Sexual health refers to a healthy approach and outlook to sex, sexuality and sexual well-being in one’s life.
This could include being aware of and preventing sexually transmitted diseases, birth control options, and identifying sexual dysfunction, but it also means establishing healthy sexual relationships and communicating special concerns about all aspects of sexuality to both a partner and a health care provider.
According to some definitions, it means that a person does not need to be physically healthy or disease free to have good sexual health. Sexually healthy people are empowered about maintaining healthy attitudes about the act of sex, the functions of their sex, and their sexuality. Definitions of sexual health may vary based on the individual and culture.
The sourced articles below provide more information on sexual health.
- Trump Administration Blocks Funding From Family Planning Centers With Abortion Services
“Centers like Planned Parenthood that provide abortion services or referrals will no longer be able to receive federal funding due to a new rule enacted by the Trump administration Friday [2/22/2019]. The change requires family planning centers to have a ‘clear physical and financial separation’ between government-funded services and abortion-related services, meaning these centers could be forced to build separate buildings or hire entirely new staff if they’re to continue abortion services.”
Renae Reints, fortune.com, 2/22/2019
- Sexual Health
“Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.”
World Health Organization, who.int, accessed on 10/20/2018
- Women’s Sexual Health
“For many women, contraception is an important part of sexual health. Another is avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. These include gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, human papillomavirus, and HIV/AIDS. Using a condom is a key way to protect against getting a sexually transmitted infection.”
Harvard Health Publishing, harvard.edu, accessed on 10/20/2018
- Understanding Sexual Health
“Coming up with a definition of sexual health is a difficult task, as each culture, sub-culture, and individual has different standards of sexual health. ASHA believes that sexual health includes far more than avoiding disease or unplanned pregnancy. We also believe that having a sexually transmitted infection or unwanted pregnancy does not prevent someone from being or becoming sexually healthy.
Here is ASHA’s definition of sexual health: Sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives. It is an important part of our physical and emotional health.”
American Sexual Health Association, ashasexualhealth.org, accessed on 10/20/2018
- Sexual Health: Summary
“Sexuality is a big part of being human. Love, affection and sexual intimacy all play a role in healthy relationships. They also contribute to your sense of well-being. A number of disorders can affect the ability to have or enjoy sex in both men and women.
Factors that can affect sexual health include
– Fear of unplanned pregnancy
– Concerns about infertility
– Sexually transmitted diseases
– Chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease
– Medicines that affect sexual desire or performance”
U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov, accessed on 10/20/2018
- Men’s Sexual Health
“Male sexual health isn’t merely the absence of disease. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get an erection or to maintain it long enough for satisfying sexual activity. Many things can cause ED, including stress, depression, relationship issues, abnormally low testosterone, damage from urological surgery, and even cholesterol-clogged arteries. In fact, it is often an early warning sign for heart disease. ED can be treated with pills, injections into the penis, or devices. Men can also experience difficulties related to ejaculation, including premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or the inability to experience orgasm upon ejaculation (anorgasmia).”
Harvard Health Publishing, harvard.edu, accessed on 10/20/2018
- 12 Things Most Doctors Don’t Tell You About Sexual Health
“Even if these women are among the majority who actually dare to discuss sexual issues with their doctors, they are often left without productive answers about their lack of libido, lack of orgasms, and lack of pleasure. The truth is, even otherwise fabulous doctors are not experts on the physical, hormonal and medical aspects of maintaining peak sexual health … and pleasure! All women who are experiencing physical and/or hormonal issues related to sexual function … as well as those with medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, … still can elevate their sexual awareness and health.”
Dr. Lauren Streicher, mindbodygreen.com, 8/15/2018
- Adolescent Sexual Health
“Healthy sexuality is an important part of adolescent development, and primary health care providers play a key role in helping young people develop healthy routines, behaviors, and relationships that they can carry into their adult lives.”
American Academy of Pediatrics, aap.org, 6/20/2018
- Healthy Sex: The Ultimate Guide
“Good sexual health is about a whole lot more than practicing safe sex or being able to get hard. Sexual health is about how you see yourself as a sexual being, your ability to embrace and enjoy your sexuality, and your sense of truly owning your sexual actions and choices.”
Peg Rosen, Medically Reviewed by Allison Young, MD, everydayhealth.com, 4/6/2018
- LGBT Community Fights To Be Counted
“In October the National Institutes of Health designated sexual health minorities a health disparities population, opening the door for more research into the LGBT community’s health risk factors. The data innovation center, in its report, noted that health surveys, clinical trials, and studies funded or performed by the NIH ‘all present opportunities to collect and analyze data to help researchers better understand the health issues facing the LGBT community and address the disparity.'”
The Bay Area Reporter, centerforhealthjournalism.org, 7/20/2017
- Sexual Health Education In Schools
“It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that developmentally appropriate evidence-based sexual health education should be included as part of a comprehensive school health education program and be accessible to all students. NASN recognizes the role of parents and families as the primary source of education about sexual health. The registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as school nurse) is a valuable resource to parents and educators in this area and supports the implementation of evidence-based sexual health education programs that promote healthy sexual development for all students.”
National Association Of School Nurses, nasn.org, 6/2017