The definition of sexual health can be hard to lay out as each culture and individual has different standards of the matter. However, sexual health is usually defined using World Health Organization (WHO)’s definition: a state of physical, social, and mental well-being relating to sexuality.

Sexual Health

Sexual health, therefore, doesn’t just pertain to the absence of sexual or reproductive disorders and diseases; it is also more than avoiding unplanned pregnancy or infections. In fact, having a sexually transmitted infection doesn’t hinder one from being sexually healthy.

A Sexually Healthy Person

Being sexually healthy encompasses more than just the sex life of a person; it goes beyond the act of having sex. A sexually healthy individual is defined as:

  • Being able to recognize and respect sexual rights and relationships
  • Having an understanding of sexuality as a natural part of life and involving more than just sexual behavior
  • Having access to education, information, and care relating to sexual health
  • Being able to experience sexual satisfaction, intimacy, and pleasure when desired
  • Being able to communicate with others, including health care providers and partners, about topics on sexual health
  • Implementing ways to prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and unintended pregnancies
  • Being able to obtain sexual health care and treatment

Dangers of Unprotected Sex

Unprotected sex is risky and can lead to various diseases and conditions. According to WHO, unsafe sex ranked second among the top ten risk factors to health, and the reason for this is HIV and AIDS.

  1. HIV and AIDS

Although these two are different, both of them can be contracted through unsafe sexual intercourse. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a type of virus that attacks a person’s immune system or the body’s natural defense.

Since HIV targets the immune system, an individual with HIV who is not receiving treatment will find it harder to fight even simple infections and diseases. If left untreated, the immune system can last up to 10 to 15 years before it becomes severely damaged. The progress of the disease, however, vary depending on the person’s health and age.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It’s not just a little virus but a syndrome or set of symptoms that are caused by HIV. In other words, AIDS is the terminal stage of HIV, when the infection is too advanced, and the body’s immune system can no longer defend itself. AIDS, if not treated, leads to death.

  1. STDs

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are another risk factor for one’s health that can be acquired through unprotected sex. They can be passed to another during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. STDs are common, and many who have acquired a disease don’t have any early symptoms.

They can be dangerous if left untreated, so going for STD tests should be done regularly, especially if you’re sexually active. Sexually transmitted diseases include Chancroid, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, some types of Hepatitis, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis, among others.

  1. Unintended Pregnancy

Unintended pregnancies are those that are unwanted or unplanned at conception. The common cause of unintended pregnancy is unsafe sex. The use of contraceptives is recommended to avoid unintended pregnancies. Among the widely-used contraception methods include the use of condoms, intrauterine device (IUD), birth control pills, spermicides, and cervical caps.

Unintended Pregnancy

Unprotected sexual intercourse causes many different health risks and dangers. It often goes unnoticed, but part of being a sexually healthy individual is being able to enjoy sexual pleasure without compromising your own health. So, before anything happens, it pays to be safe than sorry.

About The Author:

Candice WattsCandice Watts works as a volunteer for different health organizations in her area. She likes to bring the awareness of HIV and other STD tests related issues for people to learn when it comes to health. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing and water sports.

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