More Indians go online to pop sex queries

Lifestyle piechart

Indians are increasingly using online tele-consulting to discuss sexual health problems, with a major online medical solutions provider reporting a jump of nearly 268% in sexual health-related queries since 2017.

The study, released by Practo, utilised data from nearly 13 crore patients across 50 cities and towns in India from last year. According to the study, which was released on Thursday, sexual health queries constituted nearly 31.6% of total online consultation in India in 2018, while dermatology came next at 17.1%.

Nearly 70% of all sexual health consultation requests came from patients under the age of 30 and from three principle cities — Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.

Of these, 43% are from women, with 76% of women being under the age of 30. In contrast, 64% of men who undertook similar consultation are under the age of 30.

While men across all age groups preferred to discuss sex-related queries, masturbation and erectile dysfunction, women’s queries were dominated by discussions about periods, pregnancy and breast cancer.

Data also revealed that Indians living in urban areas are not only twice more inclined to visit doctors than Indians living in rural areas, but also are more inclined to use digital technology to interact and consult with doctors.

Researchers said this was due to the relatively young population of India, where the average age is 29, but clarified that the country’s overall visits to doctors would jump in the coming years as the population ages.

As an example, researchers pointed to Japan, with a median age of 47, where an average person visited a doctor at least 13 times a year and the United States, with a median age of 37, where an average person visited a doctor four times a year.

In Bengaluru, an average person visited a doctor 4.8 times per year — slightly up from the national, metropolitan average of 4.2. In rural areas, the national average is 2.6 times a year.

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