Sexual health information including birth control, impotence, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, staying healthy, women's sexual health concerns, and men's sexual health concerns. Learn about the most common sexual conditions affecting men and women. Read more: Sexual Health Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
12 Preventable STDs: Pictures, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and genital herpes are common STDs. Think you might have an STD? You’re not alone....
Choosing Your Birth Control Method
What are your birth control options? Learn about birth control side effects and effectiveness. Discover birth control methods...
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Causes and Treatment
Having erection problems? What is erectile dysfunction (ED)? Learn about erectile dysfunction causes and treatments such as drugs...
Menopause & Perimenopause: Symptoms, Signs
What is menopause? What are the signs of menopause? What age does menopause start? Learn about menopause and perimenopause...
The Surprising Health Benefits of Sex
How would you like a stronger immune system or better sleep? Action between the sheets can help you get all of this and more....
Infertility: Types, Treatments, and Costs
Learn about infertility symptoms and types of treatment such as IVF, acupuncture, and natural methods to get pregnant. Read about...
A Timeline of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic
Get a historical overview of the HIV/AIDS pandemic from human contraction to the present through this slideshow of pictures.
Female Sexual Dysfunction: Treatment for Women's Sexual Disorders
Female sexual dysfunction symptoms can limit a woman’s sex life. Female sexual dysfunction treatment aims to address any...
Boost Your Fertility: Ovulation Calculator, Pregnancy Planning and More
Boost fertility and increase your chances to conceive. Learn about ovulation calendars, diet, aging and other factors that can...
Screening Tests Every Man Should Have
Getting the right screening test at the right time is one of the most important things a man can do for his health. Learn at what...
Men, Love, and Sex: 18 Secrets Guys Wish You Knew in Pictures
What do men really want you to know about them? For better intimacy, learn these 18 secrets guys wish you Knew about sex, love,...
Sex Tips for Men: How to Have a Better Sex Life
Learn sex tips for men that lead to more sexual pleasure such as better communication, focusing on pleasurable sensations,...
Women's Health: 10 Tips to Ease Menopause Symptoms
What happens during menopause? At what age do menopause symptoms start? Women in their 40s or 50s may begin to have hot flashes,...
Sexual Health: What Happens When You Stop Having Sex?
Learn about what can happen to your physical and mental health when you stop having sex.
Better Sex After 50
It's never too late to improve your sex life. Learn how to overcome common health conditions affecting those over 50 such as...
Healthy Indulgences for Under $15 With Pictures
Isn't it time you took care of yourself? Good food, relaxation, laughter -- we offer 15 great ideas for affordable, healthy...
19 Secrets Women Wish You Knew With Pictures
There are secrets women would love for you to know. These relationship secrets are based on the study of healthy, happy couples,...
Your Sex Life After Pregnancy
Learn how your sex life changes after having a baby. Explore tips on how to regain sexual desire and strengthen your relationship...
Health and Sex: Exercises for Better Sex
Want to get more out of your time between the sheets? Add these exercises from this WebMD slide show to your workout routine....
Sexual Health: 12 Tips for Better Sex
Can you learn new techniques to breathe better? Healthy breathing helps you maintain the right balance of oxygen and carbon...
Related Disease Conditions
Testicular pain, or pain in the testicle or testicles are caused by a variety of diseases or conditions such as testicular trauma, testicular torsion, varicoceles, testicular cancer, epididymitis caused by infections such as STDs, and orchitis. Common symptoms of pain in the testicle or testicles are abdominal pain, urinary pain or incontinence, fever, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the scrotum or testicle. Treatment depends on the cause of the testicular pain or pain in the testicles.
Spotting vs. Period
Menstruation (a female's "period") occurs due to the shedding of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding lasts about three to five days, and the bleeding is heavy the first couple of days and then it lessens. Spotting is vaginal bleeding between periods.
Vaginal Yeast Infection (in Women and Men)
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include vaginal pain with urination, vaginal discharge, odor, and itching. Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.
Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition with signs and symptoms of vaginal discharge, vaginal odor, and vaginal pain. Bacterial vaginosis results from an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Although it may cause some disturbing symptoms (discharge and odor), it is not dangerous and cannot be passed by sex. Diagnosis becomes important to exclude serious infections like gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Many treatment options are available such as oral antibiotics and vaginal gels.
Genital Warts (HPV) Infection in Women
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD in the US. The warts can appear anywhere on the skin where sexual contact has occurred. The warts look like raised, flesh-colored lumps or bumps that have a cauliflower-like appearance. Signs and symptoms of genital warts in women include vaginal, vulva, or groin pain, itching, and burning where the wart(s) is. Treatment can remove warts or lesions, but it does not prevent spread of the virus, and the warts usually grow back. Removing genital warts does not prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere on the body. There is no cure for genital warts, and there is no vaccine to prevent them; however, there is a vaccine to prevent infection from four common types of HPV. Gardasil vaccine available for female adolescents and teens to prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.
