Take Charge of Your Sexual Health

What you need to know about preventive services

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What is the NCSH?

The National Coalition for Sexual Health (NCSH), managed by Altarum, is a group of more than 200 leading national health and medical organizations working together to improve sexual health and well-being across the lifespan. The coalition believes that the benefits of good sexual health go well beyond disease prevention. Being sexually healthy means being able to enjoy a healthier body, a satisfying sexual life, positive relationships, and peace of mind.

What’s in this Guide

This guide informs people of all ages, including teens and older adults, about sexual health. It focuses on the preventive services (screenings, vaccines, and counseling) that can help protect and improve your sexual health. The guide explains these recommended services and helps you find and talk with a health care provider.

Typically, preventive service recommendations are made for “men” and “women.” We understand that this is not inclusive terminology and recognize that gender is not binary but rather a spectrum of biological, mental, and emotional traits that exist along a continuum. As a result, whenever possible we have split the recommendations into those for people with a vagina/vulva, those for people with a penis, and provided links to additional resources.

Suggested citation

Altarum Institute. Take Charge of Your Sexual Health: What you need to know about preventive services. Washington, DC: Altarum Institute; 2014. Updated 2021.

Take Charge of Your Sexual Health: What you need to know about preventive services was supported by cooperative agreement number 5H25PS003610-03 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of Altarum Institute and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.