Sexual health starts from hormonal balance and the overall health of people of any age. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.
Sexual Health is a comprehensive concept including a host of aspects. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.
It is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.
Let’s define the key aspects of sexual health:
- gender identity;
- protection from STIs or STDs (sexually transmitted infections and diseases);
- proper contraception and birth control;
- reproductive health;
- sexual violence prevention;
- LGBT health;
- HIV/AIDS prevention;
- and some more concepts.
Let’s review the key concepts in detail to learn what they are and what they suppose to be.
Sexual health starts from a proper attitude to your body, your overall health, your habits, and your self-confidence. This is why sex education is significant both for teens and their parents responsible for the future of their kids and their future relationships and family.
Sex education can be a challenging subject for students and teachers alike, this is why there are specific tools and resources currently available to help teens and adults learn more about their sexuality and healthy sexual lifestyle as well as learn how to make healthy decisions when it comes to sexual behavior.
Aspects of sex education for teens and their parents can include the following:
- questions and answers about sex, body, and relationships;
- peculiarities of sexual relationships and possible problems;
- supporting a teenager in case of sexual bullying;
- supporting LGBT teenager;
- explaining healthy sexual decisions;
Parents should treat the sexual development of their teenage kids seriously enough to avoid future sexual disorders and psychological issues when creating their own relationships and family.
STIs and STDs Prevention
STIs and STDs are common infections that are passed through sexual contact. Many STDs are no big deal and can be treated with antibiotics, but sometimes STDs can be harmful and incurable. All of these diseases should be properly tested in time to start the treatment and get a safer and healthier sex life.
- Types of STDs are as follows:
- Genital warts;
- Genital herpes;
- Pubic lice;
If you’re worried you have got an STI, go for a check-up at a sexual health clinic as soon as you can. Don’t have sex, including oral sex, without a condom until you have had a check-up. You can have an STI without knowing it and infect your partner during sex.
Always use barrier contraception in case of risk to get infected from a partner or refuse from random sexual contacts to prevent possible STIs and long-term treatment as well as avoid unwanted side effects from the disease and protect your sexual health.
Read further to learn more of currently recognized contraception methods widely used across the globe.
Birth Control and Contraception
Not ready to get pregnant at this point in your life? There are lots of safe, effective, and convenient birth control methods out there.
Although abortion is a legal method to end a pregnancy, it’s better to make everything that depends on you to prevent unwanted pregnancy and stay healthy. This is why sexual health is about contraception as well.
It’s required to consider all available contraception methods to feel safe and protected from pregnancy and STIs. Such methods include:
- long-acting reversible contraception, such as the implant or intrauterine device; (IUD)
- hormonal contraception, such as the pill or the Depo Provera injection;
- barrier methods, such as condoms;
- emergency contraception;
- fertility awareness;
- permanent contraception, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation.
Barrier methods are the safest ones because they bring up to 99% of safety in case of proper use and have no side effects harmful to health. Emergency contraception (AKA the morning-after pill) is an effective way to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex, however, this method is considered to be a risky one.
Some people also choose hormonal contraception or Depo Provera injection which is a birth control shot containing hormone progestin and administered every 3 months.
If you’re child-free or you’ve got enough children already born and you don’t intend to have more children in the future, you can choose permanent contraception methods as vasectomy (for men) and tubal ligation (for women).
It’s better to address a qualified physician to learn which kind of contraception is right for you, how to get it, and what to expect.
Sexual Orientation and Gender
Sexual orientation and gender don’t define us — but they’re important parts of who we are and how we interact with the world around us. Whether you’re straight, gay, trans, cis, something else, or figuring it all out, it’s important to feel confident about your sexuality and treat it in a healthy way.
Remember that your sexual preferences and your lifestyle choices are only your own solution and no one can blame you based on your sexual behavior if it doesn’t infringe anyone’s rights and freedom and if it is not violent.
Sex and Relationships
Healthy relationships can bring joy and connection to our lives — and sex can play a major role. Everyone’s different, and what’s important for some may not be at all important for others.
Your sex behavior ultimately depends on your personal beliefs, physical desires, and the nature of your relationship. Sexual relationships work best when everybody is clear about what they want.
HRT for Sexual Health in Men
Hormone replacement therapy is a bit of a misnomer. It’s natural for men’s testosterone levels to decrease as they get older. So, hormone therapy doesn’t replace anything that is naturally missing.
It would be better to define hormone treatment (in this case, it’s testosterone replacement therapy or TRT) as the ability to boost the levels of testosterone and force your body to work as it is young again. Testosterone is required for:
- male sexual development;
- reproductive function;
- building muscle bulk;
- maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells;
- maintaining bone density.
The natural decrease of T-hormone in men typically doesn’t affect overall health any more than the aging process does. Some men with unnaturally low levels of testosterone can benefit from hormone therapy.
For example, hypogonadism can cause unnaturally low levels of testosterone. It’s a dysfunction of the testicles that prevents the body from producing the right amount of testosterone.
If your doctor suggests testosterone therapy, several options are available. These include:
Intramuscular testosterone injections: Your doctor will inject these into the muscles of your buttocks every two to three weeks.
Testosterone patches: You apply these each day to your back, arms, buttocks, or abdomen. Be sure to rotate the application sites.
Topical testosterone gel: You apply this each day to your shoulders, arms, or abdomen.
The type of HRT here is chosen based on the doctor’s recommendations.
Minor potential side effects of hormone therapy with testosterone include:
- fluid retention;
- increased urination.
When on testosterone replacement therapy, the body may shut off its production of testosterone. This happens because testosterone is received externally, so hypophysis signals the testicles they shouldn’t produce the hormone by themselves.
To avoid shrinking of testicles and reduction of fertility experts use human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as an additional drug for HRT (more precisely TRT). HCG allows preserving the fertility of men while treating their hypogonadism.
HRT for Sexual Health in Women
HRT is a solution for women during menopause resulting in the dropped levels of estrogen and testosterone and decreased sex drive.
If you and your partner are happy with the state of your relationship, low libido might be something that does not concern you. However, for some women, it can have a significant impact on their self-esteem, emotional well-being, and relationship. This is when it is worth considering the treatment options available.
Lack of estrogen is to blame for symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flushes, and low mood which can all affect libido, while a decline in testosterone is directly linked to less interest in sex.
To help you decide whether you might want to consider testosterone treatment, check out the answers to some frequently asked questions below:
What is testosterone treatment?
Testosterone treatment aims to replace the natural testosterone that your body loses as you age. It is usually prescribed, alongside HRT, as a gel or a cream in an appropriate female dose.
Is testosterone treatment safe?
A review of all the studies carried out into the effects of testosterone on hypoactive sexual desire disorder, published simultaneously in four leading international medical journals, found that transdermal (absorbed via the skin) testosterone was an effective and safe therapy for women with the disorder. A number of clinical trials have also reported the benefits of using testosterone in women complaining of low sex drive.
How can testosterone treatment help my symptoms?
There is some evidence that low dose testosterone can improve sex drive and have other positive effects in some women.
Testosterone is not effective for everyone although some women have reported that it has made a significant difference to their quality of life, sex drive, energy levels, concentration, and mood.
When do I stop taking it?
Doctors usually prescribe the lowest dose of testosterone they believe will benefit the woman and the duration of the treatment varies. You might take testosterone therapy for as many years as you take HRT. If symptoms return when you come off HRT, you should discuss this with a doctor.
The Final Thoughts
Sexual health starts from hormonal balance and the overall health of people of any age. This is why our mission is to keep you free from hormonal disorders and bring you the chance to feel active both in your everyday life and your sexual relationships. Contact us today to learn more.