Female sexual arousal disorder

Female sexual arousal disorder

What is sexual arousal disorder?

When a woman becomes sexually aroused, her body usually experiences vaginal lubrication, some swelling, and a tingling, warm feeling in her genitals. There is also a sense of arousal in her mind.
For women with sexual arousal disorder, there are problems with the physical or mental aspect of arousal. Sometimes, the problem is with both physical and mental aspects.
For example, a woman may feel sexually aroused in her mind, but her body may not go through the physical process to prepare her for sex. Or, her body may respond, but she may not feel aroused in her mind. In other cases, neither her body nor her mind responds.
Sexual arousal disorder may be caused by an underlying illness – such as:
  • Diabetes or vascular disease – that decreases physical feeling in the genitals.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Relationship issues can be other causes.
Sexual arousal disorder can be treated in many ways:
  • Some women benefit from sex therapy.
  • Medication changes.T
  • he use of lubricants or estrogen.

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What does the term “intersex” mean?

The term “intersex” is used to describe disorders of sex development (DSDs) – situations in which a fetus develops differently from a typical male or female.
For example, a baby may be born with female chromosomes, ovaries, and a uterus, but have enlarged clitoris that resembles a penis. Or, a child may be born with male chromosomes but no testes and ambiguous external genitalia. It’s also possible for a baby to be born with one ovary and one testis.
Intersex conditions start when a baby is developing in the womb. They are sometimes caused by genetic problems. In some cases, hormones that help a baby’s development don’t function properly.

Some examples of intersex conditions are:

  • Complete androgen deficiency syndrome. A child is genetically male but has female reproductive organs.
  • Vaginal agenesis. A girl is born without a fully-developed vagina.
  • Micropenis. A boy’s penis is much smaller than average.
  • True gonadal intersex. A child is born with both an ovary and a testis or an ovotestis (a single organ that has characteristics of an ovary and a testis).
Treatment for intersex conditions is complex and can involve physicians, surgeons, therapists, and support groups for both children and families.
In the past, it was common to conduct surgery and assign a gender to the child as soon as possible.
Nowadays, medical teams are more likely to wait on surgery, as long as the child is healthy. It takes time to see exactly how the child develops physically and emotionally. In some cases, the child may help decide which gender is most appropriate.

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Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises

Why might men benefit from Kegel exercises?

Incontinence is sometimes a problem for men who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer. This is because the treatment can weaken the muscles around the prostate gland. Kegel exercises can help strengthen these muscles so that incontinence is less of a problem.

Diabetes and overactive bladder conditions can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles.

It’s possible that Kegel exercises can also help with erectile dysfunction, but more study is needed. Some men experience more intense orgasms after doing Kegel exercises for some time.

Men who are consistent with their Kegel exercises may see results in three to six weeks.

What are Kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and control urine flow. They can help both men and women with incontinence (leaking urine or fecal matter). They can also help with sexual function

How do men do Kegel exercises?

The first step is finding the pelvic floor muscles, which can be done while urinating. Men are advised to try stopping the flow of urine. This process can help them target the muscles and understand what Kegel exercises feel like.

From there, the steps are fairly straightforward:

  • Empty the bladder.

  • Lie on the back with knees bent and apart. (Note that some men have no trouble doing Kegel exercises standing up, especially after they’ve had some practice.)

  • Contract or “squeeze” the muscles for three to five seconds.

  • Release and relax the muscles for three to five seconds.

  • Repeat

Doing three sets of ten Kegel exercises each day is a common routine. It can take time to reach this level, however, so men should be patient with themselves and do what they can to build gradually.

During Kegel exercises, men should breathe as they normally do. They shouldn’t hold their breath. They should also take care not to contract the muscles in the stomach, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.

Men with a catheter in the penis should not do Kegel exercises until the catheter is removed and a physician gives approval.

Some men find it helpful to “schedule” their Kegel exercises when they do a routine activity, like getting ready for bed in the evening.

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What is a prolactinoma and how can it affect a person’s sexual function?

What is a prolactinoma and how can it affect a person’s sexual function?

