All Sexual Health Headlines
There is a well-established association between depression and sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Although many factors influence this association, experts generally agree that depression affects individuals’ cognitive processes, altering their attention, perception, and evaluation of events, which has the potential to impair sexual experiences.
A migraine is a neurovascular headache that is often characterized by severe throbbing pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes, migraines are accompanied by other conditions such as depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal disorders, and/or chronic pain conditions. As they often recur in individuals, migraines can be disruptive and debilitating, leading to missed social engagements, lost time at work, and even a noticeable decrease in quality of life.
Ample scientific evidence suggests that youth who suffer from psychiatric disorders are more likely to experience difficulties during their sexual and gender identity development. Several factors may contribute to these difficulties, including feelings of low self-worth, trouble finding romantic partners, the sexual side effects of many psychotropic medications, and the higher-than-average prevalence of sexual trauma among individuals with mental health conditions. Nevertheless, sexuality remains an infrequently discussed topic between mental health care providers, adolescent patients, and patients’ parents.
Phalloplasty and metoidioplasty are the two most common gender-affirming penile reconstruction procedures available to transmasculine patients at this point in time. For a phalloplasty procedure, the surgeon utilizes tissue from different areas of the patient’s body such as the forearm, thigh, and abdomen to construct a penis. Metoidioplasty involves releasing the clitoris from the tissues that hold it down and repositioning the genital tissues to create a neophallus, or “new penis.”
Transgender individuals may decide to seek gender-affirming care to transition their physical characteristics to match their gender identity. Two standard gender-affirming treatment options are gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) and gender-affirming surgery (GAS). Individuals may choose to use GAHT as a standalone therapy or in combination with GAS.
Some medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury (SCI), and dysraphism can result in neurogenic bladder dysfunction, which means that an individual lacks bladder control due to an issue with their nerves, spinal cord, or brain. When conservative measures to address neurogenic bladder dysfunction fail, sometimes patients opt to undergo a surgery to enlarge their bladder (augmentation cystoplasty) or a surgery to remove their bladder (simple or radical cystectomy).
Many studies have demonstrated an association between erectile dysfunction (ED) and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, particularly in older men. Nevertheless, the causal relationship between these conditions remains difficult to define. For instance, depression and anxiety have been identified as risk factors for ED, but past research also suggests that having ED may predispose a person to developing depression or anxiety. What’s more, growing evidence has indicated a greater prevalence of ED in young men than what has historically been acknowledged. Therefore, it is increasingly important to clarify the association between ED and mental health conditions in young men.
Several studies have reported overall decreases in sexual activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, citing increased stress, fatigue, household and childcare responsibilities, and mandated lockdowns that might prevent people from meeting new partners as possible factors related to these declines.
The International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11) defines compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) as “an impulse control disorder with an inability to control repetitive sexual impulses or urges, resulting in repetitive sexual behaviors, which causes clinically significant problems in social and emotional functioning and marked distress” (Koós et al., 2022).
A person’s sexual health can have ripple effects on various other parts of their life. Depending on the circumstances, sexual health can support or detract from a person’s mental health, physical health, and relationships. Conversely, many aspects of a person’s physical and mental health can directly impact their sexual health. Conditions such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and pelvic floor disorders can be detrimental to a person’s sexual function, thus possibly decreasing their quality of life.
Increasingly, health care providers use validated questionnaires to collect patient-reported outcomes to evaluate patients’ symptoms and guide possible treatment plans. The female sexual function index (FSFI) is a widely used validated questionnaire that is considered the gold standard for assessing female sexual dysfunction.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes” (Kim et al., 2022).