What is sexual medicine? Sexual medicine means different things to different people. To some it conjures up images of intense therapy sessions delving into your sexual past and upbringing, whereas to other individuals it represents a complete medicalized approach to sexuality.
Others still take the approach of a comprehensive yet dynamic definition.The most common definition of sexual medicine describes it as the medical discipline that embraces the study, diagnosis, and treatment of sexual health concerns of both men and women. Another interesting and thoughtprovoking definition is used at this author’s center, the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivor-ship Medicine located in Newport Beach.
There, sexual medicine and health is described as the discipline that seeks to enhance the lives of patients and their partners through assessment and
treatment of the physical, psychological, medical, and surgical causes of sexual and intimacy concerns.
What is sexual medicine ?
Although sexual medicine is not an accepted discipline of formalized medical school study, many healthcare institutions and educational programs are embracing the notion of sexual health and intimacy as an important facet for overall patient quality of life.
Sexual health involves many disciplines including urology, gynecology, psychiatry, and other fields of medical study. Many recognize that the interface of medical experience, or the mere fact of going to see a doctor, no
matter what the diagnosis, often changes their relationships. Health-care teams now understand that to better serve their patients, the concept of sexual intimacy must be addressed in study and treatment.
Sexual complaints are common in both men and women, and failure to have these problems diagnosed and treated effectively can lead to both personal distress and relational disruption. Sexual complaints are independent of race, color, and creed or ethnicity. Women of all races and backgrounds are at risk for and complain of sexual issues.
What is sexual medicine
Although much of the sexual medicine research and information readily available typically focus on the upper-middle-class Caucasian female, new data support that minority women and those of different socioeconomic classes should also be asked about, assessed, and treated for sexual complaints.
Sexual health and wellness is often influenced by a variety of cultural issues. With respect to African American and other minorities and sexual wellness, there may be some barriers; disparities based on gender, race, and other factors inhibit many minority women from acquiring the tools for sexual health.These women often lack access to good medical health care let alone sexual medicine services.
Sometimes negative sexual stereotypes affect sexual self-esteem and also inhibit the path to sexual awareness and wellness. For example, historical myths surviving since the time of slavery and other points in black history perpetuate falsehoods about African American women, such as the notion of their hyper sexuality as well as prevailing thoughts that many women enjoy sexual activity or are “loose” or “disinhibited”; these are falsehoods that many women struggle to overcome even today.
According to the World Health Organization Report on Education and Treatment in Human Sexuality, sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual, and social aspects of sexual being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication, and love. Sexual health should not be a privilege of the few and well insured — all women deserve access to well-qualified sexual health specialists.
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