Sexual health encompasses issues related to sexually transmitted infections, sexual dysfunction and more. These conditions affect both men and women and include a wide array of disorders. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections contracted through sexual contact with another person.
Maintaining good Sexual Health
Practicing safe sex is highly recommended to prevent contracting an STD or an unplanned pregnancy. Condoms can greatly reduce the risk. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common STD in the United States. In fact, nearly all sexually active people will contract it at some point in their lives. Over 40 different types of HPV can affect the genital area. The mouth and throat may be affected, as well. In many cases, the condition shows no symptoms. HPV can lead to genital warts or cervical cancer.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common STD affecting women. It’s associated with pain, odor, itching and burning of the vagina.Chlamydia can easily be cured with antibiotics. But if left untreated, it can seriously damage a woman’s reproductive organs.
Gonorrhea is another leading STD in the United States. Common symptoms include burning with urination and abnormal discharge from the penis. If not treated, it can impact female fertility. Gonorrhea is becoming harder to treat, as more and more strains are becoming resistant to antibiotics.
STDs aside, sexual dysfunction is another common sexual health concern. This is defined as having a problem with either sexual desire or sexual response. For men, this may take the form of erectile dysfunction or ejaculation issues. Women’s issues are different. The most common sexual dysfunction problems in women include low sex drive, sexual arousal disorder and orgasmic disorder. Some people even experience sexual headaches – explosive migraines that usually occur during orgasm. This condition affects roughly 1 to 2 percent of the population, but that’s just the number of people who report it. Experts believe the number is actually much higher.
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