Through Hussien Adoto
October 02, 2022 | 12.00
How do you know if you are sexually healthy? Is it when you can have sex as often as you want, or is it when you are free from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? Well, there’s more to sexual health than just libido and orgasms. What is Sexual Health? The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual…
How do you know if you are sexually healthy? Is it when you can have sex as often as you want, or is it when you are free from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? Well, there’s more to sexual health than just libido and orgasms.
What is Sexual Health?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not just the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.”
In layman’s terms, sexual health is anything that affects your ability to have a sexual relationship and experience sex in a safe, responsible, and enjoyable way.
For some, sexual health involves using condoms to prevent pregnancy and STDs during sex, and then cleaning up.
But as the above definition shows, there is much more to sexual health.
In this article, we look at the elements that make up sexual health and organize them into a checklist that you can use to maintain good sexual health.
The checklists are generic, but you can adapt them to your specific needs.
Your definition of sex informs how you see yourself in relation to the act itself. It helps prepare your mind and body to engage in sex in a way that is consistent with your values.
Sex is not an abstract concept. Are your genitals ready to go? You have to find out.
Before you rush to the doctor, start by examining yourself.
To do this, sit in a comfortable place and adopt a relaxed posture. Reach down and carefully examine your genitals for:
Lesions or hard tissue
Abnormal discharge (especially women)
You are already familiar with the normal appearance of your genitals. Use the signs above as a checklist and compare them to what you know to be normal. If you notice anything unusual, consult a family doctor or a specialist and have it fixed in good time.
If you are a woman, you should examine yourself when you are not menstruating. Men can check themselves at any time.
The goal here is to help you better appreciate how your genitals look and feel when they’re in good health, so you can spot signs of illness if or when they appear.
By examining yourself at least once a month, you can spot changes as they occur and take action to fix them before they become complicated.
Sometimes self-examination is not enough. Physical exams can only detect signs or what you can understand. Other abnormalities require specialist evaluation.
A specialist will help you with tests such as:
Pap smear (for women)
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test (for men)
Night erection test (for men with erectile dysfunction)
Ultrasound imaging (for both sexes)
Hormones are a special class of chemicals that regulate your body’s functions. A special class of hormones called sex hormones help stimulate you to produce sperm or eggs, influence the development of your sex characteristics, and determine a woman’s reproductive cycle.
Your hormone profile is important if you plan to have children. As a man, hormones help your eggs produce sperm; In women, they support the ovaries in producing and releasing eggs.
To find out if your body is pumping the right levels of hormones, see a specialist. The specialist will take blood from you and check the presence and concentration of certain hormones in your body.
Common hormones are:
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Luteinizing hormone (LH), etc.
The levels of these hormones in your blood indicate how sexually fit you are.
From HIV to gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis, sexually transmitted diseases come in different forms and dimensions. If you are sexually active, you can contract any of these diseases, either through anal, oral, or vaginal sex.
Although the nature of your sexual relationships and the number of partners you have will affect your risk of contracting STDs, just having sex puts you at risk.
That’s why you need to get tested and know where you stand.
The list of STDs is long, but you can start by testing these common ones:
Hepatitis A, B and C
These sexually transmitted diseases affect both sexes and can manifest themselves differently. However, some STDs are more common in women than men. These include:
Whatever the case, knowing your STD status gives you a chance to stay safe and healthy. Get tested today.
A contraceptive is a substance, device, or method that prevents you from trying to conceive (if you are a man) or become pregnant (if you are a woman) someone.
It’s pretty easy to get lost in the heat of sex and have a pregnancy that you or your partner didn’t plan for. A contraceptive will help you avoid this.
Condoms are a readily available example of a barrier contraceptive, but like other options, condoms are not 100% effective even when used correctly.
It is up to you to choose the contraceptives that work best for you. From short-acting oral contraceptives to long-acting injections and implants, you can choose the contraceptive that works best for you.
However, note that some methods such as total vasectomy and bilateral tubal ligation are not reversible.