Tag: sti

Drug Resistant Gonorrhea! What you need to know

Drug Resistant Gonorrhea! What you need to know

Is Gonorrhoea common


According to WHO, more than one million people around the world acquire STIs daily. There are several sexually transmitted infections (STDs) that affect both men and women. Gonorrhea is one such example of STI.

What causes gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrheae bacteria.  This bacteria attacks and lives in the mucous membranes in our bodies. These are the moist soft tissues that are not covered by the outer layer of dead skin cells. When infected, the disease causing bacteria is thus found in the uterus, cervix, vagina, Fallopian tubes, rectum, and urethra. It is also found in the lining of the eyelids, the mouth and the throat.

How gonorrhea is transmitted

Gonorrhea is transmitted through sex, be it anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person. The transmission is spread through sexual fluids like semen and vaginal fluids and it is prudent to note that it is not necessarily dependent on ejaculation. Other than the genitals, anus and urethra, the disease can infect the eyes, mouth and the throat.

When engaging in oral sex, one is exposed to contracting gonorrhea if the partner is infested with the bacteria. This applies either way: giving oral sex to an infected partner, you get infected through their genitalia; receiving oral sex, infected mouth and throat will also lead to a gonorrhea infection. If expectant, you should also seek treatment if infected as you can pass it to your baby during birth. The disease is transmitted during birth is common for the baby to have eye and blood infections and it begins 2 to 4 days after birth. This normally results in the redness of the babies eyes, swelling of the eyes, and pus in the eyes.

Where I cannot get gonorrhea

Fluids are not required to transmit the bacteria causing gonorrhea, therefore, it is not possible to get the STI through casual contact like holding hands, hugging, sharing food and sitting on a toilet.

What increases my likelihood of getting gonorrhea

Engaging with several sex partners will make you exposed to infected partners. Having sex without using protection is a way that exposes you to the disease. You should use condoms when having sex as that protects you from STIs and also HIV/AIDS. Youths below 24 years are also highly exposed to gonorrhea as they have a tendency of having unprotected more times compared to other age groups. This group of individuals are also less likely to go for testing. The way you are likely to get this disease is if you have a previous diagnosis of a STI as this increases the susceptibility of your body to contracting another STI and HIV/AIDS.

What are the signs that am having gonorrhea

There are differences in how gonorrhea manifests in men and in women though there are some common symptoms for both sexes. A burning sensation when urinating can be a sign of an infection. Abnormal discharges in the vagina and penis is the other common sign of an infection in either sex though this is common with other STIs and is recommendable that you get tested.

In women, painful periods, pain during sex, fever, bleeding between periods and abdominal pain are also signs of a gonorrhea infection.

How do I treat gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is treated the same be it an infection in the mouth, throat eyes or the genitals. The most common treatment is a regimen of antibiotics, mostly oral. The most recommended antibiotics are cefixime, doxycycline and ceftriaxone.

The infection should clear after a week or two.

Gonorrhea is curable by taking appropriate medication as directed. Nonetheless, repeat infections of the STI are common.

It is recommended that you and your partner restrain from sex until the treatment is over and you should wait for at least one week after completing the medication before having sex with your partner again.

What complications am I likely to have if I don’t treat gonorrhea

Gonorrhea sometimes has no symptoms. Stigma and lack of access to medication are all reasons why you might not go for medication. Untreated this disease creates serious health problems. In women, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can result in permanent damage to your reproductive system, ectopic pregnancy, premature births or infertility.

Being infected with

Engaging with several sex partners will make you exposed to infected partners. Having sex without using protection is a way that exposes you to Gonorrhea. You should use condoms when having sex as that protects you from STIs and also HIV/AIDS. Youths below 24 years are also highly exposed to gonorrhea as they have a tendency of having unprotected more times compared to other age groups. This group of individuals are also less likely to go for testing. The way you are likely to get gonorrhea is if you have a previous diagnosis of a STI as this increases the susceptibility of your body to contracting another STI and HIV/AIDS.

Engaging with several sex partners will make you exposed to infected partners. Having sex without using protection is a way that exposes you to Gonorrhea. You should use condoms when having sex as that protects you from STIs and also HIV/AIDS. Youths below 24 years are also highly exposed to gonorrhea as they have a tendency of having unprotected more times compared to other age groups. This group of individuals are also less likely to go for testing. The way you are likely to get this disease is if you have a previous diagnosis of a STI as this increases the susceptibility of your body to contracting another STI and HIV/AIDS.

