The incidence of premature ejaculation (PE) in men is reported to be 30% and is on the rise. It is the release or ejaculation of semen sooner than he would like during a sexual encounter with his partner. It is one of the most common male sexual problems.
It is considered that a man who can't 'last' for longer than five minutes would typically fit the definition of one suffering from 'premature ejaculation'.
Premature ejaculation can be a cause of embarrassment and can lead to frustration as sex may not lead to a pleasurable experience. Even partners of men who suffer from pe can be left feeling extremely dissatisfied. This can adversely affect relationships and have impacts on the affected person's self-esteem.
What causes premature ejaculation?
Ejaculation is controlled by the central nervous system. When a man is sexually aroused or stimulated, signals are carried from the spinal cord to the brain and from there sent to the reproductive organs to enable the release of semen through the penis. The exact cause of PE is still unknown. Many causes may attribute to PE from biological (low serotonin levels) to psychological factors and other related issues.
These are discussed further:
1. Biological causes: Serotonin is a natural substance made by the nerves. An increase in serotonin levels in the brain help men prolong the time taken to ejaculate and low levels of this substance can lead to PE.
2. Psychological factors: It is believed that following psychological factors can increase PE:
- Performance anxiety and unrealistic expectations
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship issues
It comes as a relief that PE need not be life-long and with some help it can be treated:
How is PE treated?
Quite often PE occurs with new partners and may decrease on its own over a period of time with absolutely no treatment. A urologist or sexologist may advice on certain techniques that you and your partner could try out to delay orgasm. A doctor may suggest use of numbing creams or gels if the skin of the penis is excessively sensitive. If the issue is a psychological one, therapy or counselling is advised which if followed can effectively reduce PE and help achieve a more satisfying sexual experience and subsequently improve relationships.
Love making is generally portrayed as a way to great pleasure. However, what most may not know is that intercouse can be painful, very painful, so much so that you at times don’t want it. In fact, an alarming 75% of women have had pain during sex at some point in their lives. There are physical and psychological components to this, both of which can be managed easily if identified. While some may be frank and talk about it, a lot of them go unspoken and therefore endure the pain in silence.
Painful intercourse, which is a major deterrent for a happy intimate life, has a lot to do with the mindset and emotions than actual physical or physiological problems. Fear of being hurt, performance anxiety, sexual inhibitions, past history of abuse, etc. are major contributors for painful intercourse.
Physical causes for the pain include temporary reasons like the ones listed below.
- Vaginal Infections: Fungal infections of the vagina and surrounding organs are very common and there could be sores or lesions, which can turn painful with sex.
- Vaginismus: Another common condition leading to painful sex, these are involuntary contractions, which often happens as a defense mechanism. The woman has the fear of being hurt and so these spasms happen.
- Gynaecological Issues: Ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts, menstrual disorders, endometriosis, cervical problems and vulvar injuries are other causes which can lead to painful intercourse.
With any of these, the remedy lies in acknowledging the problem.
If there are no physical issues, talking about the past, discussing her fears and anxiety can help. Many times, the expectations are often unspoken and there is a lot of uncertainty, fear and anxiety between the couple, especially with respect to intimacy. A frank talk can help ease both of them, and that can often help in reducing pain during sex. If required, counselling can be sought,so that she opens up. In most cases, one or two sittings with both couples and a counsellor can help find the problem and work out a lasting solution.
Lubrication is often another problem that leads to pain. When there is not sufficient mental stimulation, the chances of a dry vaginal mucosa are high. Artificial lubricants can be used to help with easy penetration and reducing the pain. Infections can be managed with antibiotics, often topical, unless it is very severe and requires systemic antibiotics. Women who have delivered babies should refrain from sex for complete healing, as it can be painful.
Menopause is another reason for painful sex and this is due to lower hormone level. Using hormones either topically or supplements like birth control pills can improve overall sexual urge and lead to painless sex.
Both women and men suffer from infertility troubles. There are a host of causes that may lead to infertility in men such as lifestyle choices and obesity. Male infertility is characterized by irregular sperm function or reduced sperm count. Infertility has emerged as a common problem as a result of the modern day lifestyle. Extremely hectic schedules, stress, burnout, depression, unhealthy diets; all of these can contribute to fertility issues.
