Sexual Health for Women
Sexual health encompasses more than simply sexual wellness. Sexual health encompasses the entirety of an individual’s health and well-being. It encompasses all the following characteristics of sexuality:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Reliable Source, sexual health has a broad scope. In addition to individuals, couples, and families, it encompasses communities and entire cultures.
It includes such themes as:
- orientation sexuelle et identité de genre
- Knowledge of anatomy, reproductive health, and fertility; understanding of the dangers associated with sexual activity; and respectful, coercion-free interactions.
- gratifying and secure sexual encounters
- access to quality medical treatment
- Access to educational materials concerning the practicalities of sexual self-care
Learn about the following aspects of sexual health by reading on:
- safer sex practises
- undergoing routine testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STIs)
- Choosing immunizations and drugs, utilising contraception correctly, and receiving medical care for reproductive health concerns
- How to deal with reduced libido
Understanding sexually transmitted illnesses and disorders
Sexual activity increases the chance of getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), now more generally referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Oral, anal, and vaginal sex all carry the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
It is possible to catch a STI the first time you have sex with a partner, but the risk increases as the number of sexual partners grows.
However, knowing how to protect yourself and your partner(s) can minimise your risk of developing a sexually transmitted infection. Additionally, proper protection during sexual activity might aid in preventing the spread of STIs.
STI prevention is an important aspect of sexual health, but sexual health encompasses much more than the absence of disease.
WHOTrusted Source highlights that sexual health is a state of well-being comprised of numerous components, such as:
- having a solid grasp of sex, engaging in a constructive and consenting connection with your sexual partner, and enjoying the sex you’re experiencing.
- Keeping in mind the larger context of sexual health, continue reading to learn about the best practises for preventing you and your sexual partner from developing or transmitting STIs.
Practice safer sex
Safer sexual practises frequently entail the use of bodily barriers to prevent the exchange of bodily fluids. Among these barrier strategies are:
- external condoms
- internal condoms dental dams gloves
These treatments have been proven successful for avoiding STIs that are transferred by bodily fluids such as:
- vaginal fluids
The following barrier measures can protect you and your partner from STIs:
HIV chlamydia gonorrhoea trichomoniasis hepatitis A, B, and C
Although barrier measures are less efficient at preventing STIs spread through skin-to-skin contact, they can still reduce your risk.
The following are examples of STIs transmitted via skin-to-skin contact:
- syphilis virus (human papilloma virus)
- HSV (herpes simplex virus)
This practise can also transmit pubic lice from one individual to another.
When choosing barrier measures, latex or polyurethane condoms and dental dams are the best options. And always use them to protect yourself and your partner during any type of sexual contact or penetration.
Using condoms, dental dams, and gloves can decrease the spread of sexually transmitted infections during:
- oral sex
- vaginal sex
- anal sex
It is crucial to understand that the following STIs can be transferred through oral sex:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 70 percent of oropharynx (back of the throat near the base of the tongue and tonsils) malignancies in the United States are caused by HPV.
In the United States, slightly more than 54,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Additionally, research indicates that the number of oropharyngeal cancer diagnoses caused by an HPV infection has increased steadily.
It is unknown if HPV causes malignancies of the mouth, salivary glands, larynx (voice box), lips, or nose.
Prevent HIV infection with PrEP
PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a prescription medicine intended to prevent HIV transmission during unprotected sexual activity or when sharing needles. It is taken prior to potential HIV encounter.
Truvada and Descovy are the two most used Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medicines.
Side effects of PrEP typically disappear over time. They may consist of:
Discuss with your physician whether PrEP is a viable choice for you, especially if:
You plan to have unprotected sex with a partner who has HIV or another STI; You or your partner share needles; Your partner does not typically utilise barrier techniques during sex with you or other partners.
Your intimate lover has sex with other penis owners.
There are three STI vaccinations currently available:
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and HPV
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has currently approved three HPV vaccinations.
- Cervarix protects against the two HPV strains responsible for the majority of cervical cancer cases.
- Gardasil protects against these two strains, in addition to the two strains responsible for the vast majority of genital warts.
- Gardasil 9 protects against the same four HPV strains as Gardasil, plus an additional five “high risk” strains, for a total of nine strains.
- These vaccines are most effective when administered before to sexual activity. Young women and men are normally advised to begin vaccines at the age of 11. Vaccinations are available till the late 20s.
Vaccines are often covered by health insurance for individuals up to age 26. Although the FDATrusted Source has licenced the vaccine for use in individuals up to 45 years of age, insurance coverage differs for older ages.
The hepatitis B vaccine is typically administered to infants. Hepatitis B is responsible for liver damage. It can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse as well as through blood and blood products.
Hepatitis A is not often transmitted through sexual intercourse, but it can be transferred through oral-anal contact. All children older than 1 year are advised to receive the hepatitis A vaccine.
Get checked for sexually transmitted infections
Screening can lower the likelihood of acquiring a STI. Regular testing for STIs can aid in minimising the long-term repercussions of an infection.
In the absence of treatment, bacterial STIs such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause major health complications, including infertility. Detection can aid in preventing these consequences.
Before beginning a sexual relationship with a new person, go on a date to get a test. Thus, you will both know if you are putting each other at risk, and necessary therapy may be administered.
STI testing is advised for all sexually active individuals. STIs afflict people of all ages and relationship statuses.
