We Don't Talk Enough About Men's Sexual Health!
Sexual health is more than your biology class in school. It begins with open conversations, informed choices & easy access to healthcare
This blog is a part of our No Shave November campaign to raise awareness about men's overall health. We live in a society that is still uncomfortable with the idea of sex. Even when we talk about it, it is mostly about reproduction and procreation. While women may still go to a gynaecologist for regular screening or addressing concerns related to their sexual and reproductive health, we often do not discuss men’s sexual health at all.
Sexual health 101
It’s time we recognise sexual health as a constituent of a man’s overall well-being. For men, sexual health is not limited to their reproductive functions. It is also about sexual activity, physical wellness, and quality of life.
Therefore, we need to start talking about your sexual health to counteract any distress you may face, address issues related to reproduction, and avoid the risk of infections and diseases.
Common concerns for men’s sexual health
For a general understanding, here’s what you need to know about some common sexual health concerns faced by men and what they mean:
Erectile and sexual dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual health concern faced by men that makes it difficult for them to get or keep an erection. The incidence of ED increases with age. Some research suggests that around 40% of men are affected by ED before they turn 40.
Men also face other forms of sexual dysfunction like premature or delayed ejaculation, dry orgasm, prolonged erection, and loss of libido that affect their sexual performance and satisfaction.
Know that these are medical issues and do not make you any less of a man.
Some of these sexual dysfunctions can affect a man’s fertility and chances of procreation. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) reports that over 12–18 million couples in India are diagnosed with infertility every year.
Other factors like low sperm production, blockages in its passage, and trauma to sexual organs like the testes can also reduce male fertility. If you are trying to have a child with your partner, address all such concerns.
STIs and STDs
Another sexual health concern that all people who engage in sexual activity face is the risk of sexually transmitted infections and diseases. Besides the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, men may also be at risk of contracting herpes, gonorrhoea, human papillomavirus, syphilis, and chlamydia.
All have different symptoms and can be managed or treated with timely intervention.
Things that impact men’s sexual health:
– Ageing is a natural process that changes and affects men’s sexual health
– Heart disease and cholesterol levels
– Mental and emotional distress
– Diet and weight-related issues
– Diabetes and blood pressure
– Hormonal imbalance
– Smoking and alcohol consumption
– Medications for other health issues
– Marital or relationship concerns and challenges Read our blog on myths and facts about sexual health here.
What you can do about your sexual health?
First and foremost, try to get over your initial hesitation to consider your sexual health. If you are concerned about any of its facets, including sexual performance and worries about infections, look out for resources, like this blog, to develop an understanding.
It will guide you in caring for yourself and improving your quality of life. Open communication is the key to discussing and resolving any underlying issues related to sexual performance and satisfaction.
Here are some other things you can do for your sexual wellness:
Adopt healthier life choices
Similar to other physical or mental health challenges, your sexual well-being depends on your lifestyle choices. You can feel better in your body and mind by opting for healthier options.
Follow a heart-healthy diet to cope with or avoid any sexual dysfunctions. Quit or reduce smoking and alcohol consumption as they affect your libido and sexual performance. Also, stay active through strength training or aerobic exercises for your overall fitness.
Use contraceptives and adopt other preventative strategies
Do you know we need to use contraceptives for oral sex too? For your sexual well-being, use protection like condoms and dental dams for all sexual activities, especially for short-term intimate relations, to reduce the risk of STDs and STIs.
The use of contraceptives is also necessary to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Men may also consider getting a vasectomy for birth control. Make sure to talk to your general physician about all your options.
Get screened for STDs and STIs
Even though many people today use protection for penetrative sex, you should get screened for STDs and STIs that may still get transmitted through skin-to-skin touch, oral sex, and other forms of intimacy.
Those with multiple sexual partners should get their STD panel done at regular intervals. Check out Kenko’s fuss-free individual and group health plans for diagnostic testing.
Seek professional care and help
For any sexual health and wellness issues like sexual dysfunction, sexually transmitted infections, or other mental and emotional health issues, reach out for professional help.
Many are easily treated or managed through medical consultation, counselling, medication, and sometimes surgical interventions.
Worried about taking care of yourself and your expenses? Kenko offers Health Plans that give you up to 50% off on doctor consultations, lab tests, daily healthcare, medicines and much more.