Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 4: Sexuality and Sexual Health

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HealthWiki > Health Actions for Women > Chapter 4: Sexuality and Sexual Health


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When you think of sexual health, the first thing that comes to mind might be reproductive health or avoiding sexually transmitted infections (STIs). And those are important aspects of sexual health. However, sexuality — the way you express yourself sexually — is also a vital part of sexual health.

For a woman to have good sexual health, she needs more than healthy body parts. She also needs to be able to:

  • express her sexuality in a way that is comfortable and gives her pleasure.
  • choose her sexual partner.
  • choose when and how to have sex.
  • choose if and when she becomes pregnant.
  • feel able to protect herself from sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV.
  • be free from sexual violence, including forced sex.


The activities in this chapter can help people become more confident talking about sexuality and about things they can do to have healthier sexual relationships. You can adapt these activities to fit your group’s age, gender, beliefs, and cultural practices.