What Is Sexual Health and Why Is It So Important?

Being healthy is important for everyone, no matter your race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, parity, disability, economic status, or marital status. There are many different types of health to keep track of, like physical health, mental health, emotional health, and even sexual health. Sexual health is a taboo subject that many people don’t openly talk about, but it is a vital area of health for everyone, whether you are a woman, man, or identify in another way. So, what exactly is sexual health and why is it so important?

What Is Sexual Health?
Sexual health is a state of physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. Sexual health encompasses all types of health issues related to sexuality and having sex. These issues are widespread and include things like sexual orientation, relationships with partners, practicing safe sex, gender identity, sexual expression, and pleasure, as well negative consequences like:

  • Infections such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and reproductive tract infections (RTIs)
  • Sexual violence
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Harmful practices like female genital mutilation (FGM)

Sexual health revolves around having safe, respectful, and pleasurable sexual experiences free of violence, discrimination, and coercion. Everyone deserves to have healthy sexual experiences, which includes the sexual rights of all persons being protected, fulfilled, and respected.

Why Is Sexual Health So Important?
Sexual health is so important because it can affect many different parts of our lives, like our physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being. As mentioned above, there are many negative consequences that can occur as a result of our sexual interactions if we are not careful and do not make safe, informed decisions or know when to seek outside help. Sexual health is a combination of understanding the risks, benefits, and responsibilities of sexual behavior, knowing how to prevent and care for diseases or other unintended outcomes, and promoting sexual relationships that are fulfilling.

Our sexual experiences are supposed to be pleasurable, intimate, and even full of love. When problems arise, they can impact how we experience sexuality, the pleasure we get from sex, create an inability to have sex, and affect the other areas of our health as well. For example, certain sex-related infections can lead to infertility, cancer, and even death. This obviously not only impacts our sexual health but also our physical well-being and our mental health. When we deal with infections, illnesses, and other issues we can put more stress on ourselves, which can lead to changes in our mood and even result in depression.

Another important aspect of sexual health is the relationship we have with our sexual partners. Being able to communicate with one another is vital to create a fulfilling sexual relationship. Having open and honest discussions will help to eliminate problems, get on the same page for what to expect out of the relationship, and allow you to resolve issues if they should arise. Being open with sexual partners also helps to instill a support system where you can rely on one another and not have to face obstacles alone. Being on the same page with your sexual partner(s) will create a good foundation for your sexual health and allow you to enjoy pleasurable, fulfilling sexual relationships with the comfort of knowing you can deal with anything that might arise.

Knowing the proper information about sexual health and the best practices to keep yourself safe can help you to be healthier in your sexual relationships, which will ultimately help you to be healthier in general. A crucial part of sexual health is having access to the proper care, resources, and information in order to make informed decisions and have somewhere to turn when you need help.

MyAlly Health offers confidential reproductive health services to women and men in the Grand Forks, ND area regardless of income or age. The clinical services we provide are performed by Nurses Practitioners and Resident Physicians. In order to empower and engage individuals in their well-being and reproductive health, MyAlly Health offers education, counseling, advocacy, and healthcare services. Find out more about what we do, make a difference by donating to our cause, or schedule an appointment with us today!

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