The Conversation You’re NOT Having with Your Gyno (and Why You SHOULD)

July 10th, 2014 by admin
You might want to call her up instead of consulting your best friend on this one

Apart from the awkward chit-chat we make while our feet are in the stirrups, a lot of us don't have a very open dialogue with our gynecologists. In fact, a new study of 341 Swiss gynecologists found that less than 10 percent of the doctors surveyed spoke to their patients about sexual issues, and only 28 percent offered appointments solely for sexual health problems. Although this study only surveyed Swiss gynecologists, it's more than likely that these findings apply in the U.S., too, as most women and doctors rush through appointments and side-step the sensitive issues. 

According to the new research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the times gynos do tend to ask women about their sex lives and sexual health are at the onset of menopause, after childbirth, following gynecological surgery, or when starting a new birth control method. Those are pretty major milestones, but what about the rest of the time? Even though sexual problems are regarded as an important issue in gynecological care, the study concluded that addressing patients' sexuality on a regular basis is still not part of routine practice.

But asking about a patient's sexual issues should be part of a general check-up, says board certified ob-gyn Dena E. Harris, M.D. If there's a specific problem you're having, don't wait until the end of your appointment to bring it up, she suggests. Once your gyno has finished your physical exam he or she is likely to have another patient immediately after, and won't have the proper time to spend addressing your issue. So write it down if that will help you to remember, and start off the appointment by letting them know you have some sexual health questions you'd like to ask. 

There are a lot of things women should tell their gyno, so it's worth it to get over your embarrassment and get the help you need. "You have to tell somebody about these thing—if not us, then who?" asks Harris. It's also totally normal (and often useful) to schedule a separate consultation with your ob-gyn to discuss anything beyond the scope of your yearly checkup so there’s plenty of time to go over everything you need to discuss.

MORE: 9 Weird Vagina Problems Solved

While women are more likely to mention problems like pain during intercourse, bleeding after sex, or lack of lubrication, it's just as important to bring up low sex drive or difficulties you might have reaching orgasm. From antidepressant side effects to lack of estrogen to neurological issues, there are many physical reasons women can't climax that your gyno can diagnose. And if everything physical is ruled out, a gynecologist should be able to refer you to a sexual counselor for further help, says Harris.  

MORE: Your Gyno's Biggest Birth Control Concern

If you don't feel like you can ask your gyno questions about your sexual health or if they aren’t willing to give you helpful advice (or even a referral) it might be time to get a new one. If you aren't getting what you need from your gynecologist, "you should not have to suffer in silence," says Harris. Here are a few strategies to find the best doctor for you.

MORE: New Guidelines Advise Against Routine Pelvis Exams at the Gyno



Posted in Health, Kristen Sollee, self care, sex | Comments Off

The STD You May Have and Not Even Know It

June 17th, 2014 by admin
Why the CDC is sounding the alarm on this scary infection

No wonder chlamydia has been nicknamed the silent stalker: After analyzing the latest data, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than one in 100 U.S. adults currently have this sexually transmitted disease. That works out to 1.8 million cases—yet only 1.4 of those have been reported. In other words, 400,000 people may have it and be clueless about the risk it poses to themselves and their partners.

MORE: Which STDs Are on the Rise?

But it's not necessarily their fault they're in the dark. Most of the time, chlamydia has zero symptoms. "In men and women, it can trigger signs such as abnormal discharge and pain, especially during urination, but the most common symptom is actually none at all," says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale University.

For men, it rarely develops into a more severe condition, yet having it means they can spread it to their partners. For women, the consequences are much more serious. If left untreated for months or years, the bacteria will move past primary infection locations such as the urethra, vagina, and cervix and into the uterus and fallopian tubes. There it leads to scar tissue that can quietly harm your fertility, all while you have no idea what's going on, says Minkin. At that point, it can bring on a condition called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which often causes intense pain and cramping. But by the time PID strikes, irreversible damage may have been done. "Chlamydia and PID are huge causes of infertility in women," says Minkin. Untreated chlamydia infection can also make your system more receptive to HIV.

