Health Topics

Sexual health issues

Sexual Health
National Library of Medicine
Sex

Sexuality is a big part of being human. Love, affection and sexual intimacy all play a role in healthy relationships. They also contribute to your sense of well-being. A number of disorders can affect the ability to have or enjoy sex in both men and women.

Factors that can affect sexual health include

  • Fear of unplanned pregnancy
  • Concerns about infertility
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease
  • Medicines that affect sexual desire or performance

Sexual Health
Women
Men
Wellness and Lifestyle
Sexual Health Issues
Female Reproductive System
Male Reproductive System
Sexuality is a big part of being human. Love, affection and sexual intimacy all play a role in healthy relationships. They also contribute to your sense of well- ...
Child Sexual Abuse
National Library of Medicine
Child Molestation
Sexual Abuse of Children

Sexual abuse is one form of child abuse. It includes a wide range of actions between a child and an adult or older child. Often these involve body contact, but not always. Exposing one's genitals to children or pressuring them for sex is sexual abuse. Using a child for pornography is also sexual abuse.

Most sexual abusers know the child they abuse. They may be family friends, neighbors or babysitters. About one-third of abusers are related to the child. Most abusers are men. If you think a child may have been abused, it's important to report it.


Child Abuse, Sexual
Children and Teenagers
Sexual Health Issues
Sexual abuse is one form of child abuse. It includes a wide range of actions between a child and an adult or older child. Often these involve body contact, ...
Teen Sexual Health
National Library of Medicine
Sexual Health, Teen

During your teens you go through puberty and become sexually mature. If you're a girl, you develop breasts and begin to get your period. If you're a boy, your penis and testicles become larger. If you have sex, you could get pregnant or get someone pregnant. Whether you choose to have sex or not, it is a good idea to know about safe sex and how sex affects your health. Besides pregnancy, having sex puts you at risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia, HPV, or HIV/AIDS

The only way to be completely safe is not to have sex. If you do choose to have any kind of sexual contact, latex condoms are the best protection against STDs. Condoms are also a form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy.


Adolescent
Sexual Behavior
Children and Teenagers
Sexual Health Issues
During your teens you go through puberty and become sexually mature. If you're a girl, you develop breasts and begin to get your period. If you're a boy, your ...
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Health
National Library of Medicine
Bisexual Health
Homosexuality
LGBT Health
Lesbian Health
Transgender Health

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals have special health concerns besides the usual ones that affect most men and women. On this page you'll find information about these specific health issues.


Homosexuality
Bisexuality
Transgender Persons
Health Services for Transgender Persons
Sexual and Gender Minorities
Women
Men
Population Groups
Sexual Health Issues
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals have special health concerns besides the usual ones that affect most men and women. On this page you'll ...
Sexual Problems in Women
National Library of Medicine
Dyspareunia
Female Circumcision
Female Sexual Dysfunction
Vaginismus

There are many problems that can keep a woman from enjoying sex. They include

  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Inability to become aroused
  • Lack of orgasm, or sexual climax
  • Painful intercourse

These problems may have physical or psychological causes. Physical causes may include conditions like diabetes, heart disease, nerve disorders, or hormone problems. Some drugs can also affect desire and function. Psychological causes may include work-related stress and anxiety. They may also include depression or concerns about marriage or relationship problems. For some women, the problem results from past sexual trauma.

Occasional problems with sexual function are common. If problems last more than a few months or cause distress for you or your partner, you should see your health care provider.


Vaginismus
Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological
Dyspareunia
Women
Sexual Health Issues
Female Reproductive System
There are many problems that can keep a woman from enjoying sex. They include Lack of sexual desire Inability to become aroused Lack of orgasm, or sexual climax ...
Sexual Problems in Men
National Library of Medicine
Premature Ejaculation

Many men have sexual problems. They become more common as men age. Problems can include

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Reduced or lost interest in sex
  • Problems with ejaculation
  • Low testosterone

Stress, illness, medicines, or emotional problems may also be factors. Occasional problems with sexual function are common. If problems last more than a few months or cause distress for you or your partner, you should see your health care provider.


Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological
Men
Sexual Health Issues
Male Reproductive System
Many men have sexual problems. They become more common as men age. Problems can include Erectile dysfunction Reduced or lost interest in sex Problems with ...
Body Lice
National Library of Medicine
What are body lice?

Body lice (also called clothes lice) are tiny insects which live and lay nits (lice eggs) on clothing. They are parasites, and they need to feed on human blood to survive. They usually only move to the skin to feed.

Body lice are one of the three types of lice that live on humans. The other two types are head lice and pubic lice. Each type of lice is different, and getting one type does not mean that you will get another type.

Body lice can spread diseases, such as typhus, trench fever, and relapsing fever.

How do body lice spread?

Body lice move by crawling, because they cannot hop or fly. One way that they spread is through physical contact with a person who has body lice. They can also spread through contact with clothing, beds, bed linens, or towels that were used by a person with body lice. You cannot get lice from animals.

Who is at risk for body lice?

Body lice is most common in people who cannot bathe and wash their clothes regularly, especially if they live in crowded conditions. In the United States, this is most often homeless people. In other countries, body lice can also affect refugees and victims of war or natural disasters.

What are the symptoms of body lice?

The most common symptom of body lice is intense itching. There may also be a rash, which is caused by an allergic reaction to the bites. The itching causes some people to scratch until they get sores. Sometimes these sores can become infected with bacteria or fungi.

