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Over 200% Jump in Sex Related Queries on Online Health Portals in India

The annual report by Practo also revealed a wide disparity between the number of women who expresses sexual health concerns on online portals and men who did the same.

Rakhi Bose | News18.com@theotherbose

Updated:April 5, 2019, 2:37 PM IST
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Over 200% Jump in Sex Related Queries on Online Health Portals in India
Image for Representation (Image: AFP)

Discussing sexual health is still one of the many topics that remain taboo in India. It is often hard to discuss the issue of sexual health with friends an family or even doctors due to the various stigmas that surround such things.

Perhaps that os the reasons why more and more Indians are turning to online teleconsulting to find the right advice. A per data released by a study conducted by Practo, sexual health queries on the internet have increased by 268 per cent in 2018 since the year before.

In its third edition of India's healthcare map which was released on April 4, Practo has compiled data from over 13 crore patients from across 50 cities and over 250 specialities. The data inclues online searches and appointments made by patients online.

Tackling taboo?

As per the data, sexual health is the top-most concern for teleconsunsult users with a maximum number of users coming from Mumbai, Delhi an Bengaluru. Another interesting point was the fact that almost 7- per cent of sexual health consultations, queries and questions come from the under-30-years-of-age groups.

Lack of sex education and changing mentalities toward sex and sexual discourse could be the leading factors for this growing trend. This could also be due to the fact that almost 65 per cent of the current population in India is under the age of 35 and are thus the majority age group that are using online services.

Of all the online consultations that took place in 208, sexual health concerns constituted 31.6 per cent of the total, with dermatological concerns at a close second.

Women still silent

The report also revealed a wide disparity between the number of women who expresses sexual health concerns on online portals and men who did the same. While 57 per cent of all sexual health consultations come from male users, only three per cent of them come from women.

This means that even with an increase in people seeking sexual advice, women are not as vocal about their sexual needs and questions.

Men and women also looked for different search topics and had queries relating to different aspects of sexual health. While most men had concerns about masturbation, erectile dysfunction, and sexual performance related queries, women's concerns were dominated by topics like pregnancy, menstruation, breast cancer.

However, despite the difference, the study found that both erectile dysfunction in men and irregular periods in women could be caused by a common factor - stress. consumption of tobacco, alcohol, poor diet or chronic hypertension and/or diabetes also cause irregularities.

Mental Health concerns

In another exciting revelation, Practo Insights also revealed a nearly 80 per cent increase in persons seeking appointments with Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists in tier 2 cities. The patients mostly consult for issues like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), relationship stress, marital counselling, de-addiction and anger management.

While the increase in seeking medical attention for mental health is a great sign, it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as it is also evidence of increasingly unhealthy and disturbing lifestyles, daily stress and unproductive diets.

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