Normal vaginal bleeding (menorrhea) occurs through the process of menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly most commonly involves excessive, frequent, irregular, or decreased bleeding. Causes of abnormal may arise from a variety of conditions that may include, uterine fibroids, IUDs, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, lupus, STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, emotional stress, anorexia nervosa, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancers, early pregnancy.
STDs in Men
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge. Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes. Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia)
Vulvodynia or vaginal pain, genital pain is a condition in which women have chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. There are two types of vulvodynia, generalized vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis. Researchers are trying to find the causes of vulvodynia, for example, nerve irritation, genetic factors, hypersensitivity to yeast infections, muscle spasms, and hormonal changes.The most common symptoms of vaginal pain (vulvodynia) is burning, rawness, itching, stinging, aching, soreness, and throbbing. There are a variety of treatments that can ease the symptoms of vulvodynia (vaginal pain).
Sexual Problems in Men
Male sexual dysfunction can be caused by physical or psychological problems. Common sexual problems in men include erectile dysfunction (impotence or ED), premature ejaculation, and loss of libido. Treatment for sexual dysfunction in men may involve medication, hormone therapy, psychological therapy, and the use of mechanical aids.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include; depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings. For some women PMS symptoms can be controlled with natural and home remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies. Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating; fever; chills; body aches; blood in the urine; pain in the rectum, groin, abdomen, or low back; and painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction. Causes of prostatitis include STDs, bacteria from urinary tract infections, or E. coli. Treatment for prostatitis depends on if it is a bacterial infection or chronic inflammation of the prostate gland.
Vaginitis (Inflammation of the Vagina)
Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal itching, discharge, odor, pain, or discomfort. Treatment for vaginitis depends on the cause. Antibiotics may be necessary for some forms of vaginitis.
Is Balanitis Contagious?
Balanitis is a condition in which the head of the penis and/or foreskin that surrounds the head of an uncircumcised penis becomes inflamed. Balanitis is contagious if it is caused by certain bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Risk factors for balanitis are congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, morbid obesity, poor personal hygiene, diabetes, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Signs and symptoms of balanitis are itching, swelling, redness, and tenderness around the head of the penis and the surrounding foreskin.
Birth Control Options
Birth control is available in a variety of methods and types. The method of birth control varies from person to person, and their preferences to either become pregnant or not. Examples of barrier methods include barrier methods (sponge, spermicides, condoms), hormonal methods (pill, patch), surgical sterilization (tubal ligation, vasectomy), natural methods, and the morning after pill. Side effects and risks of each birth control option should be reviewed prior to using any birth control method.
Syphilis in Women
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a spiral-shaped type of bacteria known as a spirochete. There are three stages of syphilis with distinct symptoms. During first stage of syphilis, a painless ulcer known as a chancre forms. Irreversible organ damage can occur during the late stage of syphilis. Special blood tests are used to diagnose syphilis. Syphilis infection is treated with penicillin. Condom use can often prevent syphilis.
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge, burning or frequent urination, and redness, swelling, burning and itching of the vaginal area. Gonorrhea can be treated with injectable (penicillin) or oral medications.
Blood in Semen
Blood in semen is also known as hematospermia. Blood in semen can be caused by many conditions affecting the tubes that distribute semen from the testicles (seminal vesicles) or the prostate gland. Symptoms that may accompany blood in semen include blood in the urine, fever, painful urination, pain with ejaculation, tenderness, and swelling in the testes or groin area. Urinalysis, ultrasound, and MRI may be used to diagnose blood in the semen. Treatment depends upon the underlying cause of blood in the semen.
The time when boys and girls begin the process of sexual maturation is called puberty. During this time, both sexes undergo a series of biological changes that include a rapid increase in height, bone growth, weight increase, the growth of pubic hair, breast development and the onset of menstruation in girls, and testicle, penis, and muscle enlargement in boys.
Peyronie's Disease (Curvature of the Penis)
Peyronie's disease or curvature of the penis (Peyronie disease) is a condition in which scar tissue develops inside the penis. This scar tissue causes the penis to develop an abnormal curvature in the scarred area. At this time, there is no known cause of Peyronie's disease. Symptoms of Peyronie's disease include pain during intercourse or ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence), the inability to have sexual intercourse, anxiety, stress, an indentation of the shaft at the site where there is plaque or scarring, and an angulation of the penis when erect or flaccid. There is no cure for Peyronie's disease, however, there are medications that can reduce symptoms of the disease. Surgery or penile implants may be an option for severe cases.
Genital Herpes in Women (Symptoms, Signs, Treatment)
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Symptoms of genital herpes include painful blisters and often fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes for first time infection. Genital herpes is diagnosed with lab tests to test for the presence of the virus. Treatment for genital herpes includes antiviral medications to shorten the duration of the outbreak or reduce the risk of future outbreaks. There is no cure for genital herpes. Condoms may help prevent the spread of genital herpes.
Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) usually is caused by E. coli and other bacteria that have spread from the bladder from a UTI (urinary tract infection), poor hygiene, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, catheter, cystoscope exam, surgery, kidney stones, or prostate enlargement. Symptoms of kidney infection include back pain, frequent urination, pain during urination, fever, and or pus or blood in the urine. Kidney infection can be cured with antibiotic treatment. Cranberry juice may prevent UTIs, but that hasn’t been proven in all research studies.
Female Reproductive System
The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions, including: producing the female egg cells, conception, and producing female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle. During menopause the female reproductive system gradually stops making the female hormones necessary for the reproductive cycle to work. Some of the important parts of the female reproductive anatomy include the: uterus, ovaries, vagina, cervix, urethra, and vaginal opening.
Chlamydia in Women
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia, a bacterial infection, include vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, burning with urination, blood in the urine, and feelings of urinary urgency and frequency. Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Chlamydia is diagnosed with a culture or by identification of the genetic material of the bacteria. Treatment of chlamydia consists of a course of antibiotics.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Infection
HPVs or human papillomaviruses are a group of viral infections of the skin and mucous membranes. Certain high-risk types of HPV infection cause certain cancers (cervical, penile, anal, vaginal, and oral). There are no signs or symptoms of HPV infection. HPV infection is an extremely common STD and is highly contagious. People are at higher risk of getting HPV infection if they have multiple sex partners, a weakened immune system, or breaks in the skin. HPV vaccinations prevent HPV infection. Treatment for HPV infection is antiviral medication. There is no cure for HPV infection.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), aside from AIDS, among women. The signs and symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease include: fever, vaginal discharge with a foul odor, abdominal pain, including pain during intercourse, and irregular vaginal bleeding. Pelvic inflammatory disease can scar the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and related structures and lead to ectopic pregnancies, infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and other serious consequences. Pelvic inflammatory disease treatment includes several types of antibiotics.
Getting Pregnant (Tips for Trying to Conceive)
Trying to get conceive, or become pregnant can be challenging, frustrating, and an emotional rollercoaster for some couples. A couple can chart their progress, which may ultimately lead to a successful healthy pregnancy, or, when necessary, lead to discussions with a fertility specialist. If you're a woman, be aware of your menstrual cycle, and you can track when you are fertile during the month using the: Basal body temperature method Calendar method Ovulation method (cervical mucus) About 10% of women in the US have problems getting pregnant, or carrying a pregnancy full term. Both men and women can have fertility problems. In fact, men and women each contribute about 1/3 when it comes to fertility problems. The other 1/3 are caused by a mixture of problems with both men and women or other problems that aren't identifiable.
Paraphilias are characterized by sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors involving unusual objects or activities. Exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, pedophilia, sadism, transvestitism, voyeurism, and sexual masochism are examples of paraphilias. Counseling, therapy, and medications are used in the treatment of paraphilias.
Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a parasite passed from person to person. Trichomoniasis can be picked up from contact with damp, moist objects like towels, wet clothing, or toilet seat. Symptoms include yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge with a strong odor, painful intercourse or urination, genital irritation and itching, and lower abdominal pain. Antibiotics are the only treatment to cure trichomoniasis.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence)
Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) is the failure to achieve or maintain an erection. There are many potential underlying causes of erectile dysfunction, including stress and emotional problems, brain dysfunction, problems with blood supply to the penis, and structural problems with the penis.
Low Testosterone (Low-T)
Low testosterone (low-T) can be caused by conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver or kidney disease, hormonal disorders, certain infections, and hypogonadism. Signs and symptoms that a person may have low-T include insomnia, increased body fat, weight gain, reduced muscle, infertility, decreased sex drive, depression, and worsening of congestive heart failure or sleep apnea. Low-T can be treated with testosterone therapy in the form of gels, injections, pellets, or skin patches. Side effects of testosterone treatment include acne, anxiety, hair loss, headache, and change in sex drive (libido).
The term sex addiction describes the behavior of someone who has an unusually strong sex drive or sexual obsession. Sex and thoughts of sex dominate a sex addict's thinking, making it difficult to work or engage in healthy personal relationships. Sex addicts may engage in exhibitionism, voyeurism, prostitution, compulsive masturbation, or cybersex. Treatment for sex addiction includes individual counseling, marital and/or family therapy, support groups, 12-step recovery programs, and in some cases, medications.
Menstrual Cramps and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) Treatment
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, mood swings, anxiety and more. Treatment for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include regular sleep, exercise, smoking cessation, diet changes, and OTC or prescription medication depending on the severity of the condition.
Is Chlamydia Contagious?
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is contagious. Chlaymida is spread through sexual contact. (You cannot get chlamyidia from kissing or sharing utensils or drinks.) Chlamydia is the most common STD in the U.S. The incubation period for chlamydia ranges from days to months, and the contagious period ends seven days after patients begin treatment. Chlamydia signs and symptoms may include painful urination, rectal irritation (proctitis), eye infections, and infertility. Women can also develop chronic pelvic pain, salpingitis, and endometritis.
