Sexual health refers to a state of well-being that lets a person fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity. A range of physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors influence a person’s sexual health. Sex health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.

Sexually Healthy

Sexual health has provided a guiding framework for addressing sexuality in public health for several decades. Although the WHO definition of sex health is revolutionary in acknowledging positive sexuality, public health approaches remain focused on risk and adverse outcomes.

Sex can have many benefits including reducing stress levels, improving heart health, boosting immunity, improving sleep quality, reducing pain levels. However, it is important to note that sex can also have risks such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unwanted pregnancies. It is important to practice safe sex by using condoms or other forms of contraception.

Sex is a great way to relieve stress. The benefits include release of endorphins and other hormones that elevate mood. It’s also great exercise, which itself is an effective stress reliever. When cortisol levels spike, sex can be a natural and effective method for reducing the stress hormone². The act of sex floods your brain with all sorts of feel-good chemicals while reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Dopamine, which impacts the brain’s pleasure and reward centers; endorphins, which can reduce pain and stress; and oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, are all released during sex, with higher levels after orgasm.

Prioritizing sex can be an effective way to reduce your stress levels. But it can take a concerted effort to have satisfying, healthy sex because unchecked stress can interfere with sexual performance. Embracing your healthy sexuality as a routine part of your mental, emotional, and physical health may be the necessary step to reducing stress.