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Patient Review Highlights
If you are a heavy drinker and you are having problems with your sex life, they are likely to be caused because of your alcohol consumption. Sex and alcohol are not considered to be a good mixture. Although a small amount of alcohol is harmless, moderate to heavy drinking can hamper your sex life in several ways. Moreover, alcohol is very dangerous for pregnant women.
Alcohol can lead to sexual problems and issues in both men and women. It can also make them behave in a different and unusual manner, which may lead them into having sex with people who are unsuitable. It makes people take unnecessary risks and many get infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Unwanted pregnancy after having sex is a common aspect in today’s world. Alcohol also makes people likely to be victims of sexual attacks.
The bad effects of alcohol on your sex life
There are several bad effects of alcohol which take a toll on your sexual life. They are as follows:
- Alcohol may make people more likely to engross in sexual activity with the wrong person. Getting pregnant, catching infections and embarking in affairs which lead to the breakup of many marriages are common effects of alcohol. Alcohol is a primary reason for the demand of the emergency contraceptive or morning after pill, all over the world.
- Alcohol fuddles up people's brain and many of them forget to take proper contraceptive precautions before having sex.
- Alcohol is very harmful for unborn babies in pregnant women. It may cause brain damage to the baby. You should consume alcohol as less as possible during pregnancy and totally avoid it during the first three months of pregnancy.
- Alcohol accounts for being a major cause of erectile dysfunction or impotence in men. Alcohol may increase your sexual desire, but it reduces your performance.
- Men who are heavy drinkers may develop a permanent case of brewer’s droop. Loss of sexual interest is also likely.
- Excessive alcohol may lead to diminished or reduced libido in women as well. It is yet to be proven whether alcohol causes any other sexual complications in women.
If you are facing problems with excessive alcohol consumption and it is affecting your sex life, you need to take some steps. It is recommended to consult an alcohol counsellor or join the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group.
Testosterone is the most important hormone that drives most of the male characteristics from their physique, stamina, energy, vigor, voice, to sexual performance. Higher the testosterone level, greater the masculine characteristics. It is no wonder then that most men want more testosterone flowing in their system. There are simple ways to increase testosterone flowing in your system; read on to know more.
- Eat more fat: While staying away from fat is the most common thing to do when body building, remember that testosterone is mainly made of cholesterol. So, a diet rich in fat directly translates to more testosterone. Mono-saturated and saturated fats are proven to be extremely beneficial for good testosterone production. Red meat, eggs, coconut oil, dark chocolate, cheese, peanut butter, fish, avocados, almonds, olive oil are all proven to be highly beneficial in improving testosterone levels.
- Include ingredients for testosterone: Include foods that are rich in zinc, vitamin D, D-aspartic acid, Di-indolyl-methane (DIM). Foods rich in zinc promote higher levels of testosterone production and so are advisable. Vitamin D is the most important vitamin in the production and availability of free testosterone in the body and is highly recommended for people wanting to have higher testosterone levels. D-aspartic acid is an amino acid that is essential for proper functioning of the neurotransmitters that control testosterone synthesis and release into the system.
- Modified gym routine: Contrary to what most people may think, long hours in the gym does not help you stay in better shape. Regular, drawn-out workouts with long rest periods and too many exercises aimed at building endurance are not necessarily good for testosterone levels. Optimal duration is about an hour, after which cortisol levels (stress hormones) go up and testosterone levels go down. Shorter rest periods between sets are also shown to be more effective. Also, there are specific exercises and workouts which are aimed at improving the testosterone levels. These workouts could be aimed at the legs, arms, back, chest, or shoulders. These moderate to high-intensity protocols stress large muscle masses, which stimulate testosterone production.
- Beat the stress: None of our lives are free of stress, but the trick lies in managing them well. Whether you have physical or mental stress, try and work on reducing it, by meditation, music, or any relaxation technique that works for you. Even cardio exercises, if not overdone, are a good way to relax. Try not to fatigue yourself during your workout. Have a well-balanced meal and a good sleep to manage stress better.
Talk to your instructor to know more about ways to improve testosterone production. Higher levels of testosterone take the quality of life to a different level.
