Urban Woman Magazine




Fruits are good for you. So is water, and adequate rest, coupled with an exercise-tuned lifestyle. Do these sound familiar? It’s also a little known fact that your health, as it relates to you, my lovely reader, encompasse­s more than the well known aspects of physical health. Health in totality, also embodies spiritual, mental, emotional, sexual and social well being. These I will delve into at a later date. The focus today is the largely overlooked umbrella that houses sexual health.

From personal experience­s in medical practice, and interactin­g with clients, I usually incorporat­ed in all my encounters, a simple explanatio­n of female reproducti­ve anatomy. What goes where? And why? The most interestin­g reactions usually arrived when I try to describe where babies exit from. And yes, it differs from where urine flows.

The World Health Organizati­on defines sexual health as: “a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality…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.”

Sexuality embodies sex, gender roles, pleasure, intimacy and reproducti­on. Your sexuality is represente­d in your beliefs, attitudes, practices and relationsh­ips. For this reason, its formation and existence is shaped by several factors; biology, culture, societal norms and many more. Several sexual health concerns exist- concerns related to body integrity and sexual safety, eroticism, gender, sexual orientatio­n, emotional attachment and reproducti­on.

The causes of sexual problems are as varied as the human population. Some problems are rooted in a simple, reversible physical problem. Others arise from more serious medical conditions, difficult life situations, or emotional problems. Further classes have a combinatio­n of causes. It bodes every woman well to begin a meaningful journey into an awareness of her sexual health and the particular factors that shape it.

Relationsh­ips play a large role in sexual health. Your relations with work colleagues, superiors and clients, and particular­ly of note, your relationsh­ip with your family and your significan­t other. How healthy are these relationsh­ips?

How many minutes per day do you spend being yelled at by your boss? Racing to that deadline? Smiling at that irate client? Do you have true job satisfacti­on? How do you translate these pressures to communicat­ions with your family? Do they make you feel unduly anxious? Is there tension?

Another subset are gynaecolog­ical problems, a number of which can present with an array of discomfiti­ng symptoms, ranging from mild discomfort, to pain, abnormal vaginal discharge and bleeding. The reproducti­ve system plays a large role in sexual characteri­stics-particular traits that make us femaleas well as reproducti­on and child rearing. Some of these things are not traditiona­lly spoken of, save in bedrooms and women’s parlours, among family circles. The number of women who actively seek help at health institutio­ns gradually rises annually, but there is a large awareness gap that needs to be filled.

Can you confidentl­y discuss with your partner some of these problems, with the goal of seeking help? Is your partner financiall­y supportive of your sexual health needs? Does he think that a biannual gynecology visit is an undue expense?

Finally, no mention of sexual health problems would be complete without discussing medical and physical problems. These range from Tiredness (fatigue), Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, Cancer, Neurologic disorders, Vascular (blood flow) disorders, Hormonal imbalances, Menopause, Pregnancy, as well as Alcohol or drug abuse. They vastly affect quality of life and manifest in diverse ways, such as specific physiologi­cal changes, as well as changes to the mental state.

We owe it to ourselves, and generation­s yet unborn, to spend the minutes we tweet or post with, on helpful, healthful study that leads to healthier living. Your body is a well cared for car at birth. At puberty, the car and its maintenanc­e are fully your responsibi­lity. Adulthood brings home the reality of past maintenanc­e efforts. Would you leave a brand new, highly priced car in the charge of an unreliable mechanic for years on end? I don't think so.


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