10 Things We Learned About Sexual Health in 2016

Eileen Bailey Dec 20th, 2016 (updated Dec 20th, 2016)
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Researchers are constantly looking for new and better ways to improve the sexual health of both men and women. Here are 10 things we learned in 2016 about that pursuit.

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Light therapy
Light therapy

Light therapy might help improve sexual desire in men. When treated with light therapy for a half-hour in the morning, men produced more testosterone and indicated a greater satisfaction with their sexual lives. 

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The menopause 'drop'
The menopause 'drop'

Menopause causes a significant drop in sexual function in women. This begins almost two years before their last menstrual period and can continue for one year after that. 

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Women, STDs and Alcohol
Women, STDs and Alcohol

One reason for the rise in STDs in women could be attitudes toward alcohol use, which can result in sexual risk taking, including engaging in sex without using a condom.

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Bogus male 'enhancers'
Bogus male 'enhancers'

There is no scientific information to back up most claims made for the effectiveness of over-the-counter male sexual enhancers. They sometimes contain dangerous ingredients, even when touted as natural. 

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Sex after a heart attack
Sex after a heart attack

While most people can resume their sex life after a heart attack, many are hesitant to do so because their doctors have not addressed the issue directly, especially with women. Guidelines to help doctors talk with their patients could help. 

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Sex and antidepressants
Sex and antidepressants

Women often report a decrease in sexual desire after taking antidepressants. With proper treatment, including behavioral and pharmacologic interventions, this can be improved.

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Teens and risky behavior
Teens and risky behavior

Teens with unhealthy or negative attitudes toward marriage and romantic relationships are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

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Violence and sex
Violence and sex

Teens who witness, are a victim of fear or violence in their communities are more likely to engage in sex. Girls experiencing or fearing violence were less likely to use condoms and more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. 

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Smartphone sex info
Smartphone sex info

Smartphone apps are a viable way to provide accurate and timely sexual health information to teen girls. Almost 95 percent of the teens using the app Girl Talk indicated they learned new and more detailed information than what they knew previously.

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Women, heart disease, and low sex drive
Women, heart disease, and low sex drive

Women who meet the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome, which indicates a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, report low sexual drive and low satisfaction with their sex life.