Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) is a condition that can affect people who have vulvas, causing painful sex. It is a form of vulvodynia (pain in the vulva, or external female genitalia) that is characterized by pain with touch or pressure on the vulvar vestibule, which is the skin by the entrance to the urethra and vaginal opening.
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The SMSNA periodically receives and publishes ‘guest editorials.’ The current article was submitted by Mia Barnes, a freelance writer and researcher who specializes in women's health, wellness, and healthy living. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine.
Pain during sex, or dyspareunia, is often treatable and very common among women. You could experience pain during intercourse, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed or afraid to discuss it with your doctor. It may feel like a burning sensation or a more profound physical pain. Some common causes of discomfort during penetration can be dryness, irritation, injury or inflammation. Here are some other reasons you could experience pain during sex.
Movember is an annual awareness-raising event that occurs every November. It involves growing a moustache throughout the month to bring attention to men’s health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. The name “Movember” is a combination of the words “moustache” and “November.” Here is some information on the important men’s health issues that are addressed in Movember.
According to a recent retrospective cohort study, low testosterone levels in men may increase their risk of hospitalization for COVID-19. Conversely, normal testosterone levels in men, (whether due to the body’s natural production of testosterone or testosterone therapy,) may be protective against severe cases of COVID-19.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that holds the pelvic organs in place. A strong pelvic floor is associated with good sexual outcomes. People may encounter sexual health issues if their pelvic floor muscles become too weak, including pelvic organ prolapse or urinary or fecal incontinence during sex. On the other hand, sexual problems can also arise when the pelvic floor muscles are too tight.
A stim patch is a small (disposable) electrical device that can be worn on the perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum) to delay premature ejaculation. It works by delivering electrical stimulation to the body that may help men contract the muscles of their pelvic floor and, in doing so, postpone ejaculation during sexual activity.
The P-Shot, also known as a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection, is being tested as an experimental therapy for erectile dysfunction (ED). It involves taking a sample of the patient’s blood, using a centrifuge to separate out the PRP from the other components of blood (i.e., red blood cells and platelet-poor plasma), and injecting the PRP into the penis to promote the growth of penile tissues.
Cybersex is any type of sexual activity that occurs virtually between two or more individuals including sexting, sharing sexual images or videos with a partner, webcam sex, and chatroom sex. Although some cybersex experiences include visual elements such as photos or video, other cybersex activities involve describing sexual fantasies or scenarios in written or spoken words. In most cases, cybersex involves real-life masturbation by one or all participants.
Although it is rare, penile fracture is possible when a man experiences trauma to his erect penis, sometimes during rough sexual intercourse. Since there are no bones in the penis, penile fracture is different from other types of fractures. It occurs when the corpora cavernosa (two columns of spongy tissue in the penis that fill with blood during an erection) are damaged due to a sudden blow or a situation in which the erect penis is bent forcefully.
Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5i) are oral medications used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. They are one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the U.S., and in 2020, an estimated 20 million monthly PDE5i prescriptions were filled within the country.
Some studies have suggested there may be a relationship between cycling and erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. However, before you panic and sell your bicycle, take into consideration that, at this time, the evidence on the topic is still limited and conflicting. The potential association between cycling and ED is likely more nuanced than one might expect. What’s more, there may be ways for cyclists to protect themselves against ED. Although this article is not a substitute for advice from a medical professional, it may help clarify some points regarding cycling and ED.
Pornography use has become more prevalent in recent years due to the ease of access of readily available free content on porn streaming websites. By some estimates, over half of all men and one-third of all women watch porn at least once a year. Nevertheless, it remains somewhat controversial, and sexual medicine experts have debated the possible role of frequent porn viewing in sexual dysfunction, relationship problems, and sexual dissatisfaction.
The microorganisms that inhabit the vagina are known as the vaginal flora or microbiome. Maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome is important because it can help prevent infection, support fertility, and improve a woman’s quality of life. Unfortunately, not all products and behaviors promoted as “feminine hygiene” have a beneficial effect on the vaginal flora. The following are facts on vaginal health and feminine hygiene to help you sort through some of the most common misconceptions.
Orgasm is part of the sexual response cycle for both men and women. It is the point during sexual response in which a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing reach their maximum rate, along with transient peak sensations of intense pleasure, creating an altered state of consciousness. Typically, orgasm is described as a sudden release of sexual tension accompanied by involuntary muscle contractions, especially those in the pelvic region and around the sexual organs. Women experience contractions in the uterus and vagina, and men have contractions in the muscles at the base of the penis, usually resulting in ejaculation.
One of the most frequently asked questions among people who are considering getting a penile prosthesis (implant) to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) is: How will my partner feel about it? Fortunately, research indicates that partners’ responses to penile implants are generally positive and partner satisfaction rates are high.
A penile prothesis, or penile implant, is a device that is surgically inserted into the penis to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Getting a penile implant is a big decision, but one that can restore an individual’s sexual function and, in many cases, improve his sexual quality of life.
The term “jelqing” refers to a set of penis stretching exercises that some believe can make the penis bigger. Although the practice has gained attention and popularity in blogs and internet forums in recent years, there is no scientific evidence that it is an effective way to permanently increase the size of one’s penis. In fact, in some cases, jelqing may actually cause damage to the penis, so it is a good idea to get all the facts before setting off to try it.
You may have heard references to “being sex-positive” or “the sex-positivity movement” in popular culture. Various celebrities have brought attention to this movement by speaking out about their beliefs and personal experiences regarding sexuality, sexual health, body positivity, “slut-shaming,” and sexual assault.
