Sexual health is an integral part of your life. For women, sexual health is often clubbed together with reproductive health, which makes it an even more vital aspect of their health. A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health in 2019 explains how women also face several barriers that keep them from receiving proper medical counselling, care and treatment for their sexual health needs and concerns.
Lack of knowledge and social stigma are two factors that make this situation even worse. Most women are unaware that treatment and management options are available for most of their sexual health issues and even if they are aware, many don’t feel comfortable seeking help for such issues. So instead of ignoring the symptoms of the following sexual health issues, go to a gynaecologist immediately.
1. Dyspareunia: Penetrative sex can be painful the first few times, especially if you’re not properly lubricated. But experiencing a deep or superficial pain during sex persistently might indicate that you have an underlying cause like vaginal dryness or a genital organ disorder.
2. Anorgasmia: Having an orgasm is something most sexually active people want, but some women are unable to do so despite ample stimulation. This is known as anorgasmia, and it’s a sexual dysfunction that can be quite distressing for both you and your partner.
3. Endometriosis: The endometrial tissue lines your uterus. But if this tissue grows behind the uterus, on the ovaries or anywhere else, it causes endometriosis - which is a very painful condition and often causes infertility, dyspareunia, heavy periods, etc.
4. Uterine fibroids: Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours, mostly made of muscle cells, that grow on or around the uterine walls. These not only cause menstrual issues and infertility but also lower back pain and dyspareunia.
5. Interstitial cystitis: This is a condition in which the bladder walls become irritated or inflamed, and can cause scarring as well. Frequent urination, pelvic and lower back pain, tenderness and abdominal discomfort are common in this condition.
6. Polycystic ovary syndrome: PCOS is caused when a woman’s body produces more male hormones than normal, which causes cyst-like sacs to develop in the ovaries. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing infertility, diabetes, excess hair growth, acne and heart disease.
7. Sexually transmitted infections: These infections are often contracted by having unsafe sex with an infected person, and can lead to severe health problems. If a pregnant woman gets an STI, she can even pass it on to the unborn baby, which can cause severe complications.
8. Urinary tract infections: Quite like STIs, UTIs can also have severe effects on a woman’s health and can be passed on to the foetus if you’re pregnant. Both STIs and UTIs are treatable with antibiotics or be managed by antiviral medications, so get yourself screened if you feel there is even a slight chance of infection.
For more information, read our articles on Women’s Health.
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