What complications am I likely to have if I don’t get treated?

before does not make one safe even if it was treated as they can still contract the STI.

Why has gonorrhea become resistant to antibiotics

You should finish your prescription of antibiotics as failure to finish the dose allows the bacteria causing gonorrhea to mutate and be resistant to antibiotics. The rapid changing of the Neisseria gonorrheae has creates a worldwide public health issue. The WHO has thus come up with a program that surveys and informs on the treatment guidelines for antibiotic resistant gonorrhea .

Too Many Guys Are Relying On The Pull Out Method, So Make Sure Your Guy Wraps It Up

Too Many Guys Are Relying On The Pull Out Method, So Make Sure Your Guy Wraps It Up

Ah, the pull out method, also known as the form of contraception that frat dude you used to hook up with in college used to try to convince you to do in lieu of condoms because those just “don’t feel good.”

If you haven’t hooked up with said dude and haven’t heard of it, the method is pretty self-explanatory. It’s when the dude pulls out before ejaculating during penetrative intercourse, as a way to prevent pregnancy, and it’s growing more and more in popularity. But have you ever wondered to yourself, “Should I use the pull out method?” Well, the simple answer is no, you probably shouldn’t.

But that isn’t stopping people from giving it a shot. In addition to a study released earlier this year, which found teens have been relying on the pull out method more than ever, a newer study found single adult men are also relying pretty heavily on the less-than-reliable form of contraception. The present study, which surveyed 3,700 sexually active unmarried dudes, found that the number of unmarried American men who rely on the pull out method has almost doubled in the 13 years between 2002 and 2015.

Are you more of a hard numbers person? Let me run some by you. In 2002, only a mere 10 percent of unmarried men relied on the pull out method. That’s nothing when it comes to the whopping 19 percent who admitted to doing the same in 2015. Yep, for all you numbers people out there, that’s just one percentage shy of DOUBLE the men using the pull out method.

The study, published by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that overall use of male contraceptives has been increasing. So, that is some good news. But there’s a catch: While other forms of contraception, like condoms and vasectomy rates, have remained the same, the withdrawal method has still increased.

Of course, the increase in the other more reliable forms of male contraception is a step in the right direction in that these men are making an effort to practice safe sex. And of course, practicing the pull out method is better than completely foregoing any sort of contraceptive method whatsoever. Still, the pull out method is definitely not the most effective contraceptive choice.

In addition to having no way to protect you against STDs, the pull out method also leaves a lot of room for error. In fact, according to Planned Parenthood, 27 out of 100 women who use the pull out method get pregnant every year. That’s more than a quarter of women.

So, if there’s anything to remember from this information, it’s to use a condom. Please. I BEG YOU.

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Here’s How Oral Sex Can Give You Cancer

Here’s How Oral Sex Can Give You Cancer

Here’s How Oral Sex Can Give You Cancer

You know the benefits of oral sex: It builds intimacy, helps her orgasm, and feels fantastic. In fact, we doubt any of the 85 percent of adults who have had oral sex at least once with their partner would argue that it’s not pretty damn awesome.

But that doesn’t mean oral sex is risk-free. In fact, it’s one of the most common ways to spread sexually transmitted diseases, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And depending on the strain you’re infected with, HPV can raise your risk of cancer—specifically of your oropharynx, or the middle part of your throat.

In fact, the number of people diagnosed with HPV-linked throat cancer is growing: Researchers found the presence of HPV in 21 percent of patients with oropharyngeal cancer before 1990. After 2000, 65 percent of sampled patients showed HPV, according to a meta-analysis published in Chemical Research in Toxicology.

“We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg of this problem, and it’s really a public health crisis,” explains Ted Teknos, M.D., chairman for the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. He says that cases of HPV-related throat cancers have risen 300 percent from the 1980s to the 2000s.

“We’re just seeing the effects now, but it’s going to be much more common in the coming years and decades,” he adds.

Here’s everything you need to know about how oral sex can raise your risk for throat cancer—and exactly what you can do to protect yourself from it.

Throat cancer, officially known as oropharyngeal cancer, is more than twice as common in men than women, according to the American Cancer Society. It specifically affects your tonsils and the base, or the very back, of your tongue, says Dr. Teknos.

Throat cancer is different from oral cancer, which occurs in your lips, gums, tongue, linings of your cheek, or the roof or floor of your mouth. Throat cancer and oral cancer share some common causes—think smoking or chewing tobacco—but HPV is not one of them. Certain HPV strains are linked to throat cancer, not to oral cancer, he explains.