If someone has body lice for a long time, the heavily bitten areas of their skin can become thickened and discolored. This is most common around your midsection (waist, groin, and upper thighs).

How do you know if you have body lice?

A diagnosis of body lice usually comes from finding nits and crawling lice in the seams of clothing. Sometimes a body louse can be seen crawling or feeding on the skin. Other times it takes a magnifying lens to see the lice or nits.

What are the treatments for body lice?

The main treatment for body lice is to improve personal hygiene. That means regular showers and washing clothes, bedding, and towels at least once a week. Use hot water to wash the laundry, and dry it using the hot cycle of the dryer. Some people may also need a lice-killing medicine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Lice Infestations
Pediculus
Infections
Skin, Hair and Nails
Sexual Health Issues
What are body lice? Body lice (also called clothes lice) are tiny insects which live and lay nits (lice eggs) on clothing. They are parasites, and they ...
Cancer--Living with Cancer
National Library of Medicine
Living with Cancer

Cancer is common. Half of all men and a third of women will get a diagnosis of cancer in their lifetime. Many people with cancer do survive. Millions of Americans alive today have a history of cancer.

For most people with cancer, living with the disease is the biggest challenge they have ever faced. It can change your routines, roles and relationships. It can cause money and work problems. The treatment can change the way you feel and look. Learning more about ways you can help yourself may ease some of your concerns. Support from others is important.

All cancer survivors should have follow-up care. Knowing what to expect after cancer treatment can help you and your family make plans, lifestyle changes, and important decisions.

NIH: National Cancer Institute


Neoplasms
Cancer Survivors
Cancers
Mental Health and Behavior
Cancer is common. Half of all men and a third of women will get a diagnosis of cancer in their lifetime. Many people with cancer do survive. Millions of Americans ...
Chlamydia Infections
National Library of Medicine
What is chlamydia?

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect both men and women. Women can get chlamydia in the cervix, rectum, or throat. Men can get chlamydia in the urethra (inside the penis), rectum, or throat.

How do you get chlamydia?

You can get chlamydia during oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who has the infection. A woman can also pass chlamydia to her baby during childbirth.

If you've had chlamydia and were treated in the past, you can get re-infected if you have unprotected sex with someone who has it.

Who is at risk of getting chlamydia?

Chlamydia is more common in young people, especially young women. You are more likely to get it if you don't consistently use a condom, or if you have multiple partners.

What are the symptoms of chlamydia?

Chlamydia doesn't usually cause any symptoms. So you may not realize that you have it. People with chlamydia who have no symptoms can still pass the disease to others. If you do have symptoms, they may not appear until several weeks after you have sex with an infected partner.

Symptoms in women include

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge, which may have a strong smell
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Pain during intercourse

If the infection spreads, you might get lower abdominal pain, pain during sex, nausea, or fever.

Symptoms in men include

  • Discharge from your penis
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Burning or itching around the opening of your penis
  • Pain and swelling in one or both testicles (although this is less common)

If the chlamydia infects the rectum (in men or women), it can cause rectal pain, discharge, and/or bleeding.

How is chlamydia diagnosed?

There are lab tests to diagnose chlamydia. Your health care provider may ask you to provide a urine sample. For women, providers sometimes use (or ask you to use) a cotton swab to get a sample from your vagina to test for chlamydia.

Who should be tested for chlamydia?

You should go to your health provider for a test if you have symptoms of chlamydia, or if you have a partner who has a sexually transmitted disease. Pregnant women should get a test when they go to their first prenatal visit.

People at higher risk should get checked for chlamydia every year:

  • Sexually active women 25 and younger
  • Older women who have new or multiple sex partners, or a sex partner who has a sexually transmitted disease
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
What are the complications of chlamydia?

In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.

Men often don't have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm). This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.

Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a "reaction" to an infection in the body.

Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.

Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.

What are the treatments for chlamydia?

Antibiotics will cure the infection. You may get a one-time dose of the antibiotics, or you may need to take medicine every day for 7 days. Antibiotics cannot repair any permanent damage that the disease has caused.

To prevent spreading the disease to your partner, you should not have sex until the infection has cleared up. If you got a one-time dose of antibiotics, you should wait 7 days after taking the medicine to have sex again. If you have to take medicine every day for 7 days, you should not have sex again until you have finished taking all of the doses of your medicine.

It is common to get a repeat infection, so you should get tested again about three months after treatment.

Can I prevent chlamydia?

The only sure way to prevent chlamydia is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading chlamydia.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Chlamydia Infections
Infections
Sexual Health Issues
Female Reproductive System
Male Reproductive System
What is chlamydia? Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. It can infect both men and ...
Erectile Dysfunction
National Library of Medicine
Impotence
ED

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common type of male sexual dysfunction. It is when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection. ED becomes more common as you get older. But it's not a natural part of aging.

Some people have trouble speaking with their doctors about sex. But if you have ED, you should tell your doctor. ED can be a sign of health problems. It may mean your blood vessels are clogged. It may mean you have nerve damage from diabetes. If you don't see your doctor, these problems will go untreated.

Your doctor can offer several new treatments for ED. For many men, the answer is as simple as taking a pill. Getting more exercise, losing weight, or stopping smoking may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Erectile Dysfunction
Seniors
Men
Sexual Health Issues
Male Reproductive System
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common type of male sexual dysfunction. It is when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection. ED becomes more common as you ...