Societal expectations, social media, and general misinformation can cause women to be confused about their own bodies and reproductive health. When social media promotes sex without accurate information, contraceptives may be forgotten or misused. And the frequency, duration, and logistics of intimacy that are considered “normal” can be skewed from reality.
It’s important to be able to discern the difference between accurate information and fabricated truth. And that often begins with education. When women know how their bodies work, it empowers them to make the best decisions for their sexual health. This article goes over four reproductive health facts every woman should know.
1. There Are Multiple Types of Birth Control Available
People often call birth control “the pill,” as if the two terms are interchangeable. While a pill is the most popular form of contraception, there are also other forms available. This is important to know if you have a difficult time swallowing pills or simply prefer a different contraception type.
Additional types of birth control include the shot, patch, and birth control ring. Each of these methods has its own unique features and directions for use. Before selecting any form of contraception, be sure to review the benefits and drawbacks of each. No matter what type you choose, you must use it as directed to get the most reliable results.
Those who think the pill is their only option may also believe the only way to get a prescription is through a doctor. However, this is no longer true. Nowadays, it’s easy to get online birth control without stepping foot into a doctor’s office. You can simply fill out an intake form online and a healthcare provider will provide a prescription, if deemed appropriate. The entire process is quick and convenient, so you can get back to your life as soon as possible.
2. It’s Normal to Experience Periods of Low Libido
It’s time to ditch the fallacy that women should be ready to jump into the sack at all times. The idea that women should be physically and emotionally ready for sex 24/7 is exceptionally unrealistic. While there may be some ladies whose sexual engines are revving around the clock, most experience periods of low libido. This is normal and nothing to be alarmed or ashamed about.
Every month, the female menstrual cycle causes hormonal ebbs and flows that can impact libido. Naturally, these fluctuating hormones cause variations in sexual desire and can also cause changes in your physical comfort levels. Many women have certain times during their cycles when they’re ready for action and other times when they’d rather not.
For most women, the desire for sexual intimacy tends to rise around the time of ovulation. This typically occurs approximately two weeks before menstruation. After ovulation, both estrogen and progesterone levels start to decline in preparation for menstruation. When this happens, women are less likely to feel sexual arousal. If you’ve noticed this type of ebb-and-flow libido pattern in your life, know that you’re perfectly normal.
3. Sexual Intimacy is Not Just Physical
Contrary to popular belief, sexual intimacy is not just a physical thing. It’s also highly emotional no matter how many times you may tell yourself it’s just “casual.” Sharing your body with someone else can make you feel very vulnerable. When you know you can trust the other person, it becomes easier to enjoy sex both physically and emotionally.
If you feel unfulfilled after having sex, it doesn’t necessarily mean your partner doesn’t care. It could be that your partner simply doesn’t understand your intimacy needs. Think about what you could do to communicate your desires to your partner without being accusatory or critical. Ideally, your partner will respond by taking conscious steps to ensure they’re meeting your sexual needs.
When you and your partner focus on meeting each other’s intimate physical and emotional needs, you’ll both feel more satisfied. Keep in mind that intimacy doesn’t always have to lead to an orgasm. You can also build emotional intimacy by kissing, touching, and developing emotional trust.
4. There’s No Universal Answer to How Often You Should Have Sex
If you think there’s a set amount for how often you should have sex, you’re in good company. Many people believe there’s a specific frequency they should have sexual intercourse, whether that’s every day, week, or month. Thankfully, this simply isn’t true. Every person and every couple is different and has different sexual needs.
When you put too much pressure on yourself to perform a certain way sexually, you’re more likely to dislike sex. So, here’s a simple way to know if you’re getting enough sex. Do you and your partner both feel happy and intimate? If so, you’re probably just fine and don’t need to increase or decrease your sexual encounters.
But if either you or your partner are dissatisfied with your sexual relationship, it’s time to reevaluate what’s going on. It’s possible to tip the scales either way — with too much sex or too little. The best thing you can do is talk about each other’s needs and expectations in a loving and nonjudgmental way. If you communicate regularly, you should be able to figure out how often you need sex to keep your relationship strong.
Sex and emotional intimacy are important aspects of life that can bring satisfaction and fulfillment. Review the facts above to ensure you’re meeting your reproductive health needs and setting realistic expectations for yourself and your partner.