A self-motivated, SEO-savvy wellness writer, I've written over 1,000 articles on fitness, health, and wellness for brands like Livestrong, Well & Good, Cosmo, Health, Women's Health, and more.
You Can’t Get Cancer from Oral Sex — but It May Increase Your Risk
Oral cancer isn’t contagious. It isn’t something you can get from having oral sex. But you could experience exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like human papillomavirus (HPV) that can increase your risk of developing oropharyngeal cancer later in life.
“Oral sex is a very safe way to maximize pleasure without risking pregnancy,” says Michelle Forcier, MD, a gender-affirming clinician with the virtual healthcare service FOLX.
However, just as there is with other sex acts, there...
How to Identify and Treat Chlamydia During Pregnancy
Getting treatment for chlamydia can prevent complications during pregnancy and infection transmission to the newborn during delivery.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It’s typically transmissible during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
It can also be transmissible during childbirth, which can put the newborn at risk of eye and lung infections, explains Michelle Forcier, MD, a gender-affirming clinician with the virtual healthcare ser...
6 Ways to Help When Living with an HIV-Positive Family Member
Living with an HIV-positive family member can give you ample opportunity to support your loved one.
Despite popular misconceptions, HIV isn’t transmissible through shared bites of food or drinking from the same cup, sneezing nearby, or hugging.
The virus is transmissible through blood and genital secretions, says Jon McGarry, MD, medical director of MISTR. This gay-owned-and-operated telehealth platform offers preventive medication along with long-term HIV treatment.
“It cannot be spread thro...
How to Get Tested for HIV and Why It Can Be a Good Idea
HIV test results and potential next steps
How long it takes to get your results depends on the type of HIV test you get.
You can typically expect results within:
In-lab HIV test: 5–7 business days
Mail-in self-test: 5–7 business days
Rapid self-test: 30 minutes or less
There are three possible results for an HIV test:
negative (sometimes called “non-reactive”)
positive (sometimes called “reactive”)
indeterminate (sometimes called “equivocal” or “invalid”)
“If you get a negative result, it mea...
Navigating Sex, Relationships, and Intimacy When Living with Schizophrenia
It’s absolutely possible to date — and be in a healthy, long-term relationship — if you’re living with schizophrenia.
“It’s possible for those with well-managed schizophrenia to have a healthy life, which can include emotional and sexual relationships,” says Ramya Mohan, a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and founder of CAPEforHealth in Manas, London.
As neuropsychiatrist Ooha Susmita, MBBS, MD, with Allo Health, says, “A person with well-managed schizophrenia will look no differe...
Does the HPV Vaccine Help Prevent Oral HPV?
Although most HPV strains clear without treatment, complications are possible. The HPV vaccine can help reduce your overall risk.
HPV typically affects your mucosa, or the more delicate skin of the vagina, penis, anus, and mouth.
There are over 100 different strains of HPV, and most clear up on their own, says Michelle Forcier, MD, a clinician with virtual healthcare service FOLX.
But if your body is unable to clear the virus and HPV is left untreated, it can evolve into certain cancers. Orop...
How to Take Emergency Contraceptive Pills to Avoid Pregnancy After 72 Hours
You can prevent pregnancy by taking one emergency contraceptive pill up to 120 hours (5 days) after penis-in-vagina sex.
There are two forms of emergency contraception — over-the-counter and prescription pills you take orally and intrauterine devices (IUDs) that a healthcare professional inserts.
This article primarily focuses on emergency contraceptive pills.
Although experts understand that a person’s weight or body mass index (BMI) can affect the effectiveness of emergency contraceptive pi...
How Do You Know If You’re Leaking Urine or Vaginal Discharge?
Urine is generally yellow and watery, and discharge is usually white or pasty. Excessive discharge and urine leakage have different underlying causes, and medical attention may be necessary for diagnosis and treatment.
Your body releases discharge through your vaginal opening. Discharge contains skin cells, bacteria, mucus, and other fluids created in your cervix, uterus, and ovaries.
Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle and whether you’ve recently engaged in sexual activity, di...
Stress Can Cause Spotting — Here’s Why It Happens and What to Do
Stress can cause your cortisol levels to spike, disrupting your body’s production of sex hormones. This can result in spotting and other menstrual changes.
Spotting generally takes the form of small droplets of blood in your underwear or a pink, red, or brown tinge to your discharge.
“The color of your spotting is determined by the amount of time that’s passed since the blood was released from the lining of the uterus,” says Jane van Dis, MD, OB-GYN, a medical advisor with menstrual company F...
Teenage Girls Aren’t Developing Tics Because of TikTok
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors have observed an increase in teen girls experiencing tics — or what appears to be verbal and motor tics.
“Tics are sudden, repetitive, non-rhythmic movements or sounds that are difficult to control,” says Jessica Frey, MD, a neurologist specializing in movement disorders at West Virginia University.
Common motor tics include neck jerking, hand flapping, or head banging. Vocal outbursts or phonic tics often include grunting, coughing, or hummin...
9 Upper Body Exercises for Transgender Men and Transmasculine People
For many transgender men and transmasculine folks, upper body workouts are a great way to alter the appearance of the chest without surgery or before surgery.
Adding upper body exercises to your routine can help boost arm, back, and shoulder endurance and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and more.
Certain workouts can also change the shape of your upper body and how big (or small) parts of your upper body look compared with others.
“The wider your back and lats are, for example, the smal...
This Is How Your Brain Develops in Your Teenage Years
Teens are more likely to engage in high risk behavior, misinterpret social cues, and react rather than act proactively. To understand why, look to adolescent brain development.
Brain development begins during gestation. A newborn’s brain is 25% of its adult size, ultimately reaching 90–95% of its adult size by age 6. Then, until about age 25, the brain undergoes a “remodeling” process.
Unnecessary brain cells are eliminated during this time, says Igor Smelyansky, MD, a neurologist and pain ma...
Learning How to Accept Your Body in Your Teenage Years
Living in a capitalist society that profits from people disliking their bodies can be challenging, especially for teenagers. But it’s possible to move toward body acceptance. Here’s how to get started.
Body acceptance is being OK with your body — even if there are certain things it doesn’t do that you wish it did or if there are certain physical attributes you aren’t completely satisfied with.
“Someone who accepts their body acknowledges that their body is just one part of who they are, not t...
Teenagers Having Sex Isn’t Inherently Bad or Harmful — Here’s Why
You can reduce your teenager’s risk of harm by providing medically accurate information to support and encourage healthy, informed decisions about sex.
It’s important to remember that the term “teenage” represents a broad age range.
It describes many different ages, stages of development, and levels of preparedness, explains sex educator Erica Smith, M.Ed, creator of Purity Culture Dropout, a program for people who were raised with evangelical beliefs about sexuality.
After all, the term can ...
How Does Ozempic Affect the Skin on Your Face?
Rapid weight loss while using Ozempic can result in excess skin on the face (and body), creating the appearance of sagging and wrinkles.
The medication Ozempic has made news for how it can distort the face. There’s now a colloquial phrase — widely used on social media — for the change that can occur: “Ozempic face.”
This phrase refers to the fact that your face may begin to look hollowed out or gaunt after you go on the medication.
Ozempic can lead to a tremendous amount of weight and fat los...