A prolactinoma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor of the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland is sometimes called the “master gland” and is responsible for producing a number of important hormones involved with growth, metabolism, blood pressure, and reproduction.
One of these hormones is prolactin. In women, prolactin helps with the production of breast milk. Men’s bodies make prolactin, but the hormone doesn’t have a known purpose for them.
Prolactinomas make excessive amounts of prolactin. High levels of prolactin in the blood can reduce levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.
While the tumor itself is benign, the high levels of prolactin it produces can cause serious problems for both men and women.
A woman with a prolactinoma may start having changes in her menstrual periods. Her breasts might start to produce milk, even if she is not pregnant or nursing. She might become less interested in sex. Vaginal dryness may also occur, as estrogen is important for vaginal lubrication. Some women with prolactinomas have trouble becoming pregnant.
A man with a prolactinoma might develop erectile dysfunction.
Other symptoms include headaches and vision problems. These may occur if the tumor grows large enough to compress the optic nerves, which are close to the pituitary gland.
Prolactinomas can often be treated with medication. If this doesn’t work, surgery to remove the tumor is another option. In rare cases, radiation might be used. Sexual problems usually get better once the tumor is treated and prolactin levels return to normal.
Prolactinomas are the most common type of pituitary gland tumor, but it’s not common for them to cause symptoms.  Women are more likely to get prolactinomas than men are. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why prolactinomas develop.
Men and women who are concerned about prolactinomas should see their healthcare professional. Diagnosing a prolactinoma usually involves a blood test to measure prolactin levels. Imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan are usually ordered so that the doctor can get a closer look at the pituitary gland and the surrounding area. Sometimes, a vision test is also done.

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How soon can couples have sex again after a miscarriage?

How soon can couples have sex again after a miscarriage?

Sex after miscarriage depends on the individual. A woman’s doctor can give the best guidance on her personal situation.

Generally, couples can resume sex when they feel ready, but this time frame will vary from couple to couple. There are physical and emotional factors to consider.

On the physical side, many doctors suggest waiting to have sex until the bleeding from the miscarriage has stopped and the woman has had at least one normal menstrual period. Others recommend that couples wait six weeks or more, especially if the pregnancy was longer or if there were complications during miscarriage.

After miscarriage, the uterus and cervix stay partially dilated, which makes these organs more prone to infection until they completely heal. To reduce this risk, women are usually advised not to insert anything into the vagina, such as tampons, for two weeks. It also means that couples should wait this long before having vaginal intercourse.

Some women may need to wait until all of the pregnancy/fetal tissue has been removed. This tissue may pass on its own within a few weeks. A doctor may prescribe medication to help the process along. Surgical removal (using D&C) is another option.

It’s a good idea for a woman to have a thorough pelvic exam before having sex again. Couples should use birth control if they do not want another pregnancy so soon.

Emotionally, it takes time to process a miscarriage. It’s normal for couples to grieve afterward. Depression, fatigue, and anxiety may interfere with sexual desire and arousal. Partner’s understanding support is essential during this time. Keeping the lines of communication open and being honest about any fears or concerns is important.

Couples shouldn’t hesitate to seek counseling if needed. Healthcare providers can make referrals to therapists who specialize in coping with such a loss.

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Addyi (A drug for female low sexual desire)

Addyi (The women's Viagra)

What is Addyi?

Addyi is the brand name of flibanserin, a drug designed to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women.

HSDD refers to a lack of sexual desire that causes distress and/or trouble with personal relationships.

It’s normal for women to lose interest in sex from time to time, but for women with HSDD, the problem is persistent. Acquired HSDD occurs after a woman has had a healthy sex drive for some period of time, often many years. Generalized HSDD happens with any sexual partner and any sexual situation.

Addyi works by balancing chemicals the brain that influence sexual desire.

The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2015.  It is available in the United States since October 17, 2015.

Will Addyi be available outside the United States?

As of August 2015, it is unclear if and when women outside the U.S. will have access to Addyi.

On August 21, 2015, The Pharmaceutical Journal reported that Sprout Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s developer, had not yet applied to the European Medicines Agency for permission to market Addyi in Europe.

What are some side effects of Addyi?

Some women who take Addyi experience dizziness or sleepiness. This is why Addyi is meant to be taken at bedtime. Women may also have nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and dry mouth.

What are some of the health risks of Addyi?

Addyi does have some safety concerns.

The drug is not safe for women with poor liver function. Also, women who take medications called CYP3A4 inhibitors should not take Addyi

Two of the most serious concerns are loss of consciousness (syncope) and extremely low blood pressure (hypotension). If either of these situations occur, women should seek medical care immediately.