The various reasons for infertility in men are:
- If you are overweight, then it is time to lose those extra kilos. Obesity leads to a number of health problems, one of them being erectile dysfunction.
- Various hormonal problems such as complications of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands may lead to low testosterone levels in the body.
- Various infections such as inflammation of the testicles and epididymis that causes blockage of the tubes carrying the sperm can be a cause.
- Various medications such as using anabolic steroids, antifungal medications and chemotherapy may hamper production of the sperm and thus hit fertility.
- Both alcohol and cigarettes may cause problems in sperm production, and cause erectile dysfunction. Excessive drinking may lead to complications in the liver resulting in infertility.
The reasons of infertility may range from medical causes to lifestyle choices; some of the causes may be related to the environment. A common cause of infertility is due to problems with transportation of the sperm. These are mainly due to blockages in the tubes that carry the sperm.
Symptoms of infertility in men are:
- You may experience low libido
- Your sperm count may be low
- You may experience lumps or swellings in the testicles
- Chromosomal complications such as reduced body hair
- You may have chronic respiratory problems
The inflammation of the lower part of uterus in the reproductive system is called Cervicitis. This lower part of uterus eventually leads into the vagina in the female reproductive system in humans is called the cervix uteri or in simple words, cervix.
Causes: Inflammation in the cervix is caused due to irritation, infection or injury to the cells, which align the cervix. Any one of a number of infections, mainly sexually transmitted diseases can cause cervicitis, of which the most common are chlamydia , mycoplasma , ureaplasma and gonorrhea. Chlamydia accounts for almost 40% of the total cases. Less common causes of cervicitis are Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) and Genital herpes. Other than STDs, causes for Cervicitis include allergies, bacterial imbalance, injury or irritation resulting from pessaries, tampons, hormonal imbalance and even cancer or its treatment (radiation therapy).
Symptoms: Some cases of cervicitis in women can be symptomless. However, in most cases, symptoms are present, and they include:
- Persistence of gray or white vaginal discharge that may or may not smell
- Vaginal bleeding under certain conditions eg. in between periods or after sex
- Pain during intercourse
- Difficulty or pain during urination
- In rare cases, fever or pain in the abdomen
Treatment: Cervicitis has no typical form of treatment. Treatment may not be needed in cases where the cause is not a sexually transmitted infection. On suspicion of an infection, the main objectives of the treatment are the removal of the infection and obstructing its spread to the fallopian tubes and uterus, or in case of pregnancy, to the baby.
The medical prescription issued by your doctor would depend on the organism, which is causing the infection. It may include Antibiotics, Antifungal medications or Antiviral medications. Cryosurgery, a process, which freezes the abnormal cells in the cervix using freezing temperatures, may also be performed by your doctor. In severe cases, where there is damage to the cervical cells, your doctor can apply silver nitrate (destroys abnormal cells).
Your doctor may also recommend your partner to take the treatment, so as to prevent recurrence of the disease and to avoid intercourse as long as the treatment is in process. Treatment is mandatory if you are tested to be HIV positive. Moreover, having cervicitis makes you more prone to receive the virus from a HIV positive partner.
There are a lot of health conditions people do not want to talk about publicly, as they find it shameful or fear it can point questions at them. However, not talking about them leads to many myths and misconceptions, which hold no truth.
Of these, common is Erectile Dysfunction in men. Most men, at some point of time, experience Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction is a condition, whereby the person concerned is unable to get an erection. Even if he gets one, he fails to keep it. Erectile Dysfunction often goes untreated because most men find the condition embarrassing enough to be discussed. This lack of awareness has given rise to many unreasonable and illogical myths and misconceptions.
Myths and misconceptions about ED that needs to be busted:
Erectile Dysfunction is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, timely medication can greatly improve the condition. For proper awareness, it is necessary to get the facts right.
- Myth: Erectile Dysfunction is nothing serious, self-medication will help
- Fact: Really? Your grey matter must be working overtime to bless you with such amazing ideas. Erectile Dysfunction, at times, can be an indication of something as big and serious as Diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Hypertension or Atherosclerosis. Reason enough to shed your inhibitions and consult a physician at the earliest.
