To be considered healthy, one must not only be physically and mentally sound, but one must also be sexually and reproductively healthy. Sexual and reproductive health includes a person’s ability to enjoy satisfying sex life and capability of reproducing. Sexual and reproductive health is important for both men and women.
When it comes to women, sexual health problems can refer to -
- Lack of sexual desire
- Inability to be sexually aroused
- Inability to achieve an orgasm
- Painful intercourse
There are many factors that could trigger these problems, such as -
- Relationship problems
- Emotional distress
- Gynaecological problems
Some of the common gynaecological problems that affect women’s sexual health are -
Endometriosis and some of the above-mentioned diseases can also affect a woman’s reproductive health and cause problems with pregnancy.
- Exposure to STDs is another major reproductive health problem. STDs such as HIV, gonorrhoea and HPV are dangerous not only for the mother but also affect the health of the baby. Reproductive health problems or women also include unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal death.
- Being a victim of sexual violence affects both sexual and reproductive health. Sexual violence can be defined as non-consensual sexual activity. While anyone can experience this, women have a higher risk of facing such violence than men. Sexual violence can cause a person to fear sex itself and in some cases can interfere with their ability to reproduce.
- Though men’s interest in sex is often joked about, men too can face sexual health problems. This could be triggered by a physical or psychological condition. Erectile dysfunction and ejaculation disorders such as premature ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation are the two most common sexual health problems faced by men. Anxiety and depression along with illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure can also cause a loss of libido and sexual disinterest.
- Men can also suffer from low sperm count and low testosterone. In many cases, this can make a man infertile. Peyronie's disease and testicular cancer are other conditions that can affect a man’s sexual and reproductive health. Like women, men also need to protect themselves against STDs to ensure they remain sexually healthy.
Thankfully, most sexual and reproductive health problems can be treated and cured with a combination of medication and psychological counselling. Hence sexual and reproductive health problems should not be considered taboo but should be addressed as soon as possible.
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