The lack of libido after pregnancy is common in women. Almost every woman goes through this phase. Apart from hormonal imbalance, there could be a range of other factors, such as fatigue, distraction and psychological fear that may contribute to it. Doctors often suggest refraining from sex for six months after the baby is born. If, however, you still suffer from a lack of sexual urge, here is a checklist that could help you to reignite the old spark.
- Communicate with your partner: Talking to your husband about sex is important. Women often shy away from discussing sex with their partner only to complicate things further. Men, on the other hand, take a lack of interest in sex from their partner as a sign of their inability to satisfy. Before things go out of hand, it is important that you communicate your feelings and explain how your body is not supporting you. This will set the expectation straight.
- Visit your doctor: While a lack of interest in sex immediately after giving birth is normal; if it continues to persist for many months following the delivery, it is time to visit your doctor. A lower libido can be a sign of other physical problems as well. Some simple tests by your doctor can easily reveal any problems that you might have.
- Address fatigue: More than 70% of the women suffer from fatigue after giving birth. This is one of the major reasons of low sex drive among women. Short naps throughout the day will help you to fight fatigue and stabilise your hormones. Enough rest will inch you towards increasing your libido.
- Try some running: Brisk walking or jogging for every thirty minutes a day will make you feel better. This will ensure that your heart pumps faster and your sexual desire doesn’t wear out. It will help you to become more active and take charge of your sex life. Jogging also helps to wipe out the excess fat that you might have accumulated during the pregnancy.
- Try a supplement: There are a plethora of supplements out there in the market to enhance your libido. From creams to natural herbs, vitamin to herb creams, the options are many. Ginseng, for instance, is a proven herb that is known to increase a women’s sexual desire. Most of these supplements do not lead to any serious side effects.
- Prepare yourself mentally: It is always a good idea to prepare yourself before the act. A warm bed, a little wine, a romantic movie will direct you to transform from a young mother to a lover. Often these little preparations go a long way in increasing the sexual drive and reigniting the old spark.
There are a number of intimacy related problems that we all go through. While fantasy and desire for a particular thing may be common for every individual, an excessive expression of the same is not. Paraphilia is the experience of extreme sexual excitement or arousal to unusual items, interests, circumstances, fantasies, behaviours or individuals. If paraphilia causes distress or disability to the individual, or if its fulfilment involves personal harm (or the danger of such damage) to others, it is viewed as a paraphilic issue.
It might be hard to talk to individuals suffering from paraphilia because of the embarrassment and reluctance to talk openly about the sensitive topic. It is very important to gain the confidence with these patients to encourage them to speak up and discuss their issues freely. There are diverse types of paraphilia, each of which has an alternate focus of the sufferer's sexual excitement:
- Voyeurism: Viewing a clueless or non-consenting person who is bare, undressing or taking part in sexual movement.
- Exhibitionism: Uncovering one's own particular private parts to an unknown individual.
- Frotteurisim: Touching or rubbing against a non-consenting individual.
- Sexual masochism: Being embarrassed, beaten, bound or generally suffering.
- Sexual sadism: Taking pleasure from making someone else suffer physically or sexually.
- Pedophilia: Sexually engaging with a child that is prepubescent (ordinarily 13 years of age or more youthful)
- Fetishism: Sexual interest with non-living articles or specific body parts of one’s self or someone else.
- Transvestism: Cross-dressing that could be sexually arousing and usually interferes with their functioning.
Some of the symptoms and side effects of paraphilia can include distraction to the point of obsession. This interrupts the individual's endeavours to consider different things or take part in more routine sexual activities with an appropriate partner or accomplice. Paraphilia sufferers may encounter pain, sadness or uneasiness that is incidentally soothed by taking part in paraphilic activities, thereby, giving rise to an addictive cycle.
