Taking care of your sexual health means more than being free from sexually transmissible infections (STIs) or not having to face an unplanned pregnancy. It means taking responsibility for your body, your health, your partner’s health and your decisions about sex.
Your body's changing:
When you become a teenager, your body changes and develops towards sexual maturity (basically, you go from being a child to an adult). This is called "puberty". There are visible changes to your body as well as changes inside. Girls start having periods every month and their breasts grow. For guys, erections become much more frequent and unused sperm is released in semen during a "wet dream" (usually at night during sleep). Being aware about these changes to your body and knowing they are a normal part of puberty is important.
Being safe with Sex:
Being safe with sex means caring for both your own health, and the health of your partner. This means being able to talk freely with your partner, both being ready for sex and agreeing on the use of condoms and a suitable type of contraception. Being safe protects you from getting or passing on sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and an unplanned pregnancy. You will enjoy good sexual health if you take care of your genitals (parts of your body that are involved in sex) and avoid any risky behaviour.
Talking about issues related to sex is also important for your mental health and wellbeing. You should feel comfortable talking to your partner and medical professional about anything you are concerned about. Good mental health helps you to enjoy life, enjoy your relationships and enjoy sex.