Are you thinking seriously about sexual health? The last thing we want to admit is that we’re not doing everything we could or should to protect ourselves from sexually transmitted diseases, sexual dysfunction or unwanted pregnancy. “I didn’t know” is never an excuse, so whether you’re 15 or 45, it’s time to give yourself a serious once-over and be sure you’re taking the right steps to live a healthy lifestyle.
Recent studies suggest that trust is a large factor in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, and it’s not just teenagers who put too much blind faith in their partners. Adults need to take their sexual health more seriously, health experts say.
New research suggests that the number of sexually transmitted diseases has doubled in less than ten years for people over 45 years old. Approximately 45% of older adults with an STD suffered from genital warts specifically, and 1 in 5 had herpes.
Older adults are less likely to use condoms, which explains the 127% increase in incidences. Teenagers most commonly contract things like genital warts, HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Some say the increased access to birth control and the ease of treatment for many STDs has led to a rise in teens having sex, while other health experts argue that our society has changed and teens will live dangerously regardless. At any rate, sexual health is contingent upon education; not just from a class at school, but from at home. Parents should heed their own advice as well.
Male and female sexual health plays a role in pregnancy. Reproductive health problems go beyond the ability to have a healthy, happy baby, and get right down to brass tacks and the sense of personal fulfillment in a relationship. Differing expectations or inability to perform can cause a partner to stray; thus, leading to divorce, or may create depression from continual disappointment.
There are many factors that influence reproductive health, such as age, lifestyle, genetics, habits, medication and environment. The good news is that many of the sexual problems adults face can be corrected.
As we age, sexual health becomes more and more important. For women, not only does the risk for cervical and breast cancer increase, but women also undergo “the change of life” with menopause in their fifties to sixties. For men, the risk of erectile dysfunction, testicular or prostate cancer and irritable bowel syndrome can increase.
“If I could highlight one significant change from over the past five years, it would be the greater willingness of midlife and older adults to discuss sex as a health issue with their health professionals,” said Linda Fisher, research director at AARP. A survey done by AARP reported that more people consult their health care professional about sexual health topics, more than twice as many men use performance enhancing drugs and more people feel that both sexual and overall health is a critical part of a good relationship.