It’s Sexual Health Month! September is the perfect time to raise awareness and create a conversation about how to maintain exceptional sexual health. Here are a few of the most common sexual health issues in both men and women, along with what you can do to treat and prevent them.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Practicing safe sex is a major component of sexual health; using condoms and other forms of protection can defend against some of the most common types of STIs. According to the World Health Organization, 376 million new STIs are acquired each year — the most frequent being chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.
To most effectively prevent against STIs, you need to acquire an extensive, detailed education about safe sex and understanding of the consequences of STIs. This, partnered with a trusted, reputable condom can best keep you from contributing to these statistics.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
The frequent inability to get or maintain an erection during sexual activity is known as erectile dysfunction (ED). Studies show 52% of men experience ED at some point during their lives, which demonstrates how common this disorder can be.
Causes: Physically, health conditions like heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes are common sources of the condition. In fact, 75% of men with diabetes also have ED. Psychologically, conditions like stress, anxiety, and relationship issues can prevent one from performing.
Treatment: Talk to a doctor if more than 25% of your sexual experiences are affected by ED. They can prescribe you a treatment for ED such as Viagra or sildenafil (generic Viagra), or recommend a therapist to talk out your anxieties or insecurities.
Prevention: A healthy lifestyle and being consistently open and honest about your feelings and sexual desires can help you avoid ED and enjoy your intimate moments.
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)
HSDD is the most common sexual disorder in women — recognized when a woman has a noticeable lack of desire for sex or low libido that proves burdensome on her relationships and personal life. Experts say that the disorder affects 1 in every 10 women.
Causes: Physical conditions from regular medications a woman takes, breast cancer, and thyroid problems can all lead to HSDD. Besides physical causes, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can induce the disorder.
Treatment: If a doctor has prescribed you with HSDD, they may suggest counseling to address any emotional issues. They can also adjust any medications you’re taking that could be contributing to weakened libido, or evaluate your case and prescribe treatments for HSDD like Addyi, or even estrogen therapy.
Prevention: Regular exercise, stress-relieving techniques, and trying new things in the bedroom are some lifestyle changes you can make to avoid HSDD and increase your desire for, and enjoyment of, sex.
While these are only a few of the sexual health issues to learn about, there are plenty of conditions you should be aware of that can harm your sexual health and overall well-being. Take this sexual health month of September to further your knowledge about what it takes to carry out a healthy and safe sex life.