Get frequent Pap smears
To screen for cervical cancer, Pap tests are a common part of women’s healthcare and are advised beginning at age 21.
This test detects early indicators of cervical abnormalities that, if left unchecked, could progress to cervical cancer. Precancerous alterations can be monitored and treated before they become life-threatening.
Nearly all occurrences of cervical cancer are caused by HPV.
Reliable Source. Therefore, safer sexual behaviour can minimise the risk of developing cervical cancer.
Vaccination against HPV can also lessen the risk. There are numerous types of cancer-causing HPV, which is why vaccination, safer sexual behaviour, and frequent Pap screens are required.
Invasive cervical cancer and its treatment can have detrimental impacts on a person’s general health, particularly their sexual health.
Additionally, it can frequently result in infertility. It is essential to recognise cervical changes early and discuss them with your doctor. This action can prevent the possibility of subsequent difficulties.
Menstrual health and reproductive function
Women commonly believe that pelvic pain, such as cramps, is normal. They have been informed that menstruation should be painful. Therefore, individuals may refrain from discussing their problem with their physician.
You should not be forced to endure severe pelvic or abdominal pain. Extreme discomfort during your period may indicate a gynaecological or gastrointestinal health problem.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue resembling the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.
The lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium. Blood and tissue are derived from the uterus during menstruation. In addition, it is required to nourish a growing foetus.
Endometriosis is characterised by the deposition of endometrium-like tissue on organs and tissues throughout the abdomen and pelvis. This can be exceedingly uncomfortable.
Endometriosis symptoms may include:
- severe menstrual pain
- ache during erections
- ache during bowel motions
- severe bleeding haemorrhage between periods
Endometriosis pain is frequently treatable. Treatment differs based on the presence of additional health issues. Occasionally, the treatment will depend on your family planning objectives.
Endometriosis treatment options include:
- anti-inflammatory medicines
- Hormone therapy removal of superfluous tissue by hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
Fibroids are benign tumours seen in the uterus. According to a 2016 review, up to 77 percentTrusted Source of women have fibroids, according to research. However, the majority of women never require treatment.
Fibroids are not typically unpleasant or bothersome, nor do they raise the chance of developing cancer. Fibroids may contribute to infertility, although fibroids therapy allows many women to become pregnant.
If you have fibroids and become pregnant, your healthcare provider will monitor them. Occasionally, their growth during pregnancy can hinder the baby’s migration into the foetal position.
Symptoms associated with fibroids may include:
- pelvic pain sexual discomfort from heavy or painful menstruation reproductive issues
If fibroids therapy becomes necessary, numerous treatments are available. Your physician can assist you choose the optimal strategy.
If you have a uterus and engage in sexual activity with a man who has sperm, it is vital that you understand your birth control options.
This can allow you and your partner to manage your family planning decisions about timing and family size more effectively.
There are a multitude of birth control alternatives available. Some treatments require a prescription or a brief office procedure, while others do not.
Regardless of your insurance status, birth control methods are typically inexpensive. Title X Family Planning Program includes all methods of contraception. Here you can locate a nearby Title X family planning clinic.
Options for contraception include:
- male or female condom
- IUD birth control pills hormonal patches or rings
- subdermal implant
- contraceptive sponge
- cervical cap diaphragm
Discuss with your physician which of these options is best for you. Their efficiency and ease of usage vary considerably. Sterilization is the most effective method, but it is irreversible.
Sexual connections and libido
Sexual activity and libido are impacted by a number of sexual health conditions.
Lack of sexual interest
There are numerous reasons why someone may have a diminished sexual interest.
Among the possible causes of low libido in women are:
New medications Chronic medical illnesses Fatigue Menopause Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Breastfeeding Anxiety or sadness Stress Relationship Issues
Consult your physician if you have suffered a sudden loss of sexual desire. There could be a discernible cause.
Your physician can assist you in developing a treatment plan for a number of these diseases. Counseling can also be referred to a sex therapist or another therapist.
Additionally, couples counselling may be beneficial. There are a range of approaches and therapies that can help if you suffer from a diminished sex drive.
Sexual contact should not be unpleasant. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing pain during sex. There are numerous possible causes of sexual discomfort. These consist of:
- vaginal dryness
- prior unpleasant sexual experiences
Depending on the cause, there are a range of treatments to treat painful sex. If you have vaginal discharge or other vaginal difficulties, or if you experience pain, you should be prepared to discuss the following with your doctor:
During deep penetration, when the exterior of your vulva is contacted after intercourse and during penetration
The particulars are crucial. They can aid your doctor in diagnosing the underlying causes of your discomfort.
Difficulties with orgasm
There is a widespread misunderstanding that all women should be able to orgasm during vaginal contact. To climax, however, many women require direct clitoral stimulation.
If you have problems achieving orgasm, experiment on your own to see what feels nice. A shower or bath is an excellent time for introspection.
You may also try the following approaches alone or with a partner, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
- Read literature on sex and pleasure.
- Understand your body and how it functions.
- Examine a range of sexual activities, including oral sex, touching, and masturbation, with and without a partner.
- Try nonsexual sensual activities like massage.
- Discuss with your partner your mutual interests.
- Reduce your exposure to sources of stress.
- Increase sexual stimulation.
- Try sexual toys.
- Employ mental imagery and imagination.
It is also essential to maintain an open line of communication with your sexual partner. A sex therapist might be beneficial for gaining a deeper understanding of your sexual health.