Sexual health is the ability to enjoy physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being concerning our sexual health.
Sexual health is a fundamental part of the overall health of an individual, and a family. It contributes to the social and economic development of communities and countries.
Good sexual health requires a good and respectful approach to sexuality, as well as the possibility of having a pleasurable and safe sexual experience, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.
Sexual health does not always mean the absence of disease or dysfunction. It is a very important part of our physical, mental, and emotional health.
The impact of your sexual health also impacts other types of health including mental health, spiritual health, physical health, social health, financial health, etc.
Your sexual health is an important part of your well-being as any other type of health. But the level of importance may vary with each person. It is generally influenced by your upbringing, physical environment, and sexual education.
Barriers to good sexual health
Certain barriers have been identified for good sexual health especially in young people. These barriers can include:
- Lack of proper sex education
- Cultural norms and traditions
- Lack of sexual health service access including location, hours, and confidentiality
- Lack of skilled service providers
- Embarrassment in seeking sexual health services
- Communication limitation in explaining the sexual health
- The high cost of sexual health care in the low-income group
10 Tips for good sexual health
Are you looking to spice up your sex life? Several things including medication, lifestyle changes, and certain other therapies can help you improve your sexual life. These everyday practices can increase your libido and help you conquer problems like erectile dysfunction. They are easy to adopt practices that will enrich your sexual health.
- Daily Physical Exercise
- Practice Yoga
- Eat Certain Fruits
- Eat Chocolate
- Healthy Sexual Self-esteem
- Sleep Well
- Manage Stress
- Improve Quality of Relationship
- Try Some Herbs
- Sex therapy and Consultation
Daily Physical Exercise
Daily exercise is very important for your stamina and also increase blood circulation in the body. Special exercises should be done to strengthen your pelvic muscles, as they will increase your endurance and sexual performance.
You can do bodyweight squats, one-leg squats, or bench press to strengthen your pelvic region. Even regular stretching of hands and leg muscles will help you avoid cramps.
According to a Harvard study, a daily walk for 30 minutes is linked with a 41% drop in erectile dysfunction.
Another study found that moderate physical exercise on daily basis can restore sexual performance in obese, and middle ages men with erectile dysfunction.
Yoga is a set of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises that originated from ancient India. It has been shown to have positive effects on lowering stress and depression, healing, and relieving pain.
Yoga can help you with mindfulness and maintain your libido through mind-body practices. It can help you with focus, avoiding random thoughts during sex that might distract you to reach orgasm.
Keeping your attention and focus on what you are doing will enhance your pleasure. According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, yoga helped women to have better arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction.
Basic yoga posture also improves pelvic muscle strength, boosts mood, relaxes your body, and helps overcome depression.
Eat Certain Fruits
Fruits are a rich source of vitamins and minerals which help in blood circulation throughout the body and to your genitals.
For example, avocados are rich in folic acid and vitamin B 6 which stabilizes your hormones. Almonds contain arginine that strengthens the blood vessels and improves circulation.
Strawberries and raspberries are rich in zinc which helps both men and women in sex. Zinc is responsible for testosterone levels in men. Zinc level drops after each intercourse, therefore these should be consumed on regular basis.
Watermelon contains citrulline which releases arginine in the body. Arginine helps in vascular strength, thus improving erection and libido.
Certain other fruits like figs, bananas, apple, and pomegranate also boost libido and help in maintaining an erection.
Chocolates have always been a symbol of desire throughout history. It exerts several effects on human sexuality and has been reported to have aphrodisiac effects, increasing libido, and sexual pleasure.
Dark chocolate is excellent for sexual health as it helps in increasing the dopamine level, which mainly affects the pleasure center of the brain.
Chocolates also release certain other chemicals in the body including phenylethylamine and serotonin that have aphrodisiacs and mood-lifting effects.
In a study published in the Journal of Proteome, 40 g of chocolate for 14 days can reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is mainly a stress hormone in the body.
By lowering the stress level, you can avoid hypertension or high blood pressure, which is one of the main causes of erectile dysfunction.
Healthy Sexual Self-esteem
Self-confidence is the key to have good sexual health. Sometimes you can feel a bit down about your sexual health due to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.
The way you feel about your body affects your sexual health as it can discourage or encourage you to have sexual pleasures.
Healthy sexual sex-esteem can give confidence about your capability and capacity to enjoy your sexuality.
If you don’t feel good about yourself in general, you might not have confidence in your sexual self.
A good way to improve your sexual self-esteem is to focus on the positives about yourself and not just consider your failures.
You can also try therapy to boost your confidence. Engaging in healthy social activities can also boost your self-confidence.
Sleep has been related to decreased sexual drive and erectile dysfunction. A hectic lifestyle with a busy routine often leaves little time for sex.
Testosterone is produced in male when he is sleeping, that is responsible for fueling sexual drive and maintaining an erection. A low level of testosterone results in decreased libido or sexual desire and erectile dysfunction.
Research has shown that women who sleep well have better sexual arousal the next day. Also, women who had longer sleep hours had better sexual health than women with shorter sleep hours.
Chronic stress or ongoing stress can lower the production of testosterone resulting in decrease libido or sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, or impotence.
A high level of stress is a barrier to heaving good sexual health and satisfaction in both males and females. Stress could be general or specifically sex-related anxiety.
A recent study in 2017 has identified depression and stress as the leading cause of erectile dysfunction in young people.
Many things can boost your mood and manage your stress and anxiety including:
- Find a hobby to engage yourself
- Exercising regularly
- Improving social interaction
- Joining groups or meetings
- Working on building relationships
- Talk to a therapist
Improve Quality of Relationship
Improvement in the quality of the relationship has positive effects on sexual desire, arousal, and overall sexual health.
Conflicts often arise in long-term relationships. If you have arguments with your partner, you might not be in the mood to have sex.
Women often desire emotional closeness for sexual intimacy. If you want to have good relationships, you should resolve your conflicts with your partner.
Communication regarding your sexual health is important as it can prevent resentments from building up.
Try Some Herbs
Some herbs like basil, maca, ginseng, ginkgo, and garlic have been proven to have good effects on arousal, sexual desire, and sexual health.
Basil stimulates the senses and helps your mood. Garlic is rich in allicin that improves blood flow in the body.
Ginkgo Biloba is an extract derived from the Chinese ginkgo tree, which is used as an anti-depressant in people with erectile dysfunction.
Yohimbine is an extract derived from the bark of the West African evergreen tree. It works like Viagra and helps in maintaining an erection.
Sex therapy and Consultation
Sexual health depends upon both physical and psychological factors. Even if a person is physically fit, but as some psychological issue, he might not have good sexual health.
Sexual health including libido, desire, and endurance can be improved by working on psychological and emotional responses even if a person is suffering from some medical condition like diabetes.
Counseling can help to overcome issues with low sexual self-esteem, stress, and depression. Relationship counseling involving both partners can also help with desire, arousal, and improving relationships.
Even with natural remedies, you should also consult a doctor to identify the underlying causes of your sexual health.
Sexual health is an as important part of your health as any other type of health including physical or mental health. Poor sexual health can also impact your overall health negatively. Sexual health can be improved by following certain lifestyle changes including daily exercise, yoga, and certain other physical exercises to strengthen your pectoral muscle. A healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables also improves your sexual health. These practices can help you have better and improved sexual health but if you have any sexual health complications, you should talk to a therapist or a doctor. Medical help might be necessary in some cases of poor libido, and erectile dysfunction.