- Myth: Erectile Dysfunction is an old age problem
- Fact: These illogical misconceptions will do you no good. Get this baseless myth out of your system. Though Erectile Dysfunction is common amongst the older folks, the younger lot are not spared either.
Erectile Dysfunction can affect men of all age groups.
- Myth: Erectile Dysfunction can be due to a cold partner, who fails to attract and excite you
- Fact: Lack of interest in your partner seldom results in Erectile Dysfunction. There can be many underlying factors that can interfere with the erection. Certain medications, depression, obesity or lifestyle habits (smoking and street drug abuse) can affect one's performance greatly.
- Myth: Any erection problem is Erection Dysfunction
- Fact: This myth is as absurd and irrational as the saying; all tumors are benign. Before drawing any conclusion, it is important to get to the root cause. A person going through an intense emotional turmoil or stress might not get an erection. There will be days when a man will not be able to keep an erection. There is nothing to raise a hue and cry over it. It is just a phase and will pass off soon.
- Myth: Erectile Dysfunction results in low or no libido at all
- Fact: In males, low libido often results from a significant drop in the testosterone level. It is an outcome of the hormonal changes taking place within the body. Erectile Dysfunction has little to do with low libido.
Rashes in the vulva, which might be caused due to various health problems or due to irritation on skin, usually constitute all the vaginal rashes. The vaginal rashes might be the result of non infectious conditions (it might be an allergic reaction) or it might also be the result of a sexually transmitted infection. The vulva may become red and might have sores and blisters. Many times, the vulva doesn't change color at all, but visible bumps are present in the area.
The symptoms of vaginal rashes are as follows:
- Blisters or sores
- Reddening of the vulva
- Visible bumps
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Painful urination with a burning feeling
- Pain while having sex
- Lice or insects in the pubic hair
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Ulcers on the groin
Although the symptoms are not usually fatal, sometimes the conditions might become life threatening. If your body temperature rises above 101oF and if you are suffering from a severe abdominal and pelvic pain, the best option is to consult a doctor immediately.
Vaginal rashes can be due both noninfectious causes as well as due to sexually transmitted infections. Some of the infectious causes are:
- Genital herpes
- Granuloma inguinale
- Human papilloma virus
- Molluscum contagiosum
- Pubic lice
- Yeast infections
Some of the noninfectious causes are:
- Allergic reactions
- Chemical irritants like soap, lubricants, creams, etc
- Lichen Simplex Chronicus
Although the vaginal rashes aren't very serious in nature, you might face certain complications like infertility, secondary or tertiary syphilis, and transmitting the infection to your partner.
Vaginal rashes are usually treated with home remedies. Here are a few treatments you could try out if you are afflicted with vaginal rashes:
- Apple cider vinegar: This particular substance is known for having antifungal and antibacterial properties. It will help you get over the itching which takes place when you are suffering with a vaginal rash. If the rash is due to a fungal or bacterial infection, then apple cider vinegar will help to clear out the infection. Wash your vagina with apple cider vinegar and warm water mixture.
- Anti-bacterial talc: Anti-bacterial talc is extremely mild to the skin. It helps to cure fungal infections but this method might take some time to cure the rash.
- Causes: There are a number of reasons as to why a patient may have to go through this procedure. One of the most common reasons include pelvic disease like ovarian cancer which makes it imperative to remove the ovaries so that the cancer does not spread to any other part of the uterus or the rest of the body. Also, when the endometriosis becomes particularly painful and severe, the patient may have to go through a hysterectomy to remove the uterus and an oophorectomy to remove the ovaries. Most of the times, these two procedures go hand in hand. Also, when the patient is suffering from breast cancer, the doctor may deem it fit to remove the ovaries to stop the spread and growth of the cancer. Other hereditary diseases may also be treated with this procedure.
