What is Sexual Health?
Sexual health encompasses both the positive and negative aspects of sexuality and sexual activity— it focuses on wellbeing and healthy sexuality while also focusing on preventing disease and unhealthy sexual relationships. Since sexuality is an important aspect of the human experience, it’s important to understand how it works, how it manifests, and how it should look in a relationship. There are many different aspects of sexual health that our gynecological team can help with.
Each woman eventually makes a decision about whether she would like to conceive or not. For this reason, it’s important to take steps to achieve the right outcome. Your gynecologist can provide fertility counseling or recommend the right birth control options for you during an appointment.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a risk of sexual activity, so it’s important to know what steps to take in preventing their transmission. Whether it’s receiving a vaccination or using the right barrier methods, your gynecologist can perform screening tests and make sure you’re practicing safe sex with your partner.
Anorgasmia, or the inability to achieve orgasm even with ample time and stimulation, is one of the most common sexual concerns reported by women. On one hand, it can be more difficult in general for women to achieve orgasm. On the other hand, there can be psychological and physical barriers for some women. The inability to achieve orgasm can be complex and the result of many different factors, so your gynecologist can discuss your options.
Vaginismus is a treatable condition where the pelvic muscles are involuntarily contracted so that it can be painful during intercourse, during medical exams, and when inserting a tampon. For women who want to engage in intercourse, this can take a toll on their sexual relationship. Your gynecologist can assess your anatomy and recommend ways to relax the muscles through different therapies.
Unhealthy Sexual Relationships
When engaging in a sexual relationship with your partner, it’s important to know the importance of boundaries and consent. This often includes open communication and understanding when you feel uncomfortable. Your gynecologist can discuss the right steps to take if you are in a sexual relationship and how to navigate it.
Sexuality at Different Life Stages
For women in particular, sexuality can change over the course of a lifetime. This means your sexuality may look and feel different when you’re a teenager versus going through menopause. Your body may have different sexual health needs at each stage, so your gynecologist can ensure you know what to expect.
Why is Sexual Health Important?
The more we learn about sex and sexuality, the more we understand that it’s intrinsically tied to many different aspects of your life and health. For many women, sexual health education doesn’t extend to many of its positive aspects, meaning they have trouble navigating their sexuality and health throughout life. With a positive and well-rounded approach to sexual health, you can remain healthy and maintain sexual relationships with the right tools.
What Steps Can I Take?
Sexual health begins with meeting your gynecologist. If you want to select a birth control method, your gynecologist can walk you through your options. Your gynecologist can also ensure you’re taking the right steps in staying healthy and safe throughout your sexual relationships. It can be a big step to talk to your gynecologist about your sexual life, so our expert team can make sure you feel comfortable and cared-for.
Learn More on the Healthful Woman Podcast
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to begin learning about sexual health is by talking with your gynecologist who can recommend your best options and help you learn more. To schedule an appointment, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.