Filtering by Category: Sexual Health

Vulvodynia Treatment Methods

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Second part of my posts on #vulvodynia focusing on #treatmentmethods. From my experience and research, the multi-disciplinary approach is the best method. No single treatment is appropriate for individuals with vulvodynia and it may take some time to find a treatment, or combination of treatments, that helps alleviate pain.Some people experience relief with one particular treatment, while others do not respond or experience side effects.  So finding out what works best for you is of upmost importance! 
Firstly I would recommend a Psychosexual Therapist. We are trained to support you as an individual or perhaps as a couple. Receiving a diagnosis of vulvodynia or experiencing it, tends to affect a woman’s sexual relationships and emotional well-being. 
Alongside this vulvodynia treatment may involve visiting a: •gynecologist or vulvovaginal specialist, •dermatologist, •physical therapist.
Current vulvodynia treatments include: ○Medications •Antidepressants ( both SSRIs and Tricyclic) •Anticonvulsians ○ Topical Medications (gels and creams) •Topical Hormonal Creams (e.g., estrogen, testosterone) •Topical Anesthetics •Topical Compounded Formulations (eg; anti-depressants) ○Other treatment options: •Nerve Blocks •Neurostimulation and Spinal Infusion Pump •There may also be some complementary or alternative medicine that would suit you. •Women with provoked vestibulodynia may be candidates for surgery. Success rates for surgery vary from 60% – 90%. Following a diagnosis, take your time finding what suits you for treatment options. We are all different which means what works for one person, may not for the other. Ensure that you have someone to talk to, be it a loved one or a health care professional so that you feel supported.   

Masturbation and the Prefrontal Cortex

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When we’re masturbating, our perception of what is sexually attractive and desirable changes. This all happens through my favourite part of the brain: The Prefrontal Cortex. Its the part of the brain that focuses on personality and creativity. Research has found that heightened sexual arousal achieved through masturbation can make almost anything and anyone seem more sexually appealing. Interestingly enough, these findings tell us that sexual arousal changes our perceptions of the world around us. Which is pretty crazy! 

Low Libido in Women

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Loss of desire, also known as low libido. Can affect women at certain times of life.

There are many obvious times such as during pregnancy, after having a baby, during menopause. However some women experience most of the time. 

Low libido can have a range of physical or psychological causes, including:

*Stress

*Depression

*Excessive drug use or alcohol.

*Medication side effects

*Hormone issues (drop in testosterone)

*Relationship issues

And many more reasons. If you are struggling with low libido it is worth visiting your GP in the first instance. They can assess for any physiological aspects. If ruled out sex therapy can help assist you in reconnecting with your sexuality and help with any relational issues. 

What is Dysperunia?

Dyspareunia is pain or discomfort in a woman’s labial, vaginal, or pelvic areas during or after sex.There are many different causes of dyspareunia, resulting in different levels and kinds of pain. One of the main reasons so many cases go untreated is because women feel uncomfortable talking to their GP about this very private issue. If you're worrying about having the conversation try imagine going home knowing that you have taken the first steps towards recovery and how good you'll feel. There are many forums and even Facebook groups  that can help support you. Remember that you are not alone. Contact a Sex Therapist like myself for further assistance.

Drury Therapy

How do Breasts Effect Arousal?

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Breasts play a substantial role in female sexual pleasure. When nipples are full of nerves, during an MRI study, it was found that stimulating the nipple lights up the same part of the brain that is linked to the genitals. A study carried out, reported that touching the nipples/breasts causes or enhances sexual arousal in approximately 82% of young women. When aroused, a woman’s breasts can swell to up to 25% of their normal size, and become more sensitive. Stimulating the nipples releases neurochemicals like; Dopamine and Oxycontin. This in turn causes the vagina to swell and lubricate.

There is far less study on the importance of nipple use for men, however one piece of research done in 2006 reported that 52% of men get aroused by nipple play. 

Sexual Expression.

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New research finds that comfort with sexual communication is directly linked to sexual satisfaction. Alongside this: People who are more comfortable talking about sex are also more likely to do so while having sex, the researchers found. Expressing yourself sexually tends to be easier during sexual activity as guards and barriers tend to be lowered. After all, people who are uncomfortable asking their partners to wear a condom may be at higher risk of having unprotected sex and exposing themselves to sexually transmitted infections. Which would reduce the fear of pregnancy or STI's and increase an individual feeling relaxed....not to mention the all important intimacy! So try to communicate and express yourself honestly. This will lead to a happier sex life.

Go get a Mirror!

People with Vaginas and Vulvas get to know yours! Explore it and educate yourself. Take a hand mirror and have a look. It may seem scary, it may seem uncomfortable but getting to know it will go a long way. @ri.davino
Some facts you say!?:
The vagina produces its own protective substances to get rid of unwanted fluids and bacteria. Avoid those feminine washes, they can unbalance your PH.
The Gspot wasn't 'officially' discovered till 1940. It's an area around 2cm inside the top section of the vagina. Not every woman has it though.. so don't worry too much! 
The average vagina is only around three inches in size and stretching to four when aroused. But is flexible to accommodate any size! Also they do shrink back to their natural size after birth. 

Miscarriages and IVF

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This week @michelleobama spoke about her miscarriages and IVF stating that she felt "lost and alone". For millions of people, the disclosure that she and Barack Obama used IVF treatment to conceive is an act of generosity. IVF is 40 years old now but is still met with stigma. Alongside this 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage. 
It seems at times that the reality of conceiving and challenges for many are muted. As Mrs Obama says in her book: "We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we're broken."