About 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV, says the National Cancer Institute. So what’s going on?

HPV is a shockingly common STD. Between 2013 and 2014, 45 percent of men aged 18 to 59 carried some form of HPV, according to the most recent CDC data. It’s so common that if you’re sexually active, you’ll probably contract it at some point in your life.

But that definitely doesn’t mean everyone who does will go on to develop the cancer. That’s because in the vast majority of the cases, your body will fight it off, clearing it from your system within 1 to 2 years.

There are more than 40 types of HPV that can infect you, though. And some strains are more serious than others. Doctors call them “high risk” strains, and researchers found that of the men who tested positive for genital HPV, 25 percent carried at least one of them. The type most commonly linked to throat cancer is called HPV 16.

Research shows that nearly 7 percent of Americans have oral HPV, but only 1 percent carries that cancer-causing type, according to the CDC.

If you’re unlucky enough to harbor a cancer-causing strain, proteins that are coded by the virus can attack your cells and cause them to grow out of control. At the same time, it messes with cell suicide—a scary-sounding process that’s actually completely normal, and stops cells from multiplying unchecked if there’s a problem there, explains Dr. Teknos. As a result, cancerous cells can begin to increase rapidly, causing the formation of the HPV-positive tumor.

It wasn’t until recently that doctors and researchers made the link between HPV and throat cancer. Decades ago, the vast majority of throat cancers were caused by smoking—and the cancers were notoriously difficult to treat.

But from the early ‘80s to ‘90s, hospitals started seeing patients who had never smoked developing cancer in their tonsils, and their cancers were a lot easier to cure than the smokers’ cancer were.

“That’s when people knew something was different,” says Dr. Teknos.

Zeroing in on the sexual revolution of the 60s, they landed on HPV as the likely culprit. The STD can be passed by giving and receiving oral sex, and even by open mouth kissing alone. If your throat is infected with it, and you go down on your partner, you can transmit it to him or her, and vice versa.

Once it’s in your throat, it can lay dormant for decades—that’s why doctors are just now seeing an uptick in oral sex-related cancer diagnoses.

Scary thing is, HPV-linked throat cancer is virtually symptomless at its early stages.

The telltale sign, which usually appears only when it’s progressed to a more advanced stage? A painless lump in your neck. “It’s usually right where you get swollen glands from tonsillitis, the upper part of the neck right next to your voice box region,” explains Dr. Teknos.

Most guys will feel it while they’re shaving and mistake it for an infection—and if you rock a beard, you might not even notice it at all.

Other symptoms include trouble swallowing, subtle changes to your voice, and a mild sore throat that can persist and became more painful over time, but these are typically more pronounced in people with smoking-related throat cancer.

Most people catch HPV during their sexually robust college years, explains Dr. Teknos. In fact, about 10 percent of students on campuses have cancer-causing HPV in their mouths at any given time, he says.

Again, that doesn’t mean all those people will go on to get the cancer: In most cases, your body will clear the infection within two years (During that time, though, you’d still be able to pass it on to your partners).

The best way to dodge it is to play the preventive game. Get the HPV vaccine to protect yourself from the cancer-causing strains. If you’re 26 or younger, insurance will cover the vaccine. If you didn’t get it when you were a kid, you can still get the vaccine as an adult if you meet certain criteria, per the CDC’s recommendations. (Here’s exactly how you can prevent HPV.)

“There’s only about 1 percent of cancers that have been identified due to strains that may or may not be included in the vaccine, so it’s 99 percent preventable with vaccination—but the key is, you need to vaccinate yourself before you’re exposed,” says Dr. Teknos.

If you’re well over the vaccine age limit and don’t meet the other criteria, you can help keep yourself safe by limiting your number of sexual partners. Research shows your risk skyrockets once you’re sexually involved with six or more people, explains Dr. Teknos. Utilizing condoms and dental dams correctly can also lower your risk.

Sex Ed: Condoms:

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There’s not much you can do to minimize your risk once you’ve been diagnosed with HPV. Think of it this way: People who smoke a lot and drink heavily are at a 40 times higher risk of developing throat cancer malignancies than people who don’t.

That risk is 55 times higher for someone with HPV, says Dr. Teknos.

But if you do get the cancer from your HPV infection, there’s more than a 90 percent chance that you’ll successfully be cured of it, he says. Like with all cancers, earlier detection can improve your changes of survival, so if you notice any of the symptoms listed above—especially if you’ve been diagnosed with HPV—loop in your doctor as soon as possible.


