Your checklist for a summer of love
Be prepared for a return to dating and lovemaking: cover all your bases for great sex
You’ve got the vax. What else do you need to enjoy great (and safe) sex? Set yourself up for a summer of passion — and no regrets in the fall — with this checklist.
Protect yourself and your partners from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy. Use condoms when you have sex. The good news is they’re portable, fast and cheap.
2. Birth Control
If you or your partner can get pregnant (and don’t want to be pregnant), reliable birth control is essential. Your first line of defense is a condom: use one every time you have sex. In addition to condoms, many women use an additional birth control method, such as the pill or an IUD. This prevents unplanned pregnancy if a condom breaks, falls off, or you decide to skip it. Talk with your HealthTap doctor about which birth control is best for you, your body, and your budget. The good news is that there are several easy-to-use and affordable options: you have choices.
3. STI Testing
Start your summer off with no worries. Get tested for STIs. They’re common and many people with them have no symptoms. Your HealthTap doctor can test you for most STIs. If you need an in-person exam, they can also help you find the best resources for the right tests. The good news is that getting tested is easy and most STIs can be effectively treated.
- Low-cost and free testing options are available at specific clinics. Cost is often based on your income. If you’re not working or have a lower income, be sure to say so.
4. Vaccines for STIs
Be sure you’re up-to-date on vaccines that can stop you from getting STIs in the first place. Talk to your HealthTap doctor about which vaccines they recommend for you. Vaccines are available at most pharmacies and clinics. HealthTap doctors can order most vaccines for you before you go to reduce wait times. The good news is that you can catch up if you missed these vaccines as a child or teen — and most are low-cost or free.
- HPV Vaccine: Recommended for all genders ages 11 to 26 (if you’re between the ages of 27 and 45, you can also get the vaccine — ask your doctor)
- Hepatitis A Vaccine: Recommended for all genders, adults and children, with no age limit
- Hepatitis B Vaccine: Recommended for all genders, adults and children, with no age limit
- Hepatitis A and B Vaccine Combo: Adults can get a combination vaccine for both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
5. Treatment for ED
If you or your partner has experienced erectile dysfunction (ED), there’s no better time to speak with your HealthTap doctor. Whether you need a medication refill or just want to talk about it, your doctor can help. This isn’t a matter for urgent care; schedule an appointment with a virtual primary care doctor at least a week before you think you might need medication.
There are many reasons for ED. It could be caused by certain prescription medications, anxiety, diabetes, heart conditions, or other underlying causes. Alcohol and drugs can also impact sexual function. The good news is that your doctor can identify the cause of ED and recommend a medication and treatment plan that supports your overall health.
6. Good Vibes
Let’s face it, we may all be a little rusty in the romance department. If your return to lovemaking lacks the fireworks you were hoping for, give it time. Building confidence with new partners is a gradual process. Take as long as you need to ease back into dating life and intimacy.
As you navigate this new maskless dating world, remember that HealthTap virtual primary care doctors can help you with every item on this checklist.
Want to connect with a doctor? HealthTap’s virtual primary care doctors offer the exact same support as in-person primary care doctors, just via video, text, app and phone — with appointments at times that work for you. That means no trips to a doctor’s office, long waits to see a doctor, and limited office hours. Your primary care doctor will bring their expertise to you, wherever and whenever you need them.