November 29, 2018

More than Sex – Sexual Health Is an Important Part of Our Well-being

sexual health personal wellnessBy Aleece Fosnight, Urogynecology

When you hear or see the word “sex,” what comes to your mind? Do you cringe because it reminds you of all the negative things your parents or other adults said about it? Does it bring you curiosity because you are looking into ways to spice up your relationship? Or, are your thinking about the low desire you have because sex has now become painful? With November being National Sexual Health Awareness Month, we are dedicated to helping you answer these questions and promoting sexual health knowledge, informing people about sex while diminishing the stigma that often surrounds sexual issues.

Sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy your own sexuality throughout your life. It is a vital component to our physical and emotional health.

Here is what being sexually healthy means¹:

  • Understanding that sexuality is a natural part of life and involves more than sexual behavior
  • Recognizing and respecting the sexual rights we all share
  • Having access to sexual health information, education and care
  • Making an effort to prevent unintended pregnancies and STIs, and to seek care and treatment when needed
  • Being able to experience sexual pleasure, satisfaction and intimacy when desired
  • Being able to communicate about sexual health with others including sexual partners and healthcare providers

Doesn’t sound so scary, does it?

But often, talking to a healthcare provider about your sexual health can be intimidating. You might feel embarrassed about the questions that you have, and it can be difficult to admit to certain feelings or fears about your sexual health – you are not alone. However, being able to talk to your healthcare provider about your physical health as it relates to your sexual health is crucial and is your sexual right as a human being. Being honest about what is happening with your body and its impact on your state of mind will help guide your healthcare provider to appropriate treatment and suggestions to improve your sexual health.

The majority of people struggle with what sexuality and sexual health means to them. Step one is recognizing that you are sexual and that it encompasses love, intimacy and pleasure. Start the conversation today – with yourself, your partner and your healthcare provider.


Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C, CSC, CSE, is a physician assistant at Pisgah Urology Associates. 

Learn more about Pisgah Urology at missionhealth.org/urologyFind a doctor online at missionhealth.org/provider-finder.

References:

  1. Sexual Health Awareness Month, American Sexual Health Association, http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/sexual-health/