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Sexual Health

“Sexual health is not just about the absence of disease; it’s about a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality.”World Health Organization

We all know about physical health, mental health, spiritual health, and financial health. But one thing we don’t talk about often is the sexual health. Not talking about it does not mean we all should ignore it.  The sexual health of women is often seen as taboo as there is a lot of embarrassment and shame associated with sex. There needs to be more conversations on this topic to create more awareness amongst the masses. In this blog let’s discuss why sexual wellness is important, some issues that are faced by women, especially in their 40s, and its solutions.

Sexual health is a broad concept that is way beyond the physical act of sex. It involves physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The main components are – 

  • Physical Health: This includes your body’s ability to function sexually, your awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and practicing safe sex.
  • Mental and Emotional Health: Your emotional and mental state significantly impact your sexual experiences. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all affect sexual desire and enjoyment.
  • Social Health: Healthy relationships, communication, and setting boundaries are key components of sexual health

It Is Important To Talk About Sexual Health As –

  • Open conversation about sexual wellness can help you communicate better with your partner about what your desires and boundaries are.
  • Break down the stigma of sex and help the younger generation gain proper knowledge and ask questions without shame.
  • Help in creating awareness towards sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Before we talk about the issues we need to understand the normal sexual functions and responses-

  • Libido – in simpler words it refers to the desire to continue or engage in sexual activity. For women both desire and arousal are interchangeable and the excitement increases the blood flow in the genital area.
  • Arousal – is similar to desire. The blood flow increased in the genital area can swell the clitoris and vaginal walls. Also, it increases the vaginal secretions which lubricates the walls. This reflex response occurs within seconds of a sexual stimulus.
  • Orgasm – it is the peak of sexual excitement. Just before it begins the muscle tension increases but during it the muscles contract rhythmically. The hormones lead to a feeling of relaxation.
  • Resolution –  it is the muscular relaxation that follows the orgasm. The body returns to normal functioning.

Some causes of sexual dysfunction are – 

  • Low libido can be due to several factors such as stress, medicines, and relationship problems.
  • The inability to experience arousal is a kind of sexual dysfunction.
  • Hormonal fluctuations – hormonal changes during menstruation menopause and pregnancy can impact sexual function.
  • Negative body image and insecurities can impact the libido.
  • Sexually transmitted infections can seriously impact fertility in women.
  • Postpartum leads to changes in the body and hormones can reduce the desire.
  • Having PCOD (Polycystic ovarian disorder) can impact fertility and sexual health.

Some problems after 40s – 

The sexual function decreases significantly after 40. Some studies have shown that sexual satisfaction decreases whereas sexual dysfunction increases by 30%. Around 518 women of the age group, 40 to 55 were studied to understand sexual health. Vaginal atrophy means drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls is one of the main concerns due to less production of estrogen. Reduced estrogen and testosterone can lead to vaginal dryness and lowers the libido. 

Solutions to deal with sexual health issues –

  • Communicate with your partner – it is important for you to discuss what you like and dislike with your partner.
  • Use tools to enhance and make the sexual experience enjoyable.
  • Prioritize yourself and improve your physical and mental health by having a proper diet and exercise. 
  • Regular exercise improves the blood flow throughout the body and can improve sexual function. 
  • Explore new things to keep your life exciting.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption and smoking as it impacts the function.
  • Seek professional help if you are concerned about your sexual health.

Summing Up- 

Sexual health is not a destination it is a lifelong journey. It is about feeling comfortable and confident in your skin. Having a good lifestyle is the key to improved health. Prioritizing sleep, diet, and regular working out can improve the sexual experience. Talking to a therapist or specialist can also help you navigate any hurdle. Sexual health is for everyone regardless of age and gender. Take charge of yourself and embark on this journey of exploration and enjoyment.

For more information on sexual health stay tuned with Arechar Nutra.

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