Women's Sexual Health

Sex is an important part of life. For some women, thinking about sex starts early, often before puberty, and lasts until their final days on earth.

On one level, sex is just another hormone-driven bodily function designed to perpetuate the species. On another, it's a pleasurable activity. It's also a connection that can help cement the bonds between two people. 

Sexual health refers to a state of well-being that lets a woman fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity. A range of physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors influence a woman's sexual health.

Sex requires amazing connections between the sex organs, hormone-producing glands, the brain, and the rest of the body. If one part is out of whack, the desire for sex may fade, or the ability to have sex may be compromised. In addition to the physical and biochemical forces at work, a woman's experiences, expectations, mental health, and emotional health shape her sexuality.

For many women, contraception is an important part of sexual health. Another is avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. These include gonorrhea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, human papillomavirus, and HIV/AIDS. Using a condom is a key way to protect against getting a sexually transmitted infection.

Women's Sexual Health Articles

Redefining a healthy sex life

Older men continue to enjoy active sex lives, according to surveys. Embracing how his body and mind have changed can help a man focus more on romance, intimacy, and closeness, which can make sex more enjoyable for him and his partner. (Locked) More »

Heart attack survivors can have sex without fear

Sex does not appear to trigger a heart attack or increase your risk for a second one after you have recovered. A new study found that more than 78% of those who had a heart attack said their last sexual activity occurred more than 24 hours beforehand. More »

Has the new sexual desire drug panned out?

During the initial months of availability for flibanserin (Addyi), the first medication for sexual desire disorders, there was not a big demand for the drug. Doctors say this may be due to the fact that the drug has a steep price tag and severe potential side effects, including very low blood pressure, fainting, and nausea. These risks become greater if a woman drinks alcohol or takes birth control pills. There are also strict rules for prescribing and dispensing the drug.  (Locked) More »