Young Trans People Survey

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Following a great talk hosted by #CliniQ
I'm taking stock before my long evening with @spectra_london 'Young Trans Peoples Survey' from 2016. Three stats that stand out to me are: 💜 Loneliness and isolation being key concerns. With 47% of respondents feeling lonely 'often/always'.
💜Mental health and emotional well-being was also prominent. 57% of respondents said they experienced difficulties with their MH and well-being 'most of the time.
💜 Bullying in school and at work. A whole 68% of people have been the subject of bullying just this year.
So much more needs to be done by all of us to support these young people.

Period Sex

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I get that having sex on your period isn’t for everyone and that's ok. But there is some serious stigma related to it, and really periods aren’t anything to be ashamed of. They’re natural. They happen every month. They’re just a part of bodies and life still happens! So here are some myth busting facts for you:
*Orgasms are pain relievers! This means climaxing while on your period can actually reduce cramps!
*There isn't as much blood as you think there will be- yes there maybe some but its not much different to any other bodily fluids that occur during sex.
*Period sex can actually be shortened due to the contracting of your uterus lining. *Some women become more aroused during their time of the month.
*Worried about getting blood on the sheets? Shower sex can change that! Please don't fall...
*Periods are natural, we still live in an a world where there is embarrassment and shame related to them-which is ridiculous. This needs to change, and to start that change we need to talk about it. Period.

Disclaimer: as much as I'm advocating for period sex (mainly destigmatization) PLEASE remember that you can still can contract STIs so do use protection.

Talking Porn with Young People

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This day last week the @thisisleika panel spoke about porn and sex education. 
We all were of the consensus that sex education needs to incorporate it. Including areas such as pleasure, consent, relationships and sexuality. Currently porn is easier to access than sex education and that's not going to change anytime soon. By the age of 9 many kids already have stumbled onto it. So start by having the conversation. There are really great resources out there to assist, such as #thepornconversation developed by the amazing @erikalust www.thepornconversation.org. @katemoyletherapy also did a piece this week for #ageid, the link is in her bio. 
We can't ban crappy porn but we can talk and teach our young people, so that they may feel empowered and comfortable. 

Intimacy

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Intimacy is at the heart of a strong relationship. Intimacy is about being able to be free, to be your authentic self with them. It's a deep emotional bond that is normally reserved for just one person. Ideally, sex in a loving relationship should come from a place of love and connection. The two are interconnected intimacy builds sex and sex builds intimacy. When one is struggling, the other is also.
If you and your partner are having difficulties couple therapy can really assist.

Rapid Ejaculation

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Sexual dysfunction is any physical or psychological problem that prevents you or your partner from getting sexual satisfaction. Male sexual dysfunction is a common health problem affecting men of all ages, but is more common with increasing age. It's estimated 1 in 10 men has a problem related to having sex, such as Rapid (premature) Ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. 
There are many treatment methods including medical, surgical and therapeutic. However it should be understood that this is about treating the individual and what is right for them. If you are concerned attend your GP clinic in the first instance. They should be able to guide you in the right direction.

Mindful Masturbation

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Masturbation is a great form of #selfcare that is fun, healthy and cheap!
In keeping with the theme of mental health it is also important to point out that masturbation can cause issues for some people. I often ask clients three questions which allow me to gain an understanding as to whether support is needed: 
Can you cut down on your masturbation? Is it having a negative effect on your life and relationships? Do you feel shame/guilt following masturbating? 
If none of these apply to you then happy masturbating! Otherwise there are many specialists out there that can support you. 

Vulva Loving

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Ladies get to know yours. Explore it and educate yourself. Take a hand mirror and have a look. It may seem scary, it may seem uncomfortable but getting to know it will go a long way.

Some facts you say!?:

The vagina produces its own protective substances to get rid of unwanted fluids and bacteria. Avoid those feminine washes, they can unbalance your PH.

The G-spot wasn't 'officially' discovered till 1940. It's an area around 2 cm inside the top section of the vagina. Not every woman has it though.. so don't worry too much!

The average vagina is only around three inches in size and stretching to four when aroused. But is flexible to accommodate any size! Also they do shrink back to their natural size after birth.


How Long Should Therapy be?

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Clients often ask me how long therapy should be for them. I always tell them I can't answer that. The therapeutic path is not a simple one and is often painful and challenging. Yet it is incredibly rewarding when everything starts to fall into place. When I meet with people for the first time, I usually ask them what they are hoping to get out of therapy and how they feel their lives would be different. Then, as time progresses, I check in with them to see how they feel the work is going and to what extent they feel their goals are being met. Gradually and patiently the answer will come to the surface; that in fact time isn't important, it's the context of that therapeutic duration.

World Aids Day

Yesterday was #worldaidsday. I have been wearing my ribbon since last year and I have had many people ask me what it represents.

It's always been an honour for me to be able to explain what it symbolises and what more is needed to be done to remove stigma.

Here are some facts done by PHE in 2016 on #hiv

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42% of all people diagnosed with HIV were diagnosed late.

Late diagnosis is most common in certain groups, heterosexuals in particular

76% of people newly diagnosed have started antiviral treatment within 90 days.

So if you haven't go get yourself educated and tested. Alongside a ribbon so you can help inform others!