Sexual health is physical, mental and social well-being in your sexual health. In order to be sexually healthy, you need to have a positive and respectful approach to sexuality, and sexual relationships. This will help you to have pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, without discrimination and violence.

Defining Sexual Health

Sexual health refers to a few topics that all relate to gynecology and urinary medicine, reproduction and sex education. There are many sexual health services throughout the UK, these may be located in your GP practice, family planning clinics, as well as some pharmacies.

Other Definitions Around Sexual Health

  1. Sex

Sex is the biological characteristics that define humans as female or male. These characteristics are not mutually exclusive, as there are individuals who can have both, but they usually differentiate humans as males and females.

In many languages, the term “sex” can also refer to sexual activity, including intercourse and foreplay. However, within the medical profession, when “sex” is being referred to, it usually means a gender definition.

2. Sexuality

Sexual health cannot be defined without understanding or a broad consideration of sexuality, as this underlines outcomes and behaviors that are related to sexual health.

3. Sexual rights

Sexual health cannot be maintained without respect for, and the protection of certain human rights. Sexual rights embrace certain human rights that are often recognized in many documents, and includes; the right to privacy, the right to be free from torture, the right to an effective remedy for violations of fundamental rights, and the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and education.

Background of Sexual Health

In order to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and STI’s in the UK, the NHS created a policy that contraception is freely available to men and women. This helps those who cannot afford contraception to practice safe sex.

Sexual health education also features heavily in numerous schools, as educating younger people on the topic helps to reduce it further. Especially as younger people, especially students, will start to partake in more sexual activity as they get older. 

The NHS in the UK is constantly targeting younger individuals to help to prevent the spread of STI’s and STD’s and this is primarily focused through sexual education, free screenings, and free contraception.

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