Sexual Health

HowStuffWorks explores the functions -- and dysfunctions -- of the reproductive system. Learn about maintaining a healthy sex life and avoiding and treating sexual problems.

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Is Sapiosexuality a Real Thing?

Maybe you really can be loved just for your mind.

Georgios Papanikolaou: Papa of the Pap Smear

He was able to detect a significant number of early cancers with his method, paving the way for the first mass screening program, launched in Tennessee in 1928.

'Vicious Cycle' Podcast Demystifies Menstruation

The trio behind this female-centric podcast set out to unmask menstruation — and even make it funny.

A Controversial Female Libido Enhancer Is Reborn

This little pink pill is being marketed as a solution to low sex drive issues in women, but the reboot is generating a lot of backlash.

Menstrual Cups Pose a Greater Risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome than Tampons

A new study found that menstrual cups are greater breeding grounds for the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome than tampons.

Want Just a Few Kids? Ask Mom to Move In

Mom or mother-in-law live with you and hubby? She might be interfering with your reproduction rate.

Norway Is Recruiting Real People for TV Sex

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation will air a show in fall 2017 featuring live sex, but it's for reasons you'd least likely expect.

Century-old Procedure Treats Infertility by Flushing Fallopian Tubes With Oil

Using contrast dye dissolved in poppy-seed oil could be a cost-efficient alternative to treatments like IVF, new research confirms.

Exploring the Therapeutic Possibilities of Future Sexbots

What could the future hold when man and machine meet? This piece of short fiction explores the science and the sensuality behind human existence.

New Tech Uses Smartphone to Test for Male Fertility

Harvard researchers have developed a technology which may provide an inexpensive, easy way to test male fertility at home using a smartphone attachment.

Why Americans Are Having Less Sex Than Ever

Are we cuddling up to our smartphones instead?

This Is Why Humans Don't Have a Mating Season

Some mammals mate and reproduce at a specific time of year, but not humans. (Spring break notwithstanding, of course.)

Why Don't Any Diseases Increase Our Sex Drive?

Rabies spreads by making hosts aggressive and more likely to bite. Wouldn't it make sense for a disease to up our arousal urge to get physical?

Long-term Male Birth Control That Doesn't Involve Snipping

Vasectomies traditionally have been the only game in town when it comes to a long-acting form of male birth control. A new option may be on the horizon.

The Link Between Birth Control and Depression: Should Women Be Worried?

The headlines suggesting a link between depression and birth control might not be telling the whole story.

Ditching the Pill for an App and an Algorithm

A new app relies on women taking their temperature each day and entering it into an app to determine fertility. Will this new approach to birth control catch on?

4 Reasons Why Menstrual Cups Aren't More Popular

Menstrual cups still don’t get much love from many American women. Why's that?

Sex May Be Good for Older Women, Bad for Older Men

In the next chapter of 'Men are from Mars, Women from Venus', a new study suggests that sex can extend the lives of older women, but shorten those of older men.

What a Drop in Male Dog Fertility May Say About Human Male Fertility

A study showed a decline in male dog fertility over 26 years, which researchers think may be due to chemicals in the environment.

How Many People Are Lifelong Virgins?

Humans are low-virginity, high-reproduction animals. Some of us go our whole lives with no action, either by choice or circumstance. How many people never have sex?

In the Midst of Hookup Culture, Fewer Millennials Are Having Sex

A new study found millennials are having less sex than Gen Xers did at the same age. But why?

Migraine May Be Linked to Faster Estrogen Drops During Menstrual Cycle

A new study finds that estrogen withdrawal due to plummeting hormone levels might make women with migraine more susceptible to an attack.

More Americans Have Had Same-sex Experiences, Accept Those of Others

A new study has shown the amount of Americans who report a same-sex experience has doubled in the last 25 years.

Prehistoric STDs Could Be the Reason Humans Became Monogamous

Only a tiny percentage of animals are socially and sexually monogamous, but that includes humans. A new study says ancient STDs may be at the root of the practice.

Space Menstruation Deserves Further Study

Say you're a female astronaut chosen for a three-year mission. That's 1,100 combined oral contraceptive pills you need to pack to stop your period. Is there a better way?