that by being proactive about your heath, & getting regular annual check-ups, you can actually keep yourself healthier, by preventing disease. For example, getting your blood pressure checked at your annual exam can give you a heads up, if there is a trend upward in your blood pressure. And by focusing on lifestyle changes such as diet & exercise, you can prevent the need for blood pressure lowering medication. 

2. Use condoms consistently-
Having a condom that works for you, ahead of time, can make sex more enjoyable & spontaneous, while protecting yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Bridgercare has many options to choose from, to find what works for you. And remember, water-based lubricant only… Any oil-based products break down condoms and make them in-effective.

3. Get tested/STI screening-
Bridgercare can assist you in getting tested for sexually transmitted infections, based on your personal history. Keep in mind, it can take between 2 and 12 weeks from your last sexual encounter, for certain tests to be accurate. So don’t hesitate to call prior to your appointment, if you have questions.

4. Contraception/Birth control Options-
There are SO many options to choose from, & we are here to help you navigate your options!  If you want to do some research ahead of time, check out www.bedsider.org.

5. Exercise-
As soon as people hear the “E” word, they often get the glazed over look on their face. But I recommend starting with an attainable goal. If it’s just getting outside for a walk once a week, start there! Also, variety is the spice of life, and can keep you from getting burnt out, from doing the same activity. Keeping your body moving will not only help your sexual health, but mental & physical health as well!

By Nikki Buck, Bridgercare Family Nurse Practitioner