08 Jul Let’s Talk About Sexual Health
One of the least talked about health topics in Singapore, and many parts of the world, is none other than sexual health. Despite the gravity of sexual health-related issues – with infertility affecting 1 in every 7 couple – many individuals do not actively seek medical help until they face a crisis in their relationship.
Sexual Health is Not Just About Sex Drive
While persistent low sex drive may be an indication of an underlying health condition, sexual health implicates other aspects of our lives. For men, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are increasingly common problems that not only hinder a satisfactory sex life, a healthy relationship but also diminish one’s self-esteem and confidence.
Likewise, women also experience sexual dysfunction as a result of hormonal and emotional changes. Assuming the role of a child bearer biologically, concerns of infertility often translate into immense mental stress for women in a relationship.
What Affects Your Sexual Health?
If you have read our article on benefits of antioxidants, you would know that antioxidants help our body to fight against free radicals. But did you know that antioxidants also play a critical role on your sexual health? If free radicals are unregulated, it will put our body under oxidative stress and damage our cells – including reproductive cells – leading to health complications such as premature aging, cancer development and of course, infertility issues. Based on research, up to 80% of infertility cases are triggered by oxidative stress and a decreased level of seminal antioxidant capacity.
From a scientific perspective, infertility in men stems from unhealthy reproductive cells (sperms and eggs). Oxidative stress impairs the development of sperms and prevents it from functioning to their fullest capacity. It also reduces the secretion of testosterones, the male hormones that are essential for boosting sexual drive and supporting physical development.
On the other hand, one of the major causes of infertility in women is ovarian aging where the eggs reserve is low and poor. Repeated exposure to oxidative stress can cause ovarian aging, affecting the quality and quantity of eggs to deteriorate throughout a woman’s lifetime.
As such, having a daily diet rich in antioxidants is necessary to keep our body in balance and reduce the likelihood of oxidative stress.
How Do Antioxidants Improve Your Sexual Health?
Antioxidants have been proven to exert a range of benefits on sexual health, including reduction of erectile dysfunction in men and increased sex drive in women. In a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, simple dietary modifications such as increased consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables each day reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction by 38%.
In addition, antioxidants boost development of sperm cells and protect sperm DNA integrity, increasing the concentration of sperm cells in the male body. It also improves the testosterone levels, male hormones produced in the testicles that regulate sexual development and sex drive in men.
Specifically, vitamin E improves sperm health and motility, enabling sperms to move efficiently through the female reproductive tract to fertilise the egg and increases chances of a successful pregnancy. In some cases, it has been proven to reverse infertility in males. Regular consumption of vitamin E improves oxygenated blood circulation to the nether areas, regulates sex hormones and boosts sex drive.
On the other hand, vitamin C improves estrogen and progesterone levels, female hormones released by the ovaries during ovulation. These hormones are involved in regulating monthly menstrual cycle and maintaining pregnancy in women. 
Intake of vitamin B6 is also very important to women as it boosts sex drive and regulates hormones including estrogen, serotonin and dopamine that affect your feelings of pleasure. Vitamin B3 is important for stimulating orgasms by improving blood circulation and activating the adrenal glands to produce sex hormones.
Fruits such as blueberries, cranberries and grapes are high in vitamins B, C and E alongside other types of antioxidants. On average, you are recommended to consume about 5000-6000 ORAC units of antioxidants daily. You can obtain natural antioxidants from a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables or natural healthy beverages like Rejuvenate, Antioxidant Infused Shot.