A healthy sexual life means more than simply avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; it means being able to experience sexual pleasure while building meaningful relationships and showing love and intimacy in all its forms.

As medical systems strive to promote “whole health”, which encompasses physical, emotional, mental, and social wellness, they will need to incorporate sexual health considerations or risk leaving out an essential aspect of human lives.

Physical

Sexual wellbeing has recently gained ground within medicine. It can provide a powerful complement to traditional disease control and prevention efforts.

Sexual health encompasses having a functioning reproductive system as well as being able to enjoy sexual pleasure freely. Sexual wellbeing refers to an approach towards sexual relationships that is free from coercion or discrimination, including disclosure of personal information regarding sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as treatment to avoid the negative health consequences that untreated STIs might bring about.

Most children first begin learning about sexuality and their bodies through discussions with parents, family, or friends during childhood. They may ask what sexuality means or question why certain feelings arise for them or do not arise; eventually building their sexual identity based on gender, cultural beliefs and past experiences with sex.

Sexuality plays an integral role in our lives from birth until death, from expression of affection and intimacy to pain and shame. Sexuality affects both mental and physical wellbeing; therefore it is essential that children grow into sexually healthy adults.

Sexually healthy adults must ensure they maintain an active sexual lifestyle as well as access accurate information and the methods of their choice, such as condoms, pills, sprays, implants diaphragms or other forms of birth control such as condoms. They should use contraception in order to protect against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV; additionally they must know what steps should be taken if an STI occurs, including getting rapid testing kits immediately and seeing their doctor immediately if an outbreak occurs.

Sexual wellbeing may seem an unlikely goal of public health due to its subjective and variable qualities, and inclusion within surveillance infrastructures and goals that prioritize risk-focused outcomes and are resource-limited. But taking an interest in sexual wellbeing could help address inequities within populations such as gender, race or sexual orientation disparities.

READ  The Long-Term Impacts of Neglecting Dental Health

Emotional

Sexual health encapsulates both physical and emotional components of living. Being in good sexual health means being informed, careful, respectful, and enjoying sexually in a way that feels right to you. Unfortunately, many feel embarrassed or ashamed discussing sexuality issues with their doctor, family members, or friends – however good sexual health should be just as vital for our overall wellbeing as other aspects.

Research shows that sexual health and experiences are directly connected with emotional wellbeing. Engaging in safe sexual encounters promotes positive emotions, enhances relationship quality and communication, and permits personal expression – particularly of sexual identity.

Sexual wellbeing must be prioritized through various interventions and policies, including developing sexuality-focused human rights, health education programs, prevention and control of STIs/HIV as well as supporting sexual satisfaction/fulfillment in relationships – this will ultimately ensure fulfillment of one’s sexual rights as outlined by WHO Declaration on Sexual and Reproductive Rights (2004).

Sexual wellness can be negatively impacted by numerous factors, including early childhood trauma and neglect, adverse life events, chronic medical conditions, substance use disorders, trauma of loss/grief/traumatic grief issues/gender identity issues/sexual violence as well as cultural influences. Therefore it is vital that supportive communities surround us to encourage and promote healthy sexual behaviours.

As sexual wellbeing is highly subjective and variable, there may be resistance to considering it a core function of public health. Nonetheless, including sexual wellbeing in efforts to set population wellbeing goals seems appropriate, given that COVID-19 pandemic and life-altering events have highlighted its significance for addressing sexual health inequities and inequalities. Furthermore, sexual wellbeing plays a crucial role in supporting sustainable development worldwide.

Mental

Sexual health should not simply be seen as a medical issue; rather, it should be seen as part of human experience that provides pleasure, self-esteem, and positive relationships. A fulfilling sexual life can provide people with pleasure, self-esteem and positive relationships – as well as helping to feel in control of their lives and maintain balance between physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. It is crucial that sexual wellbeing be acknowledged as integral part of living experience rather than seen simply as medical issue.

READ  The Link Between Physical and Mental Health: A Holistic Approach to Wellbeing

Mental well-being and sexual health are inextricably connected. Issues affecting mental wellbeing such as depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also have detrimental impacts on sexual wellbeing; similarly sexually transmitted diseases or unintended pregnancies pose potential threats to both.

Sexually healthy people feel confident about themselves and enjoy sexual pleasure without engaging in harmful practices like female genital mutilation which has been linked with poor mental health among those suffering depression or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They also have access to accurate information regarding sexually transmitted infections (STIs), contraception methods and protection, so as to safeguard themselves and others.

The World Health Organisation definition of sexual health traditionally focused on disease-free sexuality, restricting its scope to reproduction alone. A more holistic view known as Sexual Wellbeing takes an holistic approach by looking at benefits, risks and responsibilities associated with sexual actions as a means of understanding all options available and practicing abstinence when appropriate. Resilience towards past experiences as well as forgiveness foster this type of wellbeing as do self-determination about one’s sexuality are hallmarks of success when it comes to Sexual Wellbeing.

Sexual wellbeing has increasingly become a desirable goal of population health, particularly due to its potential as an agent of equitable health outcomes in settings where social and cultural barriers to sexual fulfilment persist. Yet some public health institutions may struggle with including sexual wellbeing alongside risk-focused goals due to resource limitations as well as challenges related to monitoring, articulating and operationalising it effectively – something which remains an individual experience and perspective.

Social

Sexual health is a multidimensional concept and goes far beyond simply the absence of disease or dysfunction. Sexual wellbeing involves one’s physical, emotional and mental well-being related to sexuality and is integral to overall wellness. Achieve this requires adopting an open and respectful approach towards sexuality as well as reproducing freely with people of one’s choice or practicing abstinence when necessary.

READ  How to Improve Your Gut Health

Many people experience shame, embarrassment and fear surrounding questions regarding their sexual health – even those in committed relationships. Therefore, it is crucial that they seek support from family and friends as well as healthcare providers who can help them better understand themselves and their sexual experiences.

Most of us gain information about our bodies and sexuality during childhood from family, siblings or teachers; later in life we continue learning about ourselves and sex through experience and discovery. It’s essential to take the time to explore these issues safely in a supportive setting where you feel free to express yourself – whether through conversation with partners or on your own.

Studies show that individuals who feel good about their sexual wellbeing experience an overall improvement in health. This concept of wellbeing is an invaluable addition to public health as it represents an expansive view of a person’s wellbeing that can be modified through policy or public health actions, clinical support services or personal development programs.

Sexual health is intrinsic to our physical and mental wellbeing, and forms part of what defines us as individuals. Therefore, it is imperative that all people can fully experience sexuality regardless of relationship status – this makes sexual health a human right and ensures full enjoyment without discrimination or restrictions on our right to privacy and meaningful lives.