There are some treatment alternatives that should be considered, depending upon the particular needs of every individual case. These alternatives are as follows:
Psychotherapy involves conditioning of the brain and mind-set towards normalcy. This may happen through different methods of recovery. These are as follows:
- Psychological behavioural treatment
- Orgasmic reconditioning
- Training of social skills
- Twelve-stage programmes
- Group therapy
- Individual expressive-supportive therapy
Pharmacologic mediations might be used to smother sexual conduct. Pharmaceuticals that might be considered in the treatment of paraphilic issue include the following:
- Antidepressants (e.g. specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs])
- Long-acting gonadotropin-discharging hormones
- Mind stabilisers
Surgical mediations (not generally utilised)
Surgical mediations that might be considered (however, not generally utilised) are mentioned below:
- Psychosurgery using stereotaxic tractotomy and limbic leucotomy
- Reciprocal orchidectomy (surgical mutilation)
Cancer is the scourge of modern era with increasing cases being reported by a significant percentage of the population with the passage of time. With the ever increasing incidences, the number of patients being treated with chemotherapy is also on the rise. This treatment however, does come with its own disadvantages and although it may be effective in curing cancer, its side effects may render a patient incapable of leading a normal life for the duration of the treatment.
What exactly is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a process by which cancer cells in the body are destroyed with the use of chemical drugs. Although it is an effective form of treatment, it has many side effects as it can affect good cells as well. This is one of the main reasons hair cells may die out temporarily and a person undergoing chemotherapy may lose hair.
Sex and chemotherapy
Although sessions of chemotherapy can damage a person's libido it may be possible to have sex keeping certain precautions in mind. Here are certain possibilities and problems associated with sex while undergoing chemotherapy.
1. It is possible to have sex while undergoing chemotherapy, if the concerned doctor says that it won't harm the patient in any way.
2. If your doctor says you can have sex then you are in the clear, but it is very important to gauge the situation yourself along with your doctor and go ahead only if chemotherapy is successful.
1. The main problem is that the patient may not have the energy or the desire to have sex as chemotherapy can be taxing on the body. However, if you want to and the doctor says it won't cause problems, you can go ahead with it.
2. Usually doctors ask patients to abstain from sex if the cancer being treated is within the genitalia. Friction during sex may cause issues within the organs and only, if proper healing has occurred should the patients consider sex.
3. Certain types of chemotherapy may change the lining of the vaginal walls and thus make them more prone to injury during vaginal sex and thus should be abstained from. Also with chemotherapy, the white blood cell count tends to be reduced within the body and this may leave it vulnerable to bacterial infections which may come from the partner during sex.
Moreover, It is advisable not to conceive while receiving chemotherapy, whether the cancer is with the man and most definitely when it is with the woman. Chemotherapy may cause acute imbalances within the body and may seriously affect the development of the baby and especially the mother, if she has cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.
Physical intimacy forms a vital part of romantic relationships, marital or otherwise. Going by the general hierarchy of human needs, the drive for sex is one of the basic urges of a human being that needs to be fulfilled before moving on to higher level needs, which include security and companionship.
Sex in a relationship is very important because:
1. It ensures the overall satisfaction of both the individuals in the relationship.
2. It helps in forging a deeper emotional connect with the partner, thereby, establishing trust and understanding.
3. Sexual intimacy helps in establishing a rather firm relationship base, thus facilitating a stronger psychological bond.
4. Sex helps both the partners acknowledge the worth of the relationship, even more. Since, there is more clarity and transparency, sex helps both the partners come absolutely clean in terms of what they want from the relationship.
Foreplay helps in establishing trust in the relationship by letting the partner know that the other wants to stay with him/her and it is not the act of sexual intercourse that is only important. The lack of sex in a romantic relationship reduces the psychological wellbeing of both the partners and their emotional and physical satisfaction and takeaways from the relationship.
It is important to not use sexual act as a weapon or as an answer to disputes. This eventually results in the degradation of the relationship. In most marital or couple counselling sessions, the partners are questioned about their sex life and encouraged to enhance it, but not as a solution to their emotional problems. It is only advised to bring the couple closer. Research suggests that physical intimacy is a close second to emotional intimacy in relationships and they both go hand in hand in bettering the relationship. Needs, both sexual and emotional, require equal fulfilment to ensure a long standing relationship. However, both the types of needs need to be prioritized, and this priority varies among couples and both partners must work towards striking a balance between the two. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a sexologist.