A Guide To Women’s Sexual Health In 2023

Sexual health is an important part of overall wellness for all adults. But do you know what sexual health really means? The World Health Organization (WHO) has a working definition of “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.” That definition of sexual health doesn’t just concern physical or reproductive health, but it encompasses all elements of a person’s sexual life. 

Women’s Sexual Health In 2023

As the end of the year approaches, it’s a great time to start setting goals for healthy lifestyle adjustments. Many resolutions revolve around eating healthy or exercising, but this year, Kernodle OB/GYN urges you to take steps toward your sexual health. That’s why we’ve compiled a guide to help you learn more about your sexual health as a woman and tips to practice sexual health self-care.

Physical Sexual Health

The mental, emotional, and social elements are all very important when talking about sexual health. You can’t be sexually healthy without all aspects. However, for our purposes, we’ll focus on the more physical aspects of the definition. To maintain your sexual health, you should keep up your regular visits to your healthcare providers. That includes annual visits to the OB/GYN and regular health screenings as needed. Not everyone needs the same health screenings every year and some people should get screened more frequently. It depends on your age, history, and current lifestyle.

Sexual Health Screenings

If you are sexually active, it’s important that getting tested for STDs is on your radar. The following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) apply to women’s health screenings for STD testing:

  • All adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested at least once for HIV
  • All sexually active women under the age of 25 should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year
  • Women 25 and older with risk factors like new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner with an STD should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year
  • All pregnant women should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B in early pregnancy
  • At-risk pregnant women should be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea

Click here to see other recommendations based on your age and history.

If you have questions about which health screenings you should get, talk to your OB/GYN or another healthcare provider.

Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction refers to problems that prevent you from wanting to have sex or enjoying sexual activity. Some issues are more common among older adults, but sexual dysfunction can occur in people of all ages and genders. Common sexual dysfunctions among women include:

  • Low sex drive: Lack of sexual interest and desire
  • Sexual arousal disorder: Difficulty becoming aroused or maintaining arousal
  • Orgasmic disorder: Recurrent or persistent difficulty in achieving orgasm
  • Sexual pain disorder: Pain associated with sexual stimulation or vaginal contact

If you’re experiencing any of the above sexual dysfunctions or have other issues that are preventing you from having a fulfilling sex life, you should talk to your women’s health care provider. They may be able to help you determine what is causing your issues and work towards resolving them. They can offer treatment with medications or minimally invasive procedures to help with intimate health. Or, they may have resources or referrals you can use to find more help.

If you have any questions about your own sexual wellness, consult a provider at Kernodle OB/GYN. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our NC practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women in Burlington and Mebane, NC. Call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.

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