SEX AWARENESS: Students’ sexual health issues

By Вen Li

With over two decades of experience, Dr. Milne has seen students with all kinds of questions about sex. Not surprisingly, students’ concerns about sex are rather constant.

“Two of the most common STDs we’re seeing are human papilloma virus (genital warts) and chlamydia. The other risks are there, but we don’t see them as much: AIDS, hepatitis, syphilis,” Dr. Milne explained.

“The other concern is always unwanted pregnancy, and having to deal with those either by carrying on or terminating the pregnancy.”

Students may be uncomfortable talking about sex, but Dr. Milne and her colleagues have decades of experience with anxious and risk-taking students.

“We’re very accustomed to discussing sex and dealing with it, and we have a lot of resources that we can access to help patients no matter what their problems are,” Dr. Milne said. “They’re embarrassed and uncomfortable talking about sex, whether it’s about STDs, whether it’s about contraception, or even issues of sexual identity. That’s certainly a sexual health issue for many students, coming to terms with that is sometimes an issue many are not comfortable coming forward with.”

Dr. Milne also helps students with relationships and intimacy.

“A number of issues come up for students in terms of intimate relationships. The biggest problem we see in females is vaginismus [an involuntary spasm of the muscles surrounding the vaginal opening]. The biggest problem we see in males is having difficulties maintaining erections. Sometimes it’s related to performance anxiety, but they are issues we can help patients with.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Milne also sees more and more victims of rape.

“Date rape is probably the most common kind of rape that we see here at the clinic,” said Dr. Milne of the incident she sees every other month. “I encourage women to come forward immediately. Many leave it for several days. At that point it’s really difficult to press charges, but we still support them in terms of dealing with it and screening for STDs. It’s really important, in order for women to have closure, at least for them to have the option to press charges.”

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