Sexual health is a state of well-being that allows women to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, have control over their own reproductive health, and be free from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other diseases. Unfortunately, many women don’t feel comfortable talking about their sexual health, which can lead to a lack of understanding about the topic. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about women’s sexual health.
Sexual Health Basics
Sexual health is more than just the absence of disease or infection– it’s a state of physical, mental, and emotional well-being in relation to sexuality.
Physical Aspects Of Sexual Health
Taking care of your body is an important part of sexual health. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and maintaining proper hygiene (2).
Furthermore, women should be aware of their own body and how it works. This includes understanding the different phases of the menstrual cycle, knowing what changes to expect during menopause, and being familiar with the types of contraception available.
Finally, understanding the risks associated with sexual activity and how to protect yourself from STIs and other diseases is essential for sexual health.
Read More: How Do I Know If I’m Sexually Healthy?
Mental Aspects Of Sexual Health
A woman’s overall mental health can impact her sexual health. Mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can lead to low libido and difficulty enjoying sex (1). Additionally, substance abuse can also have a negative impact on sexual health.
Things like self-esteem, body image, sexual identity, and overall mental health can affect a woman’s sexual health in a positive or negative way.
Women with high self-esteem are more likely to feel good about their bodies and have positive sexual experiences (3). On the other hand, women with low self-esteem may feel ashamed of their bodies and avoid sexual encounters altogether.
Body image can also affect a woman’s sexual health (3). Women who are comfortable with their bodies are more likely to feel sexy and have positive sexual experiences. On the other hand, women who are unhappy with their bodies may feel self-conscious during sex and be less likely to enjoy themselves.
A woman’s sexual identity refers to her sense of who she is as a sexual being. For example, a woman may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or asexual. This identity can affect how one feels about their own sexuality and how one interacts with others sexually.
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Emotional Aspect Of Sexual Health
Aside from being a physical act, sex is also an emotional experience. For many women, feeling emotionally connected to their partner during sex is just as important as the physical pleasure they receive (2). If you’re not feeling emotionally satisfied by your sexual encounters, it can put a damper on your overall satisfaction with life.
Learning how to communicate with your partner about sex is an important step in maintaining a healthy and satisfying sexual relationship.
The Bottom Line
By understanding the basics of sexual health, women can take steps to protect their own sexual health and enjoy their sexuality to the fullest.
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!
- The association of physical and mental health with sexual activity in older adults in a retirement community (2013, nih.gov)
- The Association Between Sexual Health and Physical, Mental, and Social Health in Adolescent Women (2016, sciencedirect.com)
- The Association Between Sexual Satisfaction and Body Image in Women (2010, nih.gov)