When it comes to sexual health, many individuals believe that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy are the main points. Actually, there is a lot more to establishing and maintaining one’s sexual health, including the relationships between one’s sexual health and their overall health and well-being. It begins with understanding what sexual health means.
What Sexual Health Means
According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), sexual health includes both embracing and enjoying our sexuality throughout our entire life as a part of our overall physical and emotional health and well-being. But sexuality is not limited to an individual’s sexual behavior, it is a natural part of life. An individual who is sexually healthy recognizes and respects sexual rights, has access to sexual health information, education and care, makes an effort to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancies, is able to experience sexual pleasure, satisfaction and intimacy as desired, and more. Some of the important factors to consider when educating oneself about sexual health are:
● Body image. A healthy body image, how one thinks about or views oneself, is essential to one’s physical and emotional health and well-being.
● General health care. Not surprisingly, one’s physical and emotional health contribute greatly to one’s sexual health.
● Relationships. It is important to understand what makes a relationship healthy, and what can contribute to an unhealthy relationship.
● Sex and sexuality. It is normal for individuals to be curious about sex and sexuality, and it often requires understanding this for oneself before one can have a successful relationship with a partner.
● Birth control. There are many ways to safely prevent an unplanned pregnancy, and the more one understands the various methods of birth control, the easier it is to find the method that will work well to one’s own needs.
● Pregnancy. Even when an individual has planned for pregnancy, they can find that they are overwhelmed with questions and concerns. Understanding pregnancy can therefore help enhance one’s sexual health.
● STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases are infections spread by sexual contact, and they can lead to serious illnesses. Understanding how to protect against them can markedly improve one’s sexual health.
In many cases, an individual is more able to improve a situation when they better understand it. Since an individual’s sexual health can so markedly affect their overall health and well-being, it is very prudent to educate oneself in the truths relating to sexual health so that one can seek to achieve and maintain it.