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature ovarian failure, treatments for cancer and other conditions, surgical removal of the ovaries, or chronic diseases of the pituitary or thyroid gland, or psychiatric disorders. Treatment is directed at menopausal symptoms.
Sexual Response Cycle (Phases of Sexual Response)
There are four phases to the sexual response for men and women. Couple do not usually reach each phase at the same time, and they are dependant from individual to individual. The four phases of the sexual response cycle include phase 1, excitement; phase 2, plateau; phase 3 orgasm; and phase 4 resolution.
Bedbugs (Bed Bugs) vs. Lice
Bedbugs are small blood-sucking parasites that feed on mammals and birds. Some people do not have any symptoms of bedbug bites while others have them they include pain and reddish-colored skin lesions where the bite is. Bedbugs are found in temperate and tropical climates worldwide. Bedbugs usually feed every five to 10 days. Bedbug bites usually do not need treatment. Bedbug infestations are difficult to get rid of. Bedbugs are a problem worldwide, are resurging. There are three types of lice, head, body, and pubic. Head lice is a grey-white animal about the size of a sesame seed and can be mistaken for dandruff. Head lice are transmitted from the body to other household items. They produce between seven to 10 eggs (nits) annually. Head lice is transferred from head-to-head contact. Body lice are slightly bigger than head lice and look like head lice. Body lice is transferred from human to other household items. Pubic lice or "crabs" is distinctly different from the head and body louse. Pubic lice in adults is transferred by direct sexual contact. Children and others get pubic lice via nonsexual transmission from their parents, relatives, and friends who share clothing. Lice bites are bluish in color sore that develop on different areas of the body. Condoms do not prevent from getting pubic lice. The different types of lice have different treatment. Lice can be eradicated from your home.
Men's health is an important component to a happy lifestyle and healthy relationships. Eating healthy, exercise, managing stress, and knowing when to have medical tests for a particular age is key to disease prevention in men.
Sexual Problems (Sex) in Women
Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem that arises during any phase of the sexual response cycle, preventing an individual or couple from experiencing sexual satisfaction. Physical, medical, and psychological conditions may affect sexual functioning, resulting in inhibited sexual desire, inability to become aroused, lack of orgasm, and painful intercourse. Treating the underlying physical and psychological problems usually resolves most female sexual problems.
Infertility is the diminished ability to conceive a child. Infertility can be a problem with both men and women. Infertility in men can be caused by medical conditions, unhealthy habits, and toxins from the environment. Infertility in women can be caused by problems with ovarian function, the Fallopian tubes, or the physical characteristics of the uterus. Methods of conceiving for couples that cannot conceive include intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), specific drugs, assisted reproductive technology (ART), surgery, and gestational carrier.
Sex, Urinary, and Bladder Problems of Diabetes
Having diabetes can mean early onset and increased severity of bladder symptoms (urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections) and changes in sexual function. Men may have erectile dysfunction; and women may have problems with sexual response and vaginal lubrication. Keep your diabetes under control, and you can lower your risk of sexual and urologic problems.
Menstrual cramps (pain in the belly and pelvic area) are experienced by women as a result of menses. Menstrual cramps are not the same as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Menstrual cramps are common, and may be accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Severity of menstrual cramp pain varies from woman to woman. Treatment includes OTC or prescription pain relief medication.
Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy occurs in women during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. With vaginal atrophy, the lining of the vaginal wall becomes thinner, drier, less elastic, and light pink to bluish in color. Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and/or pain during intercourse. Treatment options for vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy include hormone treatment and over-the-counter vaginal lubricating and moisturizing products.
Enjoying a satisfying sex life as we age is important to both physical and mental health. As we age, diseases and conditions may pose challenges in our sexual health, and sexual experiences. Learn how to manage your conditions and still have a gratifying sex life as you age.
Phimosis and paraphimosis are penis disorders. Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin can't retract behind the head of the penis. Symptoms can lead to swelling of the penis, or painful erection and urination. Paraphimosis is a condition that occurs when the foreskin is retracted behind the head of the penis and can't return to it's original position. Symptoms include pain and swelling of the penis. You need to be treated by a doctor or other healthcare professional for these penis problems.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are experienced by many women, especially at night. However, not all women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes. What causes hot flashes? A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body. Treatment for hot flashes include hormone replacement therapy and alternative prescription medications such as: SSRIs (Effexor, Paxil, Prozac), clonidine (Catapres), megestrol (Megace), and gabapentin (Neurontin). Few natural remedies for hot flashes (for example phytoestrogens - isoflavones, black cohosh, and vitamin E) have been scientifically studied.
Women's health is an important topic area to guide a woman through the stages of her life, as well as knowing the conditions and diseases that may occur. Educating yourself so that the transitions into different phases of life is key to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Pubic Lice (Crabs)
Pubic lice (crabs) are parasitic insects found in the genital area, and are primarily spread through sexual contact. Symptoms of crabs include itching and visible nits (lice eggs) and crawling lice. Treatment includes using lice-killing shampoo and washing bedding and clothing in hot water.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient. Early symptoms and signs of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach. HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood. Sexual abstinence, safe sex practices, quitting IV drugs (or at least using clean needles), and proper safety equipment by clinicians and first responders can drastically reduce transmission rates for HIV/AIDS.
