Sexual Health Archive


IBD and LGBTQ+: How it can affect sexual health

Inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that causes inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract, has a major impact on daily life. For people who identify as LGBTQ+ there are some specific concerns and issues to understand and consider.

Do you need testosterone therapy?

Advertisements and celebrity endorsements claim that by raising testosterone levels with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), men can boost their sex drive and feel more robust. While TRT can help improve some physical, sexual, and mental health symptoms associated with low testosterone levels, it may not work for everyone, and despite the miracle claims, TRT cannot make older men feel 30 years younger.

Talking with your doctor about ED

Many men are hesitant to talk with their doctor about erectile dysfunction (ED) or other sexual problems because they view these as purely a sex-related. But in many cases, ED is related to another issue like cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, mental health, or low testosterone. Once men understand that talking about their ED involves exploring other aspects of their health and is part of regular maintenance health care, it's easier for them to open up.

When sex hurts

Three-quarters of women experience painful sex at some point, and up to six in 10 report painful sex during the transition to menopause and beyond. Childbirth, menopause, and a condition called hypertonic pelvic floor contribute play a role in many cases of painful sex, though other health problems and treatments can contribute as well. Treatment options include lubricants, vaginal moisturizers, vaginal estrogen, and pelvic floor physical therapy.

How do I approach a new partner about STI testing?

Discussing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at the start of a new relationship can protect both partners' health. Many STIs don't cause symptoms. Couples can test for STIs together or separately and share results before becoming intimate.

Straight talk about Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease, a condition marked by extreme curvature of the penis, affects about 3% to 10% of men, usually between the ages of 45 and 60, but also can occur in men older than 60. There is no cure for Peyronie’s, and the condition often does not improve on its own, but in mild cases men can maintain a regular sex life. If the curvature is severe, making erections or intercourse painful, treatment may help. Options include traction therapy, drug injections, and surgery.

You don't say? The smell of love

Pheromones, the "love chemical," are produced by many animals and insects to attract the opposite sex. It's possible that humans also may make and process pheromones through vomeronasal organs in our noses.

Sex and prostate health

Sexual side effects can be a primary concern when treating an enlarged prostate with medication or surgery. Depending on the treatment, side effects might include erectile dysfunction, low libido, reduced volume of ejaculation, or retrograde ejaculation, (in which semen travels backward into the bladder rather than out through the penis). Understanding the risks can help men with their treatment decision and to be better prepared if any sexual-related problems arise.

Did I cause my partner's bladder infection?

While a man cannot directly give his female partner a bladder infection, he can increase her risk with vigorous or frequent sexual intercourse.

Bladder problems that warrant a doctor's visit

Bladder problems in women can increase due to childbirth, menopause, and aging. Additional contributors to bladder symptoms include weight gain, pelvic organ prolapse, and the types of beverages people drink, as well as how much and how often. Women should see a doctor about increasing leakage, urgency, frequency, or nighttime urination; cloudy or strong-smelling urine; pain or burning while urinating; pain during sex; or lower abdominal pain.

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