11 July 2017

5 Tips to Avoiding Illness When Starting a New Relationship

#1 -- Personal Hygiene

Keeping your hands clean is one of the easiest and most important ways to avoid getting sick at the beginning of a new relationship (and anytime). Germs get on your hands from touching a variety of objects throughout the day including your computer, phone, doorknobs, and other people’s hands. Simply washing your hands on a regular basis can help prevent the spread of illness to yourself, your new partner, and everyone else around you.

#2 -- Get Enough Sleep 

The general rule of thumb is to get eight hours of sleep each night. Experts believe that lack of sleep or disrupted sleep can affect the immune system, leading to an increased risk for a multitude of illnesses. A new relationship can be exciting and lead to decreased sleep, but it is important to make sure you are getting as much sleep as you can. If you find you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, taking a cat nap during the day can help make up for your sleep deprivation. In order to not feel more tired than before your nap, though, you should limit your nap to 20-30 minutes.

#3 -- Annual Checkup

Having an annual checkup can help prevent any illnesses that could affect you and your new partner. Many adults don’t think that a yearly checkup is necessary, especially if they believe themselves to be healthy. However, it is possible to be living with a chronic illness that you are not aware of. If you are a sexually active woman, an annual exam with your gynecologist can be especially important to prevent, diagnose or treat sexually transmitted diseases.

#4 -- STD Testing

Having a conversation about your sexual health with your new partner is key to staying healthy when beginning a new relationship. However, not everyone with an STD knows they are infected. An STD is an infection that is spread during sexual contact and, in general, are highly preventable. While the only guaranteed way to prevent STDs is to abstain from all sexual contact, but that is not a practical choice for many people. Therefore, it is extremely important to be  checked for STDs if you are sexually active and before you engage in sexual contact with a new partner, for both of your health. More information can be found through STD Aware.

#5 -- Get Vaccinated

Many diseases that can be passed between you and your new partner can be prevented by vaccinations. For example, getting the flu vaccine each year can help prevent the flu for yourself and those around you. Another good example that is important if you are in a new relationship is the HPV vaccine. HPV is a virus that is transmitted through sexual contact. Most HPV infections resolve by themselves within 2 years, but sometimes they last longer. While also preventing the spread of this STD, the HPV vaccine can also prevent cervical cancer. In fact, every year HPV causes over 30,000 cases of cancer in both men and women, but an HPV vaccine can prevent about 28,000 of these cases.