MORE: Could You Give YOURSELF an STD?

But here's the good news: A simple test at your gyno's office (either a cervical swab or a urine test) can diagnose chlamydia, and if you have it, a quick course of antibiotics will cure the infection. Ob-gyn guidelines call for all sexually active women under age 25 to be tested yearly, but if you're over 25 and aren't sure (and we mean really sure) of your partner's status, consider getting tested, just to play it safe. Read this for more information on this scary STD.

MORE: The Shocking Number of New STD Cases Each Year


Posted in Esther Crain, Health, need to know, sex | Comments Off

The Hidden Health Benefits of Sex

March 13th, 2014 by admin
Twisting the sheets comes with a slew of body-boosting side effects.

"Having sex regularly can do more than make you feel closer to your partner—it can actually make you physically healthier," says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University and author of Pleasure: A Woman's Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need, and Deserve. Check out a few of the surprising perks you can reap from great sex.

Less Stress
If you're freaking out about tomorrow's job interview, slip between the sheets. Research from the University of the West of Scotland reveals that people who had intercourse at least once over two weeks were better able to manage stressful situations such as public speaking, says study author and psychology professor Stuart Brody, Ph.D. That's because endorphins and oxytocin are released during sex, and these feel-good hormones activate pleasure centers in the brain that create feelings of intimacy and relaxation and help stave off anxiety and depression, says WH advisor Laura Berman, Ph.D., an assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and author of It's Not Him, It's You! You don't have to climax to net the effects, but you'll get the biggest surge of soothing hormones if you have an orgasm. Just one more reason to shoot for a stellar finish! 

Sounder Sleep
It's downright dreamy how an O can lull you to sleep. That's because the same endorphins that help you de-stress can also relax your mind and body, priming you for slumber, says Cindy M. Meston, Ph.D., director of the Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin and coauthor of Why Women Have Sex. Plus, during orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released. "Prolactin levels are naturally higher when we sleep, which suggests a strong relationship between the two," she says. But if you're wild in the sack, take note: Highly active sex can make you feel more energized than sleepy. Sex should never be a snooze, but if you want to use knocking boots as a sleep aid, skip the acrobatics and opt for a subdued session. 

Minimized Pain
Talk about flipping the script: "Yes, tonight, honey—I have a headache." The surge of hormones released after an orgasm can help ease any annoying ache, whether it's a strained back or a head pounder, says Meston. A study conducted at the Headache Clinic at Southern Illinois University found that half of female migraine sufferers reported relief after climaxing. "The endorphins that are released during an orgasm closely resemble morphine, and they effectively relieve pain," says Meston. Have a migraine but your man isn't around? Self-medicate by treating yourself with some solo sex. As long as you hit your peak, masturbating will have the same soothing effect. 

Fewer Colds
There's nothing sexy about sneezing, wheezing, or that runny-nose look. But getting hot and bothered can help you avoid coming down with the sniffles: People who have sex were found to have higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA), according to researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. These antibodies help combat diseases and keep the body safe from colds and flu. Save up your sick days and use them as sex days! 

A Youthful Glow
Get busy to get gorgeous: In a study conducted at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland, a panel of judges viewed participants through a one-way mirror and guessed their ages. Those who were enjoying lots of nooky with a steady partner—four times a week, on average—were perceived to be seven to 12 years younger than their actual age. Regular sex promotes the release of hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, which can keep the body looking young and vital; estrogen has also been shown to promote soft skin and shiny hair, says Meston. Move over, moisturizer—time to turn back the clock with some shagging. 

Lighter Periods (with Fewer Cramps)
"When a woman orgasms, her uterus contracts and, in the process, rids the body of cramp-causing compounds," explains Meston. The increased number of uterine contractions can also help expel blood and tissue more quickly, helping to end your period faster, she adds. 

Going horizontal while menstruating has also been shown to help decrease the risk for endometriosis, a common condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, causing pelvic pain and sex that hurts, according to researchers at Yale University School of Medicine. 

