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Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
CUNHA, Magnus Kelly Moura da; SPYRIDES, Maria Helena Constantino and SOUSA, Maria Bernardete Cordeiro de. The meaning of health in sexual relations according to women treated under the Unified National Health System in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.6, pp.1099-1110. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2011000600007.
The aim of this article is to discuss the social representations of "health in sexual relations" as reported by women treated under the Unified National Health System (SUS) in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. A total of 150 women were tested using the free word recall test, with "health in sexual relations" as the stimulus. Women were also asked about their sources of information on the subject. The results were obtained with content analysis and the EVOC software. We identified three representational dimensions: prevention, relationship with the partner, and quality of life. The central nucleus of social representation consisted of the elements "prevention" and "condoms". Likely sources for representation were television, health services, and dialogue with family members and partners. Representations were composed of concepts related to prevention, a good partner relationship, and overall well-being. The results illustrate the need to expand women's sexual health aspects that are considered relevant by the health system.
Keywords : Sexual and Reproductive Health; Women's Health; Coitus; Perception.