What Is The Definition Of Sexual Health?

Sexual health is influenced by a great many factors ranging from behaviour, attitudes, and conditioning, to biological and genetic factors. It encompasses the problems of HIV, unintended pregnancy and abortion, infertility and sexual dysfunction. Sexual health can also be influenced by mental health, acute and chronic illnesses, and violence. It also involves the individual, family, community, health system level legal and regulatory environments where the sexual rights of all people are upheld. Ideas and norms about sexuality and health come from a variety of sources including social custom, science, medicine, religious belief, and personal experiences. As a result, no one definition of sexual health is likely to adequately represent this diversity, especially when professional opinions on sexuality and sexual health are formed by training and social position which in turn, are often influenced by the individual's culture, socio-economic status, religion, etc. Because the words "health" and "healthy" are often linked to the field of medicine, they carry a medical connotation and authority. As a result, the term "sexual health" can be misused to express approval or disapproval of specific behaviours or individuals under what may seem to be "medical truth". This is the reason why some sex educators and therapists are fearful of promoting a concept of sexual health (directly, by defining it, or indirectly, by developing guidelines) through education. Also it's worth keeping in mind that definitions of sexual health can change and should not be taken as rigid rules of conduct. The World Health Organisation says... "Sexual health is...the integration of the physical, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being, in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love." "...a capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behaviour in accordance with a social and personal ethic." "...freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationships." "...freedom from organic disorders, diseases and deficiencies that interfere with sexual and reproductive function." Good sexual health means making sure you have the knowledge, skills and ability to make informed sexual choices and acting responsibly to protect your health and the health of others.

Women and Sexual Health

Good sexual health isn't just about sexual intercourse. Women should know that sexual health encompasses many other aspects like understanding how your body works, knowing what turns you on and what puts you off, accepting your sexual desires and sexual orientation, choosing a form of sexual expression that you are comfortable with, and knowing how to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STD s) and unwanted pregnancies.

Women should understand that sexual health begins with accepting your sexuality. Our earliest perceptions of sex are inculcated in childhood by our parents' and society's attitude towards it. Until recently, talking about sex was taboo. So, children, especially females perceive that sex is not a good thing. They hear the disapproving voices discussing homosexuality and they subconsciously register that as well. These false ideas infiltrate into adulthood and can be a mental hurdle to good sexual health. It could lead to feelings of shame or guilt when indulging in sexual activities, a reluctance to fully explore sexual potential, or a negative approach to sex. Your sexuality is an integral part of who you are. By accepting your desires, women can positively enhance their sexual experiences and create a healthier self-image.

As a women and an individual, you should never indulge in anything you are uncomfortable with, especially when it comes to sex. Putting up with sexual activities that hurt, embarrass or humiliate is just plain wrong. If you know what you want from a sexual relationship, and you understand what excites you and gives you pleasure and what doesn't, it empowers you to control your sexuality and choose a form of sexual expression that you are comfortable with.

Good sexual health also means protecting yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STD s). Women can talk to a trusted gynecologist regarding any fear, doubts and inhibitions they may have. Learning about the various types of STDs and how to prevent them, knowing how to determine if you have one, and what to do if you are infected, is a very important aspect of sexual health. Women should have complete knowledge about STD's to prevent them from any heath risk.

Sexual health is as important as physical or mental well-being. Women can better the quality of their life by fully exploring and understanding their sexuality.