Sex and Menopause (What to Expect)
Menopause is often associated with a change in sexual functioning. Loss of estrogen, bladder control issues, anxiety, stress, health concerns, medications, and sleep disturbances often result in a decrease in libido. Though there are currently no good drugs for treating sexual problems in women, there are ways to increase intimacy with a partner and treat vaginal dryness.
Just about everybody masturbates. Masturbation itself is the self-stimulation of the male or female genitals to achieve sexual pleasure or arousal to the point of orgasm. Masturbation involves stimulating the penis or clitoris. Masturbation is very common among people who have, or do not have sexual relations with a partner. Masturbation can relieve sexual tension that can build up over a period of time. Masturbation generally is considered normal unless it becomes a problem by inhibiting sexual activity with a partner, done in public, or causes distress to the person masturbating. Some experts suggest that masturbation can improve a person's sexual health and personal relationships.
Male menopause refers to the decline in testosterone production in men. As men age, they often experience many of the same symptoms that women experience in menopause. Testosterone replacement therapy may relieve some of these symptoms.
There are many forms of sexual assault, including rape, attempted rape, child molestation, sexual intercourse that you say no to, inappropriate touching, and vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Sexual assault can also be anything that forces someone to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention, such as voyeurism, exhibitionism, incest, and sexual harassment.
How Is Polyamory Different From Polygamy?
Polygamy is the practice of marrying more than one person, whereas polyamory means having multiple relations while being married (or not married) to one person. Polyamory means having multiple lovers and polygamy means having multiple spouses.
How Does a Polyamorous Relationship Work?
The traditional belief is that every person should seek a single soulmate and they should commit to that person completely. There are people who don’t believe that a single individual can fulfil all their needs in a relationship, so they prefer having many partners. Polyamorous relationships definitely benefit from regular counselling sessions to cope with feelings of jealousy and anxiety, which may surface in the long run.
Genital Warts in Men (HPV)
The HPV virus (genital warts) in men can cause health problems. Genital warts are confined primarily to the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are transmitted through sexual contact.
Is Erectile Dysfunction a Normal Part of Aging?
What is erectile dysfunction, and what are the signs and symptoms? Learn about the risks and causes of erectile dysfunction and what treatments are available for erectile dysfunction.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs include herpes, HIV/AIDS, genital warts (HPV), hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Symptoms include bumps, sores, warts, swelling, itching, or redness in the genital region. Treatment of STDs while pregnant depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy and the progression of the infection.
Reproductive health encompasses the beginning of menstruation for women, choosing the right birth control method for you and your partner, preventing contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and for women, ending with the menopausal transition.
How Does a Man Know if He Has HPV?
What is HPV, and what does it look like in men? Learn how to recognize HPV, when to see your doctor for HPV, and how to prevent and treat HPV in men.
What Are the 4 Genders?
There are four different types of genders that apply to living and nonliving objects. The four genders are the masculine gender, feminine gender, neuter gender and common gender.
How Common Is Female Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction is known as recurrent or persistent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain that can potentially create a strain in relationships. Sexual dysfunction in women is fairly common. Around 43% of women experience sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives. However, some may have difficulties throughout their lives and this can occur at any stage of life.
What Is a Polyamorous Relationship?
Polyamory, or consensual nonmonogamy, is the practice of having multiple intimate relationships, with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved. It is generally not gender specific. Anyone can have multiple partners of any gender.
How Do You Treat Sexual Dysfunction in Women?
