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What is the relationship between sexual and overall health?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

Overall health and sexual health are two sides of the same coin. They cannot be considered separately. Everything has the potential to impact your overall health and therefore everything has the potential to impact your sexual health. Along with physical factors, there are emotional, social and interdependence factors.

If you are dealing with a deep-seated emotional issue, you may lose your libido. This will be temporary unless you cannot deal with the emotions. Counseling or medication may be needed. You may have just moved to a new city that is unfamiliar and you have not had time yet to establish new social networks. This is a stress that will impact your physical and emotional health as well as put a damper on your sexual health until you get established. Interdependence issues range from how you make decisions to how you can identify and use the resources around you. If you always defer decision making to anyone else but you, you may be led down an unhealthy path. If you let that good looking Adonis that picked you up in the bar decide that you will be sexually active when you get to his place without any protection, your inability to make your own decisions will probably lead to a lot of trouble!

All the factors that influence how competently you function in life determine how healthy you are in every way. The healthier you are in any way improves your sexual health.

 

Whether you’re a man or a woman, your sexual health and your overall health are intimately connected to each other in more ways than one. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, for example, found that erectile dysfunction is often an early indicator of poor cardiovascular health. Researchers followed more than 2,300 men for an average of four years and found that men with ED had a 58 percent greater risk of coronary heart disease. Another study showed that men who reported having three or more orgasms per week experienced 50 percent fewer heart attacks and strokes as compared with those who had less frequent orgasms.

Clearly, you need to be healthy to have a good sex life -- and you need a good sex life to be healthy! Diet, exercise, stress management, and nutrition all play a role in healthy sexual function.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.