It is very important that women avoid drinking alcohol while they are taking Addyi. Risks of syncope and hypotension are higher when the drug is mixed with alcohol. Further research on this interaction is planned.

Women should always see their doctor before taking Addyi. A thorough medical exam may reveal other health conditions or medication that could be contributing to low sexual desire. Relationship problems may also be a factor to consider.

Patients who have no improvement in their desire or personal distress after 8 weeks should stop taking Addyi and seek further professional help.

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Does method of childbirth affect sexual function later?

Does method of childbirth affect sexual function later?

The risk of developing sexual problems after childbirth is about the same for women who give birth vaginally and those who have Caesarian sections. However, the types of problems may be different for each group.

Sexual challenges after childbirth are quite common. Some women lose interest in sex for a while, as their bodies adjust to motherhood. Hormonal changes can cause vaginal dryness, making sex uncomfortable. Breastfeeding women may feel pain in their nipples. And the body needs time to heal after delivery.

The manner of delivery might play a role in the types of sexual problems that occur, however.

In February 2015, a study in The Journal of Impotence Research reported on the post-delivery sexual experiences of 200 new mothers. On average, the women were between 25 and 30 years old. Roughly half of the mothers gave birth vaginally; the rest had Caesarian section deliveries.

Twelve weeks after their babies were born, the women who had had vaginal births reported increased problems with desire, arousal, and vaginal lubrication. For the women who had C-sections, lower desire seemed to be the biggest problem.  Overall, the authors concluded that the method of delivery did not have a significant effect on female sexual function 12 weeks following birth.

Another study, published in March 2016 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, compared the post-delivery sexual function of women who had given birth by Caesarian section, spontaneous vaginal delivery, and operative vaginal delivery.  (Operative vaginal delivery involves the use of forceps or a vacuum extractor.)

Looking at data from 269 women, the researchers found that generally, women who had undergone operative vaginal delivery had more trouble with arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and overall sexual functioning when compared to the women who had delivered by C-section. They also had poorer orgasms than the spontaneous vaginal delivery group.

Luckily, sexual problems after childbirth are usually temporary. New mothers are encouraged to speak to their doctors about any sexual problems. Talking openly with their partner about sex can also help.

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Can women reach orgasm without direct sexual stimulation?

Can women reach orgasm without direct sexual stimulation?

Many women find that sexual stimulation of their erogenous zones, such as the vagina, clitoris, and breasts, sets them on the path to orgasm. But some women reach orgasm even when they’re not in a typical sexual situation.
It is difficult to know how many women experience orgasms this way or how often such orgasms occur. However, the following pathways have been described:
  • Thinking.

Experts often talk about the brain as an essential sexual organ. For some women, fantasizing about a romantic or sexual situation is enough to make them climax. This method may take some time and practice, and women might combine the activity with relaxation techniques, deep breathing, or pelvic floor exercises.
  • Sleeping.

Like men, women can have spontaneous orgasms while they sleep. (In men, these are called “wet dreams.”) Nocturnal orgasms usually occur after a sexual dream during which women become aroused. Women may wake up with an intense feeling of pleasure.
  • Exercising.

Orgasms are also possible while working out. Research suggests that abdominal exercises, climbing, and weight lifting are the most common methods. Biking, spinning, rope-climbing, pole-climbing may also lead to “coregasms.”

While they might seem pleasurable, spontaneous orgasms aren’t always welcome events. Women with persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) feel continuously sexually aroused without any sexual contact or thoughts. Symptoms can last for hours, days, or longer. Orgasms might relieve symptoms to some degree, but not permanently. PGAD is a distressing condition, and patients often feel embarrassed.

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What is the “normal” frequency of sex?

What is the “normal” frequency of sex?

It’s human nature to wonder whether you are having more or less sex than others. But it’s a difficult question to answer.

Many factors can influence how often people have sex. Relationship status, health, and age can all play a role. Couples who are in the early “honeymoon” stage of their relationship may have sex frequently. As the relationship progresses, the rate might slow down. If they are busy with work or childcare, they might not have as much time for sex as they used to. If they have an illness or chronic pain, they might have less sex – but that might change if they’re feeling better.