More Women… and Men… Injuring Themselves During Pubic Hair Removal

More Women… and Men… Injuring Themselves During Pubic Hair Removal

More Women… and Men… Injuring Themselves During Pubic Hair Removal

pubic hair removal

Grooming your pubic hair can be harmful to your health.

In fact, about one-quarter of all people who go bare “down there” are injuring themselves.

And an increasing number are men.

That’s according to a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology.

Experts say the motives behind this trend include more social pressure to wax, shave, or laser off body hair.

Indeed, 76 percent of the JAMA survey’s 7,456 overall respondents said they groom their pubic hair.

Of these, 85 percent were women and 66 percent were men. The average age for groomers was 43.

Researchers said 1,430 of the respondents reported grooming-related injuries. That’s about 25 percent of the 5,674 who groom their pubic hair.

“The biggest surprise was the prevalence of this practice,” Dr. Matthew Truesdale, a urologist in Florida, who worked on the study, told Healthline. “But people don’t talk about it.”

Small cuts feed infection

The study was launched after Dr. Benjamin Breyer, a study co-author from the University of California, San Francisco, began to see more people going to the emergency room for pubic hair grooming emergencies.

“We wanted to understand what’s going on in America,” Truesdale said. “And to drill down into the findings.”

The findings were that men and women were most apt to nick themselves while shaving. That was followed by injuries related to burning.

Hairier men were most at risk, along with men who groomed more frequently or removed all pubic hair many times.

Nearly one-third of the groomers had hurt themselves at least five times.

For men, the scrotum was most frequently injured.

“It’s not surprising,” said Truesdale, “since it’s the most difficult area to groom.”

The penis and pubis were also likely targets.

Women were more likely to burn themselves from waxing than men. Their injuries were most likely to the pubis or inner thigh.

However, serious injuries are rare. Only 1.4 percent of the groomers needed to go to a doctor.

The biggest risk in getting nicked while shaving is that small cuts can let in bacteria.

“Razors can make incisions in the skin,” Truesdale said. “They put people more at risk for infection.”

That’s not all.

Researchers at UC San Francisco found a link between more frequent grooming and sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes or syphilis, according to study published in December in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Better shaving methods help

Truesdale and other researchers’ goal is to help create guidelines for safe pubic hair removal.

Part of the current problem, explained Truesdale, is there aren’t many products aimed at pubic hair grooming. For now, removing less hair can be self-protective.

He also worries that if people do nick or burn themselves, healthcare visits may be delayed because of embarrassment.

“So if there’s a previous injury, it’s worth talking to a doctor,” he said.

Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist in New York, has also seen the worrisome trend of more pubic hair removal injuries in the past few years.

But, she added, there are good ways to prevent injuries.

Knowing how to properly shave helps. Before shaving, Green advises using warm water and shaving cream. Afterward, apply soothing aloe.

“People just shave dry areas,” she said.

That can create those small tears in the skin.

Green also advised not plucking or picking hairs.

For men, laser hair removal, which is permanent, is also a good solution.

“But go to a board-certified dermatologist,” Green said, “because there are different lasers for different skin types.”

For women, leaving wax on too long can cause burns.

“Some places don’t have the proper waxing experience,” she explained, and may leave the wax on too long. She also recommended going to professionals.

According to the JAMA study, though, waxing is still a lower risk than shaving.

“Women who waxed had lower risk of lifetime injuries,” said Truesdale. “It’s a safer practice.”


Bacterial Vaginosis-Causes and Prevention

Bacterial Vaginosis-Causes and Prevention

Bacterial vaginosis happens when there is a disturbance in the ratio of the harmful or bad bacteria (anaerobic) and good bacteria (lactobacilli) living in the vagina. Scientists have not yet found the precise bacteria that is the reason of the contamination.

However, they have faith in it that bacterial vaginosis is the result of the combination of various types of the bad (anaerobic) bacteria. Moreover, the pH of your vagina has shifted from the typical acidic condition of 3.5-4.5 to more than 4.5 which is not such an acidic condition.

This pH is a favorable condition for bad bacteria to grow and flourish in the vagina. This infection can happen in any woman, but pregnant ladies and sexually active women are more prone to have this bacterial infection.

Women with bacterial vaginosis have the threat of having sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV if presented to the infection causing them. Furthermore, ladies with bacterial vaginosis infection have the danger of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

Threateningly, bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis may also affect the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. So, it is crucial to treat bacterial vaginosis to lessen the threat of STDs and other issues related to the female reproductive system.

