Sexual health is not all about sex – Dr. Oyegunle

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Sexual health is a subject of great importance which everyone needs to have a working knowledge of. The vast majority of Nigerians know very little about this topic. Many have equated sexual health with just sex. Our team at healthfacts.ng recently met with Dr. Oyegunle, a general practitioner of medicine who gave insightful knowledge about sexual health. Read, enjoy, learn and don’t forget to share.

It’s so good to have you, sir, on healthfacts.ng’s interview platform

Thanks for having me. The pleasure is all mine

Please can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Oyegunle Adeoye. I am a medical doctor. I graduated from the University College Hospital, Ibadan in 2013. I am a native of Illishan-Remo, Ogun state. I served briefly at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH). I currently consult at Dele Hospital, Ikorodu, Lagos state.

sexual health
Dr. Oyegunle

Alright..Great.. A lot of our readers will love to know about sexual health. Can you enlighten us on that?

Sexual health is a state of physical, mental, social and emotional well-being in relation to sexuality and not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. It is the integration of the physical, emotional, intellectual, and social aspect of sexual being in ways that are enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love.

It also requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experience, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.

In that case, what age range of people is sexual health most applicable to?

(…laughs) From cradle to grey days! I mean as early as possible and it cuts across several stages of life. Of a truth, you don’t have to wait till adolescence. Every child who can comprehend it should know especially in these days of incessant incidence of rape; awareness is key!

I think the reason many are not comfortable with discussing sexual health with adolescents is because they think they are too young to know about sex?

(..cuts in)  No, not at all. Sexual health is not all about sex. Like I said earlier, it’s simply about the well-being of an individual in relation to sexuality.

What are the health issues related to sexual health?

There are quite a number of them ranging from diseases not directly related to sexual organs for example, trauma(accident), mental disorders, diabetes, hypertension etc. to those that affect sexual organs for example, erectile dysfunction, dyspareunia, dysmenorrhea, STDs etc.

sexual-health

Do you have any suggestions as touching the best diet for a sexually active person?

(…smiles) A balanced diet…a healthy lifestyle. That’s it.

What are sexually transmitted diseases?

Sexually transmitted infections or diseases are caused by microorganisms which are transmitted through sexual intercourse which may be vaginal, anal, or oral. Hence, they are contacted through sex.

How can we then prevent sexually transmitted diseases?

A: Abstinence

B: Be faithful

C: use a Condom

Where should people start to be educated about sex and sexual health?

Just as the saying goes, “charity begins at home”, likewise sex education should begin at home. It should never be neglected by parents. Parents must be available to answer myriad of questions that bothers the child’s mind. It should be discussed thoroughly and extensively. Religious organisations, schools, social clubs, NGO’s and government also have a part to play. A multidisciplinary approach should be employed to get the best from it. However, ensure you give adequate and appropriate information based on the child’s maturity.

In the light of STDs, what is safe sex?

It is sexual activity in which people take precautions to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. It’s sexual contact that doesn’t involve the exchange of semen, vaginal fluid, or blood between partners.

What measures can be taken as safe sex tips?

They’re basically measures that help reduce / prevent risk of STDs. These include:

  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids
  • Get tested
  • Get vaccinated
  • Enquire if your partner:
    • Has ever had sex
    • Has ever had unprotected sex
    • Has ever had STDs
    • Has ever had STD test
    • Has STD symptoms etc.

Does Female circumcision have anything to do with sexual health?

Of course, yes.

Interesting… Should it be encouraged or discouraged?

Discouraged. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution banning female genital mutilation.

What is female genital mutilation?

A procedure that involve partial / total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has a number of health consequences which include:

  • Recurrent urinary and vaginal infection
  • Chronic pain
  • Infertility
  • Fatal hemorrhaging/ bleeding
  • Epidermoid cyst
  • Complications with childbirth
  • Low self esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger

Most women who have had this procedure believe they cannot experience any sexual pleasure but some still have orgasms during sex. It really depends on the type of female genital mutilation.

You have shared some amazing insights so far. However, this interview would not be complete if we do not talk briefly on birth control. What is birth control?

Thanks… Birth control is a way/method/practice of preventing unwanted pregnancy with the use of contraception. Birth control methods have been broadly classified into two, which includes natural and artificial methods.

Can you enlighten us more on the natural and artificial methods?

Oh yes… The natural methods include calendar method, use of cycle beads, withdrawal method, basal rise in body temperature and thinning of cervical mucous during ovulation. The artificial method include use of condoms, hormonal pills, injectables, Jahdelle, IUCD (Intrauterine contraceptive device), Diaphragm, Vasectomy, Bilateral tubal ligation (BTL).

It’s been a great time with you Dr. Oyegunle. Thanks a lot for sharing. Any final words?

I am delighted to have been able to answer your questions. As a final word, let me say that everyone has the right and can enjoy good sexual health and sexual pleasure if they make the effort to get the right information and act on it.

I am sure you must have learnt a lot from this interview. If you have follow up questions, do not hesitate to ask here. Let us know what you were able to take away from this interview in the comment section below

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