The Kinsey Institute’s 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior provides us with some statistics on the sexual frequency of men and women. Much depended on whether the respondents were single, partnered, or married.


  • Only 2% of single men between the ages of 18 and 24 had sex 4 or more times per week, but 21% of married men did.

  • Just under half of married men between the ages of 25 and 49 had sex a few times per month to weekly. This was the highest rate in this age category.

  • Age was not necessarily a deterrent to sexual frequency. Thirteen percent of single men age 70 and older had sex a few times per month to weekly. For partnered and married men in this age group, the rates were 63% and 15% respectively.


  • About 5% of single women between the ages of 18 and 24 had sex 4 or more times per week, but 24% of married women did.

  • Like the men, just under half of the women between the ages of 25 and 59 had sex a few times per month to weekly, more than their single and partnered peers.

  • Sexual frequency did decrease with age for women, although almost a quarter of partnered women over age 70 had sex more than 4 times a week, according to the survey.

Even if men and women do have sex more frequently, it doesn’t mean they are happier. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study of 64 couples between the ages of 35 and 65. Half the couples were instructed to double their weekly frequency; the other half were given no such instructions.

The couples answered questions about their sexual activity and their happiness. Those who had sex more frequently were not any happier. In fact, their levels of happiness decreased a bit. It appeared that being told to have more sex made it lose some of its spontaneity and excitement.

Remember that every couple is different. The “right” frequency is one that satisfies both partners. It may take time to figure this out, but putting the focus on intimacy, communication, and bonding with a partner is more important than worrying about numbers, targets, or the sexual frequency of other couples.

It’s also possible that one partner wants to have sex more or less frequently than the other. Communication is critical here, as couples need to make compromises. A qualified sex therapist can help partners with that negotiation.

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Can gout affect sexual health and performance?

Can gout affect sexual health and performance?

Yes, it can – especially for men.

Gout is a particularly painful type of arthritis, caused by sharp, crystallized deposits of uric acid in the joints. Uric acid is produced when the body processes purines – substances found in some foods and beverages like liver, seafood, peas, and beer. Uric acid is usually absorbed in the blood, processed by the kidneys, and eliminated with urine. But sometimes, the kidneys don’t process uric acid properly, causing it to build up. Uric acid can also accumulate when a person eats too many foods that contain purines.
Eventually, the buildup forms sharp crystals, leading to gout. Gout often starts in the feet, especially in the big toe. But it can also form in the knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. In addition to pain, patients with gout may experience swelling, stiffness, and redness in the affected area.
Gout is far more common in men than in younger women. Estrogen, a female sex hormone, helps the kidneys process uric acid. However, once women reach menopause, their risk for gout increases, as their estrogen levels drop substantially.
In women, gout tends to occur more in the fingers and ankles. It is also more common in women with high blood pressure and poor kidney function.
Studies have shown that men with gout are at higher risk for developing erectile dysfunction (ED). They are also more likely to have severe cases of ED.
This might be explained by a possible connection between high levels of uric acid and endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is tissue that lines all blood vessels, including those in the penis. Problems with the endothelium can restrict blood flow to the penis, which weakens erections. As men with gout have higher levels of uric acid, this link might account for their ED.
In 2017, the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy published a large study on gout and ED in men who lived in England. They identified 9,653 men between the ages of 18 and 64 who were diagnosed with gout between 1998 and 2004 and followed them until 2015. For comparison, they also identified 38,218 men without gout who were around the same age.
The scientists found that the men with gout were at higher risk for ED. During the study period, 18% of the men with gout developed ED, compared to 11% of the men without gout.
The men with gout were also more likely to drink more alcohol, be overweight, or have medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and depression.
In addition, the researchers discovered that ED risk might be increased within the year before a gout diagnosis, possibly because of higher levels of uric acid in the blood.
Pain from gout can make sex uncomfortable for both men and women. Some couples try new sexual positions or have sex when medications for gout are most effective. It’s important for patients to tell their partners if a particular activity is painful and feel open to discussing other options for intimacy.
Patients with gout may take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to manage pain and inflammation. Other medications may be prescribed to stop production of uric acid or improve the body’s ability to process it. Eating a healthy diet that is low in purines might help relieve the severity and frequency of gout attacks.
Those who think they may have gout, particularly men with ED, are encouraged to see their doctor.

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