Blog Mental Health Sexual Wellness What Does Sexually Active Mean?

What Does Sexually Active Mean?

When your parent or gynecologist asks if you’ve been sexually active, you might get a little confused. What do they mean by sexually active? 

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Sexual activity is any kind of contact between partners that involves the genitals. This can be anything from kissing and touching to oral sex or intercourse. If you’re sexually active, it means you’ve participated in some form of sexual activity with another person. 

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about what it means to be sexually active. In reality, the only criteria are skin-on-skin contact with another person.

Based on this criterion, the activities that count include:

  • Kissing 
  • Mutual masturbation 
  • Oral sex 
  • Anal sex 
  • Vaginal intercourse 

As long as there is some form of direct physical contact between you and another person, you can technically say that you are being sexually active. Of course, some activities are more intimate than others, but ultimately it is up to you and your partner(s) to decide what you are comfortable with. 

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There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to sexual activity. Some people prefer to wait until they are in a committed relationship before engaging in any sort of sexual activity, while others are more open to exploring their sexuality with multiple partners. There is no correct way to approach sex, and everyone has different preferences.


Why Do Doctors Ask If You’re Sexually Active?

Being aware of your health is an important part of maintaining overall wellness

Ultimately, being sexually active means that you are engaged in any type of sexual activity that carries a risk of STDs or pregnancy. Your gynecologist needs to know if you are sexually active in order to provide you with the best possible care. 

Here are some reasons why you may want to be honest with your doctor about your sexual activity: 

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You May Need Different Types Of STD Testing

Depending on how often you have sex and with how many partners, you may be at a higher risk for certain STDs. If you are sexually active, your gynecologist can provide you with the appropriate STD testing based on your individual risk factors.

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You May Need Birth Control

If you are sexually active and not interested in becoming pregnant, your gynecologist can help you choose the best form of birth control for your needs. There are many different types of birth control available, so it’s important to discuss all of your options with your doctor. 

You May Need Factual Information

You may have questions about sex that you feel uncomfortable discussing with anyone else. 

Your gynecologist is a healthcare professional who is specifically trained to answer your questions about sex. She can provide you with accurate information and help you make informed decisions about your sexual health. 

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You May Need Vaccinations 

It’s important to make sure you’re up to date with all of your vaccinations, and this is especially true if you’re sexually active. There are vaccines available to protect against HPV and other STDs, so be sure to ask your doctor about them. 

You Need Pelvic Exams And Pap Smears 

Regular pelvic exams and pap smears are an important part of women’s health care. If you’re sexually active, it’s especially important to have these tests done regularly.

Your gynecologist can help you stay healthy and informed about your sexual health. Being honest about your sexual activity is the best way to ensure that you receive the best possible care.

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Can Your Gynecologist Tell Whether You’ve Been Sexually Active? 

Your gynecologist can’t always tell whether you’ve been sexually active, but some things may give it away. For example, if you have an STD, your doctor will likely be able to tell based on symptoms or testing. 

A simple visual or physical exam can’t always determine whether or not you’ve been sexually active. A popular myth is that the absence of the hymen is a giveaway. In reality, Some people are born with hymens (a loose piece of tissue around the vaginal opening), some are born with partial hymens, and some are born without hymens. Even those born with hymen can break them during exercise or physical activities. Therefore, this isn’t always a criterion your gynecologist can use to determine whether you are sexually active. 

However, even if your doctor can’t tell whether you’ve been sexually active, it’s still important to be honest about your sexual history. This is the only way to ensure that you receive the best possible care.

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Which Information Does Your Doctor Need If You Are Sexually Active?

Your doctor will need to know about your sexual activity in order to provide you with the best possible care. This includes information about how often you have sex, whether you use protection, and whether you or your partner have any sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Your doctor may also ask about your sexual history and preferences.

The more honest and open you are with your doctor, the better they will be able to help you stay healthy and safe.

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The Bottom Line

If you’re sexually active, it’s important to be honest with your gynecologist about it. She can provide you with the best possible care if she has all the information about your sexual health.

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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. What Does It Mean to Be Sexually Active? (2019,