Sexual dysfunction is recurrent or persistent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain that can potentially create a strain in relationships. Female sexual dysfunction may be due to multiple reasons. Treatment of sexual dysfunction involves addressing the underlying cause, which may be due to a medical, psychological or hormonal condition.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Natural Birth Control
- Kegel Exercises for Men
- Douching (Vaginal Douche)
- Pap Smear
- Pregnancy Test
- IUD (Intrauterine Device for Birth Control)
- Birth Control: Surgical Sterilization
- Circumcision Pros and Cons
- Contraceptive Measures after Unprotected Sex
- Circumcision Procedure
- Barrier Methods of Birth Control Side Effects, Advantages, and Disadvantages
- Penile Implants
- Penis Pump
- Testosterone Therapy to Treat ED
- 8 Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
- Mental Health: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Provider and Doctor
- Ten Health Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life
- HPV Vaccine Recommendations for Girls, Boys, Women, and Men
- Characteristics of Female Sexual Satisfaction
- Things You Should Know About the Penis
Medications & Supplements
- Cialis (tadalafil) vs. Viagra (sildenafil)
- Birth Control Pills (List of Oral Contraceptives and Side Effects)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- Viagra (sildenafil)
- Gardasil (HPV Vaccine)
- Ethinyl Estradiol-Cyproterone-Oral
- estrogens cream - vaginal
- Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel, Next Choice One Dose, My Way)
- norethindrone (Nor QD, Nora-BE, Ortho Micronor)
- tadalafil, Cialis, Adcirca
- estradiol, Alora, Climara, Delestrogen, Depo-Estradiol, Divigel, Elestrin, Estrace, and Others
- testosterone undecanoate (Aveed)
- vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn ODT)
- Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
- levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol 13 week contraceptive - oral, Seasonale
- norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol/ferrous fumarate - oral, Estrostep Fe, Loestrin Fe
- estrogens conjugated (Premarin)
- norethindrone (Aygestin)
- esterified estrogens and methyltestosterone, Estratest, Estratest HS
- norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol - oral, FemHRT
- estrogen/progestin - oral, Activella, Femhrt, Ortho-Prefe
- norgestrel (contraceptive) - oral, Ovrette
- levonorgestrel-implant, Norplant
- levonorgestrel-releasing 5 year system - intrauterine, Mirena
- Conjugated Estrogens (Cenestin, Enjuvia, Estrace, and Others)
- estrogens (synthetic)-vaginal cream
- ethinyl estradiol/drospirenone - oral, Yasmin 28
- estrogens conjugated synthetic (Cenestin)
- conjugated estrogens vaginal cream (Premarin Vaginal Cream)
- conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate, Prempro, Premphase
- esterified estrogens (Menest)
- norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol patch - transdermal, Ortho Evra
Prevention & Wellness
- Men's Genital Bacteria Help Women Predict Their Vaginal Infection Risk
- Some People Really Are Bisexual, Science Suggests
- More Young Americans Are Going Without Sex
- Some Transgender Women May Be Able to Make Sperm
- What Happens When Parents Talk to Kids Frankly About Sex?
- Sexting May Be Less Common Among Teens Than You Think
- Men as Old as 26 Should Get HPV Vaccine: Panel
- Health Tip: Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
- British Having Less Sex, Want More: Study
- Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to 'Flesh-Eating' Genital Infection
- Is Your Inner Critic Ruining Your Love Life?
- Weight-Loss Surgery May Bring a Bedroom Bonus
- Is There a Right Time for Sex After Childbirth?
- An Abusive Partner May Worsen Menopause Symptoms
- Self-Lubricating Condom Might Increase Its Use
- Promoting HPV Vaccine Doesn't Prompt Risky Sex by Teens: Study
- Do Men Really Hook Up More Than Women?
- 10% of Doctors Sexually Harassed in Last 3 Years
- Snorers, Could CPAP Help Your Sex Life, Too?
- Injured U.S. Vet Receives World's First Penis/Scrotum Transplant
- A Husband's Housework May Bring Bedroom Benefits
- Transgender Surgeries on the Rise
- Good New for Parents: Teens Are Delaying Having Sex
- Does Sex Really Trigger Cardiac Arrest?
- First Sexually Transmitted Zika Case of Year in Miami-Dade County
- Pot Smokers May Have Better Sex Lives
- Remaining 'In the Closet' at Work Stresses Gay Couples
- Your Sociability May Hinge on 'Love Hormone'
- Only About One-Third of Americans Use Condoms: CDC
- After Couples Fight, Making Up Differs for Him and Her
- New Hope in Search for Vaccine Against Gonorrhea
- Most U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'
- U.S. Transgender Surgeries Up 20 Percent in 2 Years
- HPV Vaccine May Also Prevent Cancers Affecting Men
- Bike Fanatics Shouldn't Worry About Effects on Sexual Health
- A New Way to Avoid an Embarrassing Male Sexual Problem?
- 'Female Viagra' May Lift a Younger Woman's Libido
- Syphilis Rates Spike Among U.S. Gay, Bisexual Men: CDC
- 4 in 10 U.S. Adults Under 60 Carry HPV
- Parents of Kids With Autism May Sacrifice 'Couples Time'
- The Secret to a Good Sex Life Is ...
- More Sleep Time, Less Play Time in America's Bedrooms
- Your Sex Life May Work Wonders for Your Work Life
- When Cocaine's in the Mix, Safe Sex May Not Be
- Gay Men Less Likely to Have Safe Sex Now: Survey
- Most Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancers Enjoy Good Sexual Health
- Better Sleep Could Mean Better Sex for Older Women
- Gay Man Infected With HIV Despite Using Preventive Drugs
- Dutch Government Launches Birth Control Fund for Women in Developing Nations
- Nearly Half of U.S. Men Infected With HPV, Study Finds
- Mouthwash Helps Kill Gonorrhea Germs in Mouth, Throat: Study
- Privacy Concerns Keep Some Young Americans From Sexual Health Services
- Sexual Pain for Women With Cancer Should Not Be Overlooked: Report
- Doctors May Not Be Telling High-Risk Patients About HIV Prevention Drug
- Study Questions the No-Sex-Before-Big-Game Advice
- For Many Women, Sex Gets Better at Midlife
- HPV Vaccine More Effective Than Thought: Study
- Shedding Light on Low Male Libido
- Many Teens Give Sex Ed a Failing Grade
- For Teens With Leukemia, Pregnancy Tests Often Neglected
- Ebola May Be Present in Semen for Year or More
- Gay, Lesbian Teens More Likely to Suffer Rapes, Attacks: CDC
- Think Before You Sext: 1 in 4 Shares What You Send
- Study Dashes Millennials' Reputation as Hookup Generation
- Task Force: Routine Genital Herpes Screening Not Recommended
- The Mystery of the Female Orgasm Solved?