Sex during your period may not sound too appealing, but don't stress over making a mess. Just lay down a dark-colored towel and stick to missionary; when you're lying down, your flow tends to be lighter, says WH advisor Michelle Callahan, Ph.D., author of Ms. Typed: Stop Sabotaging Your Relationships and Find Dating Success.

A More Toned Bod
Sex counts as cardio! A romp can burn anywhere from 85 to 250 calories, depending on the length of the session (obviously a quickie will be less strenuous than an all-night pleasurefest), says Meston. In fact, cardiologists consider sexual activity comparable to a modest workout on a treadmill, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology. 

Not only will your ticker get a workout, but you'll also squeeze in some sculpting: "Your abs and the muscles in your back, butt, and thighs get a good workout as you thrust during sex," says Hutcherson. Looks like you have a pretty good reason to skip spin class on Sunday morning and work up a sweat in bed.


Posted in Cari Wira Dineen, Health, sex | Comments Off

Would You Do a Juice Cleanse to Boost Your Libido?

February 21st, 2014 by admin
Good news if your answer is yes—there’s now a cleanse for that

Plenty of people do juice cleanses to drop pounds (not the smartest idea—just check out how your body reacts to a fruit juice cleanse). But now, there’s a cleanse that promises to improve your sex life, too: Heartbeet Juicery has introduced a new cleanse designed to give your libido a jolt.

The program—which costs $65 a day—contains six different juices, which vary depending on whether you buy the female version or the male one. Both sexes get super greens, citrus spirulina, spicy lemonade, and almond masala juices. On top of that, women get carrot and maca juices, while men get beet and avocado.

“These his and her cleanses are designed to stimulate your brain and body, increasing blood flow to the all the right places and giving your libido a boost,” reads Heartbeet Juicery’s product description. “Ingredients like cayenne, carrots, and beet juice help to increase sensations and get the blood flowing, while the healthy fats and proteins in avocados, maca, and almond milk will help increase your stamina.”

The company doesn’t specify how many days you should do the cleanse for optimal results. But if you’d rather not shell out $65 (and subsist on a liquid diet for at least a day), then we recommend you stick with these seven foods that boost your libido.

MORE: Watch One Writer Hilariously Live-Tweet a Soup Cleanse 


Posted in Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Robin Hilmantel, sex | Comments Off

HPV Vaccine Doesn’t Lead to Risky Sex

February 5th, 2014 by admin
Here's scientific evidence

Here's something that should elicit a resounding duh from women nationwide: A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found zero proof that getting vaccinated against HPV encourages girls and young women to have unsafe sex. Study authors followed about 300 girls who were between ages 13 and 21 when they received the first of the three-shot HPV vaccine. (It's FDA-approved for boys and girls starting at age 11.) After six months, participants' attitudes about sex hadn't changed, nor had their sexual behavior. 

These results echo those of a similar study released last month, which detected no differences in sexual attitudes or behavior among teen girls who had received the shot and those who did not. Unfortunately, though, many women never receive the second or third shots required for the vaccine; study authors suspect the low rate may have to do with parents discouraging their daughters from getting the vaccine because they wrongly think it will boost risky behavior. 

It's crazy that so many people think a vaccine that protects against the strains of HPV that cause 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases could make a girl skip condoms or indulge in otherwise risky sex. Hopefully this new research will help dispel that misconception.

MORE: Another Scary Danger of HPV  


Posted in Esther Crain, Health, need to know, Scoop, sex | Comments Off

Your Guide to Uncircumcised Guys

September 4th, 2013 by admin
More parents are choosing to keep their sons unclipped. Here's your crash course in the pros and cons
Feed Pub Date: 
Wed, 04 Sep 2013 17:30:21 +0000
Feed Create Date: 
Channel Feed Details
Slider Image:
Display Off Slider Hed: 

Posted in Esther Crain, Health, Pregnancy, sex, STDs | Comments Off