When we talk about sex, we often make it sound like a “take it or leave it” hobby. Many believe that sex is optional, recreational, and completely private. When we visit the doctor, we often hear a lot more about the drawbacks than the health benefits of sex.
Danish doctor and professor of sexology, Christian Graugaard, says that patients and doctors alike have it all wrong. He makes the case for the health benefits of sex and sexual health, advocating for doctors to spend more time considering the sex lives of their patients. For many adults, especially those in their later years, sexual well-being is important every aspect of an individual’s health.
What is sexual health?
Dr. Graugaard quotes the World Health Organization (WHO) in his definition of sexual health. They say that sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality.” This definition suggests that sexuality “is closely linked to personal integrity, identity, body image, bonding, and social curiosity.”
Yes – that’s a lot of key factors in a person’s well being. Sexual health affects us mentally, emotionally, culturally, and (of course) physically. With so many important components, it is no wonder Dr. Graugaard is urging doctors to speak with their patients about this issue!
Why is sexual health so critical for maturing adults?
Sexual health is important for everyone, but those dealing with other health issues should be particularly aware of this issue. According to Dr. Graugaard, a healthy sex life is proven to aid in the treatment and morale of chronically or critically ill patients.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, sexual encounters can be a “refuge” from the stress of illness. Close physical relationships can also add meaningfulness to the life of patients who are otherwise suffering.
His statements are backed by recent studies: In Italy, it was discovered that men with type 2 diabetes who had frequent sexual problems suffered more illness-related distress that their sexually healthy counterparts. According to Dr. Graugaard, “a fulfilling sexual life might reduce morbidity and perhaps even mortality of patients. Sadly, nearly two-thirds of the aforementioned diabetes patients reported that sexuality had not been addressed by any doctor within the past year.”
What is sexual dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction is what happens when unhealthy behaviour or associations are tied to sexuality. This can lead to personal frustration and esteem issues, relational problems, and stress that leads to deteriorating physical and mental health.
The are many types of sexual dysfunction. These include past experiencing involving abuse, sexual illnesses, and physiological barriers to sex. These should be considered by doctors in depth as they seek to treat both sexual and non-sexual issues. According to Dr. Graugaard, all may be intertwined.
Sexual health is no small matter
At FullMast, we wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Graugaard’s conclusion that sexual health is no small matter.
In his article, he cites a population study from Holland which showed that 90% of 16 to 95 year olds considered their sex life important, very important, or extremely important. Undoubtedly, men and women in Canada have similar feelings about intimacy in their own lives. But what can they do if physiological barriers stand in the way?
For men facing issues related to erectile dysfunction who want to enjoy the many health benefits of sex, we are here to help. If you would like a free consultation with an accredited doctor specializing in erectile dysfunction in Vancouver or Toronto, call 1-844-500-1177 or book your confidential appointment online today.