- Mouse Study Offers Hope for Vaccine Against Chlamydia
- 1st Case of Female-to-Male Sexual Transmission of Zika Reported
- U.S. Cases of Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea Rise Fourfold in One Year
- No Sex Please, I'm a Stressed New Mom
- More Americans Engaging in Same-Sex Encounters
- Even Non-Obese Report Better Mood, Sex Drive After Dieting
- Sexual Trauma in Military May Lead to Homelessness: Study
- Anatomy May Be Key to Female Orgasm
- Want a 2nd Date? 'Welcoming' Body Language May Be Key
- Condom Use Falls When Teen Girls Opt for IUDs vs. The Pill
- Charlie Sheen's HIV Announcement Sparked Interest in Disease: Study
- Study: You Can Predict Which Male Teens Will Live With Their Future Kids
- Can Berries, Citrus Fruits Boost Male Sexual Health?
- Male Sexual Enhancement Supplements Often Ineffective, Possibly Harmful: Study
- Same-Sex Intimacy Nearly Three Times More Common for Women: CDC
- New Rules for Mammograms, Tanning Beds Top Health News of 2015
- CDC: Too Few Schools Teach Prevention of HIV, STDs, Pregnancy
- Once-a-Week Sex Makes for Happy Couples: Study
- Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia Rates Rising for First Time in Years: CDC
- Illegal Toad Venom 'Aphrodisiac' Linked to NYC Man's Death
- Better Sex Life May Be a Weight-Loss Surgery Bonus
- Teens Do Listen to Parents' Advice About Sex: Study
- Stereotypes Can Hurt a Patient's Care
- Pill for Low Libido in Women Goes on Sale on Saturday
- Scientists Get Closer to Genetics of Homosexuality in Men
- Sex May Boost Female Immune System to Aid Fertility
- Heart Attack Shouldn't End Your Sex Life
- More Evidence Daily Pill Can Prevent HIV Transmission
- Sex Lives Best When Couples Share Child Care Duties, Survey Shows
- Female Libido Pill Approved
- Study Debunks Notion That Condoms Always Hamper Erections
- FDA Approves Libido Pill for Women -- With Restrictions
- FDA Approves Addyi, First Drug to Boost Women's Sex Drive
- FDA Could Approve First Female Libido Pill Soon
- U.S. Teens Waiting Longer to Have Sex: CDC
- Health Care Workers Harbor Biases About Sexual Orientation: Study
- Testosterone Treatments Won't Help Men With Ejaculatory Issues
- College Kids Don't Understand the HPV Threat
- FDA Panel Endorses Women's Libido Pill
- Think More Sex Will Make You Happier? Think Again
- Glamour Shots on Dating Sites Draw More Prospects: Study
- Impotence Drugs Don't Fix All Sexual Concerns: Study
- Changing Genders: How It's Done
- Exercise Might Help His Sex Life
- Evolution May Explain Why a Curvy Bottom Drives Men Wild
- Good Sleep Is Key to Good Sex
- More Sex, Better Testosterone Levels?
- Transgender Hormone Therapy Doesn't Seem to Pose Major Risks
- Many LGBT Medical Students Don't Reveal Sexual Identity
- Straight Men More Prone to Jealousy Over Sexual Infidelity: Study
- Syphilis on the Rise Among Gay, Bisexual Men: CDC
- Male Ebola Survivors Should Use Condoms for at Least 3 Months, Experts Say
- Every Kiss Begins With 80 Million Germs
- HPV Vaccination Rates Lowest in States With Highest Cervical Cancer Rates: Study
- Sexual Fantasies: What's Considered Unusual?
