Women & Sexual Health Issues

By AMNW Intern

Sociologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, joined us to talk about the importance of sexual health to women. The National Women’s Health Resource Center, together with the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, recently conducted a study which found 70% of women have experienced a sexual health issue, which some respondents said negatively impacted some aspects of their lives.

• According to the survey, most women say that sexual health is an important part of their overall health:
o Women ranked having a healthy sex life higher than career satisfaction, home ownership, traveling and social life but lower than financial security, physical health, mental health, marriage, and having children.

• Sexual health issues are common and affect women of all ages at any stage of life.  These issues may include a lack of desire to engage in sexual activity, not being able to become aroused, or pain during intercourse, among others.

Women today have such busy lives – does sexual health really matter?
• Some surveyed women reported that aspects of their lives were negatively affected by sexual health issues, including their romantic relationships, self esteem, mental, physical and emotional health, sleep, and weight issues.  Sexual health is an important part of a woman’s overall health.

• Every woman is entitled to a satisfying, healthy sex life.  Therefore, it is important women feel comfortable addressing their sexual health.

If many women experience these sexual health issues, what are they doing to address them?
• While this survey showed us that sexual health issues are more common than one may expect, many women rarely do anything about the issues they experience.  In fact, less than one-fifth of women surveyed said they talked to their health care provider when they had a sexual health problem.

What should women do if they experience a sexual health issue?
• A dialogue about sexual health should be an integral part of routine patient care. Unfortunately, many women are hesitant to talk to their health care provider about sexual issues out of discomfort or embarrassment. 


.• Sex and a Healthier You was designed to help women learn more about their sexual health and encourage them to talk to their partners and their health care providers if they are experiencing a sexual health issue.

• On Monday, Oct. 26, there is a free Sex and a Healthier You event at Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Health & Healing from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  Dr. Schwartz will be a part of the panel discussion which will include Portland’s own Dr. Karen Adams and Beth Battaglino Cahill, the Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Resource Center. 

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