Painful intercourse, or dyspareunia, can be a frustrating, sometimes alienating problem. Many people consider sex to be a private matter and may be reluctant to talk about sexual pain or dysfunction with their health care providers. Nevertheless, because dyspareunia can be caused by injury, an underlying medical condition, or psychological reasons, it is a good idea to consult a health care professional if you experience frequent or long-term pain during intercourse. In the meantime, the following guide may provide a good starting point for determining why sex hurts.*
If you have ever wondered how your penis compares to others in terms of size, you are not alone. Many men are curious to know how their penises stack up compared to the average. Unfortunately, general curiosity can sometimes give way to full-on obsession and anxiety about penis size. This can be an unhealthy and often unnecessary fixation, especially because most men who think their penises are too small have perfectly normal-sized penises.
The results of a 2019 clinical trial of 1,000 European men with erectile dysfunction (ED) have led people to wonder: could a non-medicated topical gel really help men get erections? Unfortunately, the answer is probably, ‘no.’
Outercourse is a word used to describe sexual activities that do not involve penile-vaginal intercourse. It is a highly subjective term that is open to interpretation, so couples who choose to engage in outercourse should make sure that they are on the same page about which activities they want to include in (or exclude from) their sexual experiences. The following guide on outercourse can help you wrap your head around the concept.
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a type of pelvic floor disorder that can cause painful and unpleasant symptoms for women, including dyspareunia, which is painful sex. It is estimated that about one-third of all women experience a pelvic floor disorder at some point in their lives, ranging from urinary or fecal incontinence (leaking of urine or stool, respectively) to POP. Here are the facts on pelvic organ prolapse.
Nothing can put a damper on an amorous mood faster than a case of alcohol-related erectile dysfunction (ED), also known in more vulgar terms as “whiskey dick.” While you and your partner may be excited to parlay your margarita buzz into an evening of sex, there could be times when your penis won’t rise to the occasion.
Perhaps you have heard the term “blue balls” used to describe sexual frustration in people with male genitals. Still, you may wonder, what exactly is “blue ball” syndrome? Does it really exist? If so, why does it happen? The following is a comprehensive guide on all you need to know about “blue balls.”
Prostate cancer survivors and their partners often face long-term sexual problems, especially erectile dysfunction (ED). Medical treatments can be effective, but some experts think adding other therapeutic approaches like mindfulness and acceptance may help even more.
Men with certain types of hypogonadism (low testosterone) can now administer their own testosterone injections at home, bringing their levels of this hormone into normal ranges.
Xyosted, which delivers testosterone therapy in a special one-use device, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2018.
Sexual function can be difficult after breast cancer treatment. (Learn more.) Many women feel little desire for sex or have trouble becoming lubricated enough for comfortable intercourse. They might have more trouble reaching orgasm than they did before having cancer. And emotional factors, like depression and poor body image, can influence sexuality as well.
Men who take medications for Parkinson’s disease might develop premature ejaculation (PE), according to a June 2018 study.
Undergoing prostate cancer treatment can leave men both physically and emotionally spent. Common approaches like surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy often have side effects, including problems with urinary and bowel function, sexual function, and fatigue. The stress of a cancer diagnosis and feeling unwell, along with concerns about meeting obligations and planning for the future, may be overwhelming.
Obese men who have weight loss surgery might see their testosterone levels – and their sex drive – improve in a month, according to new research.
It’s not unusual for obese men to have low testosterone (also called hypogonadism).
For cervical cancer survivors, it can be difficult to adjust to changes in sexuality. Pain, poor lubrication, and anxiety are common issues, and it takes time to feel comfortable with sex again. For some women, the situation causes great distress. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Psycho-Oncology estimates that about a third of cervical cancer survivors feel sexual distress.
Is there an expert I can talk with - and bring into the conversation now, rather than after my treatments?
How can I be proactive in preserving my sex life or fertility?
What will the chemo/radiation/surgery do to parts of my body that have nothing to do with the cancer?
For people with gender dysphoria, transitioning from one’s birth gender to their desired gender can be a big step. It can involve hormonal treatment as well as surgery. Some professionals recommend a mental health screening and psychotherapy beforehand as part of the process. But is that really necessary?
Women’s orgasms might be influenced by a type of sexism called “benevolent sexism,” suggests a recent study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Recent research suggests that older men on intermittent androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer are at higher risk for certain adverse events.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) doesn’t appear to cause or worsen lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) or an enlarged prostate, according to a review of past research.
An enlarged prostate – also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – is common as men get older. In fact, about half of men in their fifties have an enlarged prostate.
The condition is called postcoital dysphoria (PCD) and it’s not widely understood. Women with PCD may feel depressed, anxious, or argumentative, even if they enjoyed the sexual encounter.
The “general cosmetic appearance” of a man’s penis is important to women, according to new research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
A painkiller called tramadol may help men with premature ejaculation (PE) “last” longer during vaginal intercourse, according to a new study.
Trichomonas vaginalis, a common sexually-transmitted parasite, could be involved with the development of prostate cancer, according to research published last year.
Men who feel good about their genitals tend to have less sexual anxiety, according to a new study of military personnel.
Many men with borderline low testosterone also have symptoms of depression, according to researchers from George Washington University.
Their study involved 200 men with borderline low testosterone, defined as total testosterone levels between 200 and 350 ng/dl.
What do sex addicts and people with gambling disorder have in common? A team of scientists from Spain recently looked at the similarities and differences between the two groups.
For some of us, taking care of our cancer patients involves the physical care. We might recommend surgery for our prostate cancer patients. Or we might order a certain chemotherapy regimen for a woman with ovarian cancer. Of course, we know that their mental health is extremely important, but we tend to focus on our area of expertise.
New research suggests that fathers-to-be experience declines in certain hormones when their partners are expecting a baby.
Hormonal changes are expected in pregnant women. But scientists from University of Michigan wanted to take a closer look at what changes men go through during their partner’s pregnancy.