- Playing the Field May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk: Study
- Multiple Drug Use Raises Infection Risk for 'Swinging' Couples
- Recalled Supplements Linger on U.S. Store Shelves, Study Finds
- Teens Still Sending Naked Pictures Via Cellphone
- Family Support Tied to Safer Sex for Young Gay Males: Study
- Teen 'Sexting' Often Precedes Actual Sex, Study Finds
- When It Comes to Sex Partners, Men Prefer Younger Women: Study
- Nearly 5 Percent of Young U.S. Women Have Chlamydia: CDC
- Positions Are Key When Sex Causes Back Pain
- Study: Men, Lesbians More Likely to Have Orgasms
- HPV Vaccine Protects Against Infection 8 Years Out: Study
- 'Sexting' Linked to Sex in Middle School
- Headaches During Sex More Common Than Thought, Expert Says
- Gay 'Hook-Up' Apps Tied to Higher STD Infection Rates: Study
- Two-Thirds of U.S. Adults May Carry HPV
- For Many Men, Impotence Is Treatable Without Drugs
- For Many Older Men, Impotence Is Treatable Without Drugs
- Scientists Probe What Makes People Get Their Groove On
- Pelvic Exercises May Help His Sex Life
- Don't Bother 'Faking It' in the Bedroom
- Men Have More Trouble Facing Sex Harassment in Military Than Women: Survey
- Lung Cancer Diagnosis Takes Toll on Patients' Sex Lives, Experts Say
- HIV Transmission Between Women Rare, But Possible: CDC
- Sex Is Important to Many Midlife Women
- Single-Sex Education's Benefits Challenged in Study
- Many Teens Don't Discuss Their Sex Life at Annual Checkup
- Could Water Near Fracking Sites Disrupt Hormones?
- Exercise Might Lift Libido in Women on Antidepressants
- Good Body Image Goes Hand in Hand With Happier Relationship
- Bullies More Likely to Engage in Risky Sex, Study Finds
- Talking to Partners About STDs Often Awkward: Survey
- Fewer Pounds May Lead to Better Sex, Researchers Say
- Stem Cell Transplants May Harm Recipient's Sex Life
- Men May Stroll a Little Slower Down Lovers' Lane
- 'Love Hormone' Might Heighten the Placebo Effect
- Men With Deep Voices Attract More Women, Study Finds
- Docs Should Counsel Heart Attack Survivors on Resuming Sex, Experts Say
- Many Women Worry About Sex After Heart Attack, Study Shows
- Is 'Sex Addiction' for Real? Study Says Maybe Not
- Women May Have Natural Defense Against Common STD
- Immune Cell Discovery May One Day Lead to Herpes Vaccine: Study
- Low-Dose 'Pill' Linked to Pain During Orgasm, Study Finds
- Your Voice Carries Sexual Cues, Study Finds
- Porn Use Has Small Effect on Sexual Behavior, Study Finds
- People Happier When They Get More Sex Than Their Friends: Study
- HPV Vaccination Sends Genital Wart Cases Plummeting: Study
- Men Biologically Programmed to Steer Clear of Friends' Wives
- Craze for Hairless Genitals Accompanies Rise in Infections
- Joint Replacement May Reinvigorate Sex Life
- Good 'First-Time' Sex May Set Stage for Future Enjoyment
- 'Sex With an Ex' Common Among Teens, Young Adults
- 'Coming Out' Can Bring Health Benefits, Study Says
- In Speed-Dating Study, Testosterone Rises in Both Sexes as Love Ignites
- Dad's Advice Could Be Key to Teens' Sexual Activity
- Eyes May Be Key to Spotting Who's Straight, Gay
- Wider Waistlines Put Damper on Men's Sex Lives: Study
- Survey Finds Big Drop in Sexual Activity Among Black Teens
- Can Recreational ED Drug Use Lead to ED?
- Teen 'Sexting' More Common Than Thought
- Tracking Love, Lust in the Brain
- Women Exposed to Violence Might Have More Risky Sex
- FDA Approves New Erectile Dysfunction Drug Stendra
- Gay Adults Rejected by Parents Have Worse Health, Study Finds
- Sex Ed Becoming Less Prevalent in Grades 6-12
- Many Gynecologists Don't Talk About Sex
- Health Highlights: Feb. 28, 2012
- Health Highlights: Feb. 27, 2012
- Second-Chance Romance Might Not Bring Happiness
- Nerve-Sparing Prostate Surgery Helps Men Retain Sexual Function
- Women's Sexual Satisfaction Often Rises With Age: Study
- Men Don't Always Think About Sex
- Happy, Healthy, Valentine!
- Sex Drive: How Do Men and Women Compare?
- Sex: 6 Sex Mistakes Men Make
- Life Cycle of a Penis
- When Desire Dies: Bringing Your Sex Drive Back to Life
- What Does a Sex Therapist Do?
- Birth Control Myths
- A Woman's Guide to Reviving Sex Drive
- Women, Sex, and Diabetes
- Erection Problem Checklist
- Virtual Sex
- Male Enhancement: Is It Worth a Try?
- What to Do if the Kids Catch You in the Act
- Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS) Specific References
- Relationships: Overcoming Infidelity
- Sex: Start Me Up - How to Sync Up Your Sex Life
- Why We Cheat
- Looking for Love: Understanding What You Need
- Setting Good Expectations
- Rape Myths
- Spermicides for Birth Control
- Sex: Talking to Your Kids About Sex
- Homosexuality and Bisexuality
- Sex: Ultimate Sex Diet
- STD: Get the STD Picture
- Condom Quiz: How Much Do You Know?
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter