What do I do when sex hurts?

Amazing sex always appears to be a piece of cake in the movies. However, real-life sex might provide us with unexpected challenges, such as pain that interferes with situations we had previously expected to be entirely pleasurable.

Many people avoid talking about painful sex since it can be uncomfortable, even with a doctor. But if you're struggling with it, you're not alone. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, discomfort during intercourse is incredibly frequent, with over three-quarters of women feeling pain at some point in their lives. Additionally, up to 60% of women report having painful sex in the run-up to menopause and afterwards.

Strong research shows that women often don't share this concern with their health care providers unless they're specifically asked, and doctors rarely ask

What makes sexual activity painful? It could involve burning, soreness, dryness, or a general feeling of discomfort in addition to the actual jabs or twinges of pain. Although it can affect nearby areas, including the pelvis and lower back, it is often most visible in the vagina and vulva. Sexual activity with partners of either gender can also cause pain.

You don't have to accept painful sex, though. It's time to look at why pleasure becomes discomfort and figure out how to restore enjoyment to the bedroom. Physical intimacy is important for couples.

Why may sex become uncomfortable after years of usually pleasurable lovemaking? Your stage of life is a major contributing factor, but there are many other important elements as well. Gynecologic disorders such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and fibroids may play a role. As well as other medical conditions like arthritis, radiation, pelvic surgery, or cancer. Even the thought of having sex can be impossible for someone with vulvodynia, a persistent pain illness affecting the vulva.

The following scenarios account for the most painful sex instances:

Childbirth. Undoubtedly, giving birth vaginally is difficult for the vagina, perhaps even more so for women who have undergone an episiotomy or perineal tears. The healing process can take several months. Vaginal dryness can be exacerbated by hormonal changes during childbirth and breastfeeding.

Menopause. A chronic, increasing absence of natural vaginal lubrication can be brought on by declining estrogen levels during the years preceding menopause and after. It typically starts with a sense of dryness or soreness low in the vagina, but over time it can become really uncomfortable everywhere.

High pelvic floor tone (Hypertonic). After a stressful experience, like a sexual assault, the muscles surrounding the vaginal opening may automatically constrict. Ironically, however, the disease might even start with the thought of discomfort in the bedroom. The more you expect sex to hurt, the more your pelvic floor muscles tense, creating a vicious cycle. Your pelvic floor muscles contract whenever intercourse is attempted, making sex even more uncomfortable. It's almost like your body is attempting to protect you. There may seem to be a wall there.

How to increase comfort
If you're afraid it'll hurt, sex can lose its appeal. The proverb "use it or lose it" is not applicable in this instance, however, as having less sex as menopause approaches does not increase the likelihood of painful intercourse.

2,247 women, aged 42 to 52, who reported no sexual pain at the trial's start and consented to log their sexual frequency and symptoms participated in the study, which was published on June 1st, 2022, in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Over the course of up to 10 follow-up visits over the next 13 years, nearly half of the participants reported experiencing pain during sex at least occasionally. While having oral sex or being aroused more frequently (with or without sexual activity) were connected to lower odds of experiencing sexual pain, vaginal dryness revealed the highest association. But it wasn't taken into account how much sex the women had.

There are thoughts that intercourse is good for the vagina, stretching it and bringing in secretions and blood flow however, there is no data to back this up.
Age-related changes in sexual desire you need to know

One shift that can be challenging for men to understand is how their sexual drive might wax and wane over time.

"Sexual desire is no longer a light switch that can be quickly turned on or off for many males. However, that's understandable given that "men need to rethink what they consider to be 'normal' when it comes to sex drive and understand that it is okay when it changes.

Do the math.

As a guy gets older, a variety of things can impact his sexual drive. For instance, the male sex hormone testosterone normally drops after the age of 50, and erectile dysfunction (ED) rises in prevalence. Desire can also be impacted by health conditions. (Read "Take good care of yourself.")

Misguided expectations are another barrier that men must overcome. "Look at almost any ED drug advertisement." The overarching message is that guys in their 60s and 70s should act and feel like they are still in their 30s or 40s.

She continues, expecting that if men in their midlife and beyond don't act or feel a certain way most of the time, something must be wrong or broken, which frequently trips them up. "They are vulnerable to further annoyance when they have unrealistic expectations about how their sex life should look or feel."

Self-care is important.

Numerous medical disorders, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, might have an impact on sex drive. "If you want to stay sexually active, you have to be diligent about working out frequently, eating right, and getting regular checkups from the doctor."

Putting it to work

The evolving desire for sex can be embraced in a variety of ways. Consult your doctor first about any physical or medical conditions that can impair desire or to see whether raising testosterone levels would be beneficial.

Thus emphasizing sex's non-physical aspects. Focusing more on romance and re-engaging with your lover is an excellent method to help reignite the sexual spark for both of you. As you get older, "Sex and intimacy can mean many things. She suggests attempting the following methods including how to increase your sex life:

Where you responsible for my partner's bladder infection?

When a woman has a normal bladder infection, the most typical type of urinary tract infection (UTI), her sexual partner does not need to be checked. UTI-causing germs are not transmitted by partners. Women's small urethras—the tube that removes urine from the bladder—make them more susceptible to UTIs. The region surrounding the urethra's end is covered in bacteria. In order to infect the bladder in women, these germs only need to travel a short distance from the urethral entrance. Even though you did not spread the bacteria, you might have had some impact. After sexual activity, some women experience UTIs. This is especially true when having sex that is intense or frequent. Changing sexual positions and encouraging her to urinate immediately after sexual contact may be helpful in these circumstances.

You may have seen commercials and endorsements from different celebrities extolling the virtues of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). They contend that increasing testosterone levels improves men's sexual health and makes them feel stronger and younger.

All of that is great, but is TRT actually a strong anti-ageing remedy? Be sceptical of miracle claims, as with many others.

Although TRT won't immediately turn back the clock, increasing low testosterone levels in certain older men can help with some elements of their physical and mental health.

The lowdown on low T

The sex hormone known as testosterone is what gives males their masculine traits. It is secreted by the testicles and contributes to the development of classic traits such as a loud voice, facial hair, and the size and strength of the muscles. Also, it stimulates a man's libido.

300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or more of testosterone is considered a normal blood level by medical professionals. A man's testosterone level starts to decrease around his mid-30s and decreases by roughly 1.6% annually, according to the American College of Physicians. Low testosterone is present in about 20% of men aged 60 and older; this percentage climbs to 30% in men in their 70s and 50% in men in their 80s.

Medications (particularly anabolic steroids) or damage to the testes, such as from an injury, an infection, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, may cause a considerable drop in testosterone in addition to natural age-related loss.

Several blood tests may be necessary to get an accurate measurement because your testosterone level changes throughout the day. Since testosterone is at its highest between 7 and 10 in the morning, tests are frequently performed then. Any of the conditions and symptoms that follow can be brought on by low levels:
  • depression
  • decreased confidence
  • unable to concentrate. disturbed sleep
  • decreased bone and muscle mass
  • increased body
  • fatigue
  • enlarged or sensitive breasts
  • hot flashes or flushing
  • fewer spontaneous erections due to reduced sex drive
  • having trouble maintaining erections.
Even if your levels are below 300 ng/dL, doctors do not always prescribe TRT. The initial step is to ascertain whether any symptoms associated with low testosterone are actually related to another condition that is curable.

For instance, a poor diet, little exercise, and inadequate sleep may be the reason for symptoms like fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and decreased sexual drive. Erectile dysfunction can have negative side effects like stress, worry, and depression. " Fixing these issues only by increasing low testosterone levels won't work.
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