According to WHO, Sexual health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples, and families, and to the social and economic development of communities and countries. Sexual 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.
At Medicircle we present to you an exclusive series on awareness regarding Sexual and Reproductive health.
Dr. Kumar Kamble is a Psychiatrist, De-addiction specialist, Sexologist, Speaker, Mental health educator, and Sexual health educator. Currently, he is associated with Umang Clinic, Nagpur. He has worked as a medical officer and a co-ordinator at The Drug Treatment Clinic KEM HOSP Mumbai. He has also been a technical trainer for the National Addiction Survey. Dr. Kumar Kamble wants to provide comprehensive treatment services for deaddiction and sexual health and his goal is to have a drug-free community.
Umang clinic is a one-stop center of comprehensive mental health care services. It provides treatment and counseling for all mental illnesses, which includes depression, stress, anxiety, OCD, psychosis, etc.
Sexual health is not limited to just the sexual parts
Dr. Kamble explains, ‘‘Whenever we talk about sexual health, it is not only the sexual parts we refer to, but we refer to our brain as well because it is also deeply related to sexual health and reproductive health. Hormones or Chemicals which are responsible for our sexual growth are released by the brain. Along with other important functions like emotions, and thinking, hence sex is a very important function of the brain. Hence when sexual health is concerned we have to take care of our mind, if we have a peaceful mind, then sex will also be good and so would be our sexual health. In simple words, if we heal our mind, then It will not mess with sex,” says Dr. Kamble.
Pointers of good sexual health
Dr. Kamble emphasizes, “There are a few points, which we are aware of but do not pay much attention to like-
- Staying away from Addiction
- Sleeping on the right time
- Eating nutritious food
- Exercise Regularly
When I say these things, it sounds very general but it affects both our physical health and mental health and when our body and mind are good then it is natural that our sexual and reproductive health will also be good.’’ he says
Requirement of creating a more sexually educated generation
Dr. Kumar shares the reasons why there is a wide gap in communicating sexual information by mentioning, ‘’If we look at the life around us, we are settled on very basic needs like hunger, thirst, sleep. Since childhood, our parents have always been teaching us about these things. But there is another basic drive/need which is ‘sex’, about which nobody gives any information. The reason being that earlier our educational system did not give much importance to sexual health awareness. Also, parents must change their perspective about sexual health. There is a need to learn how to communicate with your children about these topics. They must understand that there is no harm in the introduction of new ways of parenting, also there is no age to learn and update yourself,” says Dr. Kamble
Basic sex education is required at the beginning of childhood itself
Dr. Kamble points out that ”we hear from our elders from the very beginning that one should not discuss sex openly, and also must not gain too much information related to it. However, on the contrary, if we give basic sex education to children from the very beginning like talking about private parts in the body, there is more good than harm as children will be able to confide in their parents more easily.”
Measures to Control STDs
Dr. Kumar Kamble lists down the factors that can help a person to avoid contracting STDs:
- ‘’Use of Condoms- STDs i.e. sexually transmitted diseases are contracted when we have unprotected sexual relationships with a partner. This can be avoided if one uses a condom.
- Multiple Sexual partners- There is an important need to convey information among people especially youth that sex is not something to be done with anyone, it should be with a special person only. This would help in avoiding multiple sexual partners in one's life”.
Need for Awareness about Gender Role
Dr. Kamble explains, ‘‘It is crucial for everyone to be aware that men and women are equal. One should have clarity that there is no task that is confined to a specific gender.
Secondly, taking the Consent of the women before having sex is important. If a woman does not give her consent to the act, one must respect the same. And if there is proper awareness about it, sexual abuse against women shall decrease subsequently.
Also, women must also learn to speak up and be assertive. Consent necessary to reach another person. Many women are not aware of orgasms and the importance of sexual health on the overall health of an individual. Hence there needs to be awareness amongst women about these things.’’ he says.
Respecting others’ sexuality must be normalized
Dr. Kumar expresses his thoughts about accepting and normalizing other people's sexuality ‘‘One of the topics for awareness is the issue of homosexuality about which is very necessary to convey information. People must normalize homosexuality and understand that it is natural and completely normal for a man to be attracted to a man or a woman to be attracted to a woman. It is given by nature and is not a disease. And If people choose to express themselves about this and speak about it socially, it will change our vision, and we will stop discriminating against it.’’ says Dr. Kamble
(Edited by Faryal Siddiqui)