Increased number of bad bacteria causes awful side effects like swelling, tingling, paining and burning sensation and release of watery discharge followed by the obnoxious smell in some cases. Itching followed by a burning sensation may likewise happen inside and outside the vaginal region.

Not all ladies with bacterial vaginosis have these side effects. There are some cases that women may not realize that they have bacterial vaginosis because they have do not experience any manifestation or indication at all.

We can diagnose this bacterial infection by various examinations and lab tests. In these lab tests, vaginal discharge is examined to check the balance of good and bad bacteria.

What causes bacterial vaginosis?

An accurate reason for this vaginal condition stays obscure since various kinds of bacteria regularly live in the vagina. Resultantly, deciding why overgrowth of certain bacteria happen is still not clear.

In spite of the fact that the reasons for this condition are still vague, certain elements may expand the danger of building up this condition. Some of these are:

  • Usage of oils in shower

Utilizing oils in your shower is one of the many reasons for bacterial vaginosis. While using shower oils may be a relaxing factor for you, they will not enable you to free from the nasty smell that bacterial vaginosis may cause.

Oils trap microscopic organisms and give an absolute favorable condition to develop and grow. Utilizing a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil may be helpful as it is antiseptic and can relieve the pain and symptoms of the infection.

  • Clothing

Wearing tight garments that trap dampness around your private parts is one of the real reasons for bacterial vaginosis. Harmful microscopic organisms (bacteria and virus) multiply their growth and causing the awful odor and indications.

It ought to be noticed that consistent wearing of tight fitting attire like pants or jeans can add to bacterial vaginosis. If you have precluded all other reasons for bacterial vaginosis, your clothing might be the reason.

  • Medications

Certain medications like antibiotics execute the good bacteria and other microorganisms in your body as well. Remember, if you are taking such medicines for a cough, cold or other illnesses then you must know that the good bacteria in your body, including your vagina, are being executed.

Subsequently, it is putting you in danger of having bacterial vaginosis. Supplementing with probiotics, for example, Lactobacillus can help reestablish your bodies normal flora.

  • Eating routine

Diet assumes a noteworthy part in deciding your body’s pH levels. You could be making an unbalance nursery for bad bacteria that may cause bacterial vaginosis by consuming too much acidic food.

Focus on what you eat and search for foods that are alkaline and certain recipes that advance a decent sound pH level in the body.

  • Ignorant towards proper hygiene

The greatest no-no ladies can do in the toilet is washing and wiping from back to front. It should be to wipe from front to back as to not spread microscopic organisms and germs from the anus to the vagina.

If you are going for cleaning and wiping from back to front, there may be the chances that the fecal remains go into your genital areas. This may result in the increased awful microorganisms which will at last results in unpredictable and convoluted vaginal contamination

  • Vaginal douching

Douching is never at any point a conventional practice. There is no medical advantage to pick up from douching. In truth, it can only be detrimental. Douching strips of the vagina of every single good bacterium same as using antibiotics.

So, freeing your vagina of every single great and beneficial bacterium enables the awful microbes to regroup and take over rapidly. Terribly, douching can push those awful microbes deeper inside your body, causing contamination in womb or uterus.

Preventions that should be taken for bacterial vaginosis

  • Fortifying the immune system

A decent, healthy eating routine can surely help to strengthen the immune system. You must have 5 to 6 portions of veggies and fresh fruits in combination with lean meat, nuts and a lot of beans.

Cut down fats and artificial sweeteners from your diet. Likewise, taking a multivitamin supplement will strengthen your overall body framework.

  • Rebalancing the Imbalance

If you have bacterial vaginosis, the pH level of your vagina will be alkaline. To move this back to somewhat acidic, include some apple cider vinegar to a bath tub and sit in it for approximately 20 minutes.

Adding valuable microscopic organisms directly to the vagina can likewise help as this will duplicate rapidly, in the warm conditions. To do this, absorb a tampon in probiotic yogurt and let it sits on vagina for few hours.

This works since probiotic yogurt is rich in useful and good bacteria. Utilize warm water to clean the outside of your vagina. You don’t have to use a cleanser. Indeed, even mild cleanser can cause contamination or aggravate your vagina.

  • Suitable clothing

Constantly wearing tight apparel can make a greenhouse like condition for harmful bacteria in the vagina. Undergarments made of synthetic material can be the culprit. Instead, wear cotton underwear or cotton lined pants to ensure the proper ventilation to the vagina.

