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Wed, March 20

Strike a balance between mental and sexual health

Discussing the topic of sexual health makes some people uncomfortable. Regardless of this discomfort, it is a topic that impacts every adult. The World Health Organization defines "sexual health" as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality - not merely the absence of disease or dysfunction.

The Arizona Department of Health Services website features quarterly initiatives that address a physical health issue in combination with a mental health issue. One of the topics they address centers around sexual health and mental health. Both physical and emotional factors can lead to sexual problems. Some of the most common medical and psychological conditions that cause sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction, are obesity, high cholesterol, stress and anxiety, tobacco use, diabetes, depression, substance use disorders, and high blood pressure.

Those who have experienced challenges in this area recommend the following:

• Learn about your diagnosis and medications

• Communicate with your partner and explore alternatives

• Write about your experiences

• Attend groups and talk with peers who are experiencing the same thing

• Talk to your medical or behavioral health provider.

For more information on the topic of sexual health and mental health, or other issues with an intersection between the physical and mental, go to www.azdhs.gov/bhs/qhi.

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