Sexual health refers to factors that affect sexual function and reproduction. An impaired sexual health affects physical, mental and emotional health of a person, which leads to a poor self-image and relationship issues.
“But both men and women are unaware about these consequences, which means there is a lack of maturity, and knowledge related to sex and contraception. But sexual health is not only contraception and condoms, it also is ensuring that your sexual needs are met in a healthy, positive way,” says Dr Alka Kriplani,
Director & Head, Centre for Minimally Invasive Gynecology, Paras Hospital, Gurugram. On Sexual and Reproductive Health Day, doctors across different hospitals stress on bringing the issue out in the open.
Dr Tanveer Aujla, Senior Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida
As per the Sexual Advice Association, 1 in 3 young and middle-aged women, and 1 in 2 older women across the globe face sexual problems. Common sexual problems among women include vaginal cysts, contraception, fertility, painful sex, and infertility. It is imperative that sexual health issues are attended to with priority as good sexual health means a better physical and emotional health.
Dr Ranjana Becon, Gynecologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad
Precocious puberty, a condition where a child’s body begins changing into that of an adult too soon, is increasingly evident in young city boys and girls. About 80 per cent of the girls in cities are reaching puberty around age 10 — two years earlier than the past. In Ghaziabad, 1 out of every 3 girls have early periods (before age 8). So, making pre-teens aware of sexual health is important so that they do not indulge in risky behaviour.
Dr Shikha Parashar, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Miracles Mediclinic & Apollo Cradle Hospital, Gurugram
Nearly 30 per cent of the cases of infections are caused by the regular use of intimate feminine hygiene products. About 60 per cent of patients who are already suffering from infections, cause more harm to themselves by using these products, without consulting a doctor. Washing private parts is important to prevent infection as well as to maintain pH balance.
Dr Akta Bajaj, Head, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ujala Cygnus Hospitals.
Sexual health is integral to a person’s overall health. Without awareness about it, a person is unable to understand the underlying causes of sexual disorders and seek medical help. It is important that sexual health issues are addressed in a timely manner. This can be done by talking about it with a health care provider and your partner. It is also important that people know about barrier contraception so that they are safe from STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
Dr Gauri Agarwal, IVF & Infertility Specialist, Founder, Seeds of Innocence & Genestrings Diagnostic Center
Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) cause diseases that can affect one’s health significantly. These comprise a major part of all reproductive tract infections (RTIs) and present a major health challenge that exacerbates existing social and economic problems. A failure to diagnose these problems in early stages in women of reproductive age may result in serious complications, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, ectopic pregnancy, foetal wastage, genital cancer, as well as neonatal and infant infections. In India, about 80 million adults are at risk of developing fertility disorders just because of lack of awareness and adherence to sexual and reproductive health.