- Preparation: In order to prepare for the surgery, one will need to go through a series of imaging tests like an ultrasound as well as an MRI scan which will help the doctor decide on the kind of procedure that needs to be carried out. Most doctors will ask you to stop eating at least a day before the surgery and to ingest a solution so that the intestines are properly cleaned out. Also, if you are taking any kind of medication, you will need to stop taking the same before the surgery.
- Procedure: The procedure can be done either with one large incision or with multiple small incisions, depending on the area and the severity of the problem that is being treated. The surgeon will insert a small tube bearing a camera into this incision, which in turn will beam the images on to a screen in the operating theatre. The ovaries will be separated from the blood supply before the tissue surrounding them will be placed in a pouch. This pouch will be pulled out through the smaller incisions.
- Recovery: How soon you recover pretty much depends on how soon you choose to sit up and start walking after the surgery. One can get back to normal life within a few weeks or a month after the surgery by taking small steps every day. Complete recovery takes about six weeks.">
The part of the woman’s reproductive system where the eggs are stored and released for fertilisation, are known as the ovaries. The ovaries also produce various hormones. When a female patient has to go through a procedure to remove the ovaries, this surgical procedure is known as an oophorectomy. The patient may have to go through this procedure for a number of reasons. Let us find out more about the procedure and the recovery of the patient thereafter.
Causes: There are a number of reasons as to why a patient may have to go through this procedure. One of the most common reasons include pelvic diseases like ovarian cancer which makes it imperative to remove the ovaries so that the cancer does not spread to any other part of the uterus or the rest of the body. Also, when the endometriosis becomes particularly painful and severe, the patient may have to go through a hysterectomy to remove the uterus and an oophorectomy to remove the ovaries. Most of the times, these two procedures go hand in hand. Also, when the patient is suffering from breast cancer, the doctor may deem it fit to remove the ovaries to stop the spread and growth of the cancer. Other hereditary diseases may also be treated with this procedure.
Preparation: In order to prepare for the surgery, one will need to go through a series of imaging tests like an ultrasound as well as an MRI scan which will help the doctor decide on the kind of procedure that needs to be carried out. Most doctors will ask you to stop eating at least a day before the surgery and to ingest a solution so that the intestines are properly cleaned out. Also, if you are taking any kind of medication, you will need to stop taking the same before the surgery.
Procedure: The procedure can be done either with one large incision or with multiple small incisions, depending on the area and the severity of the problem that is being treated. The surgeon will insert a small tube bearing a camera into this incision, which in turn will beam the images on to a screen in the operating theatre. The ovaries will be separated from the blood supply before the tissue surrounding them will be placed in a pouch. This pouch will be pulled out through the smaller incisions.
Recovery: How soon you recover depends on how soon you choose to sit up and start walking after the surgery. One can get back to normal life within a few weeks or a month after the surgery by taking small steps every day. Complete recovery takes about six weeks.
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Causes and complications of pain during intercourse
Sexual intercourse may result in a feeling of pain during or post sex. There are a lot of reasons such as allergic reactions or psychological reasons so as to why one may feel pain from sexual intercourse. Symptoms of pain affect both and women equally.
Pain from sex (for women) can be caused due to the following reasons.
1. If the women have reached menopause it makes the vagina dry. This can cause modifications in hormones that restrict the vagina from being wet during sex and causes pain.
2. Infections such as genital herpes (a viral disorder) or gonorrhea (a bacterial disorder in the vaginal skin) can cause pain during sex.
3. If the passage in the vagina is narrow then it can cause pain during sex.
4. Allergic reactions from latex used in condoms can cause irritation in the genital region that may cause pain.
Pain from sex in men can be caused due to,
1. Infections in the penile area such as thrush which results in the irritated skin cause pain during sex.
2. One of the most common cause of pain during sex is a tight foreskin.
3. Inflammation of the prostate may cause difficulties such as pain during sex.
4. Damage to the foreskin covering the penis may cause a sharp and stinging pain during sexual intercourse.
If the symptoms are exaggerated and persist then it is recommended to consult a medical professional. In the case of itchiness and unusual discharges from the genitals, an STI (sexually transmitted infection) test is carried out. Another common treatment is using lubricants during sex to get rid of the dryness that is causing the pain. In the case of allergic reactions, it is recommended to test the products before using them.