In a recent study published in the professional medical journal Obesity, researchers have found that women who are overweight experience less pleasure from sex and participate in higher risk sexual behaviors. As a result, obese women experience more frequent unplanned pregnancies and also have higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Self Esteem and Sex
Studies have repeatedly found that women who are overweight have more self esteem issues than women who do not struggle with their weight. Obesity can lead to poor body image, lack of self confidence and unsatisfactory relationships for many women.
In many cases, doctors do not talk about sexual issues with women, perhaps inaccurately assuming that women who are obese do not engage in sexual behaviors. Unfortunately, lack of communication with medical professionals can lead women to believe they are less likely to become pregnant. Additionally, obese women are less likely to use effective contraceptive methods, resulting in unplanned pregnancies.
Researchers also found that obese women tend to engage in unprotected sex more frequently, placing them at risk for STIs. Additional risk behaviors for women who struggle with obesity include increased risky sexual behavior with alcohol use. Women also reported feeling less powerful when negotiating sexual activities with men, placing them at greater risk for engaging in unprotected sexual behaviors.
Struggling with weight should not be an impediment to healthy sexual activity. Women who struggle with weight should talk to their doctor openly about contraceptive choices and educate themselves about pregnancy and STI risks.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Exercising regularly and eating a well-balanced diet can help with weight loss. Losing weight is not easy for many people. Learning about nutrition, working out with others and developing a support system for healthy food choices can help.
What approaches have helped you lose weight? What do you do when you feel yourself struggling with food choices?
– The Alternative Daily