  • No to douching

Douching expels a portion of the ordinary and beneficial microorganisms in the vagina that shield you from the disease. This may raise your danger of bacterial vaginosis. It might be likewise to recur bacterial vaginosis even after treatment. Specialists do not prescribe douching.

  • Practice safe sex

It is one of the most important preventive measures that you can take. Have safe sex. Some of the tips to practice the safe sex are:

  • Use condoms

Condoms are an ideal approach to anticipate bacterial vaginosis or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) when you have intercourse. Ensure to put on the condom before the penis touches the vagina.

  • One man and one woman show

Engaging in sexual relations with only one accomplice can bring down your hazard for bacterial vaginosis and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Be reliable to each other. That implies that you just engage in sex with each other and nobody else. […]

What happens to your penis when you get an erection?

What happens to your penis when you get an erection?

Men get an erection in response to stimuli such as – touch, sight, smell or when other senses are at the peak of excitement, usually just before having an intercourse.

During an erection, there is maximum blood flow in the penis that helps a man to attain an erection and maintain it to achieve sexual satisfaction while having intercourse.

However, there are a lot of things that happen in the body before an erection is achieved. To know how it happens, know what the penis comprises of: The longest part of the penis is called the shaft and the head of the penis that is at the end of the shaft is called glans. The opening at the tip of the head from where urine and semen are expelled is called meatus. Inside the penis, there are two columns of tissues called corpus cavernosum that run on the sides along the length of the penis and houses a network of blood vessels and nerves. Corpus spongiosum is another sponge like tissue column with a maze of blood vessels and nerves that runs along the front part of the penis ending at the glans, covering the urethra, which runs through it.

Thereare two main arteries in the corpus cavernosum along with a network of veins. The arteries pump blood to the organ and veins take the blood out of it. The brain sends signals through a network of nerves which helps the penis to get an erection in response to a stimulus.

A stimulus could be either a physical or a mental trigger. So, when a man gets aroused following stimulation, the brain sends signals that make the arteries in the penis open fully. There is more blood entering the arteries and corpus cavernosum. The blood enters at a faster rate than it can exit through the veins. The veins then are compressed and pressure is build-up in the corpus cavernosum. This expands the penis and helps it to maintain and hold an erection. When a man reaches climax, the brain stops to send signals and the inflow of blood to the arteries stop, the veins open and the penis goes back to its flaccid state.

In case, if there is no erection even after a man is aroused or gets an urge to have intercourse the problems could be either physiological or psychological for which it is better to seek medical attention.

Image source: Shutterstock


14 Sex Questions From Millennial Women, Answered By Experts

14 Sex Questions From Millennial Women, Answered By Experts

For the month of September, Bustle’s Sex TBH package is talking about sex, honestly. We’re delving into how women approach the things they’re taught to be shy or embarrassed about in the bedroom — and, in doing so, we’re liberating people to live their best (sex) lives. Let’s do […]

How to have anal sex

How to have anal sex

Everything you wanted to know about anal sex – from top to bottom If having anal sex was as easy as it appears in gay porn, I’d probably give up Netflix, f**k and get f**ked every day instead. But as Katy Perry solemnly sings; ‘it’s not like the movies.’ […]

Safer sex on campus starts with you talking about sex

Safer sex on campus starts with you talking about sex

Helpful advice from Kat Nantz, Sexual Empowerment Coach

Many students will spend a good deal of time this year thinking about sex. Everyone has their own opinion on the matter and everyone must decide for themselves what kind of sexual activity, if any, they want to pursue. But all of us should learn to discuss sex frankly and honestly.

Talking dirty

“It takes time to learn new skills, and having/talking about sex is a skill — one that most of us were not taught!” said Kat Nantz, a local Sexual Empowerment Coach. Nantz offers workshops and sessions to help people “explore and deepen their relationship to personal power and sexual fulfillment.”

“The dominant cultural point of view about sexuality tells us that sex is dirty, private, and shameful,” said Nantz. “Most of the work that I do is around supporting folks in dismantling the toxic messaging we’ve received about sex so that people can begin to create a relationship with their sexuality that is empowering, fulfilling, and holistic.”

The first step is to figure out how sex actually works — and to dispel the myths that surround it.

“Knowledge is power,” said Nantz, “Get informed. Educate yourself about anatomy and how our bodies work.

Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on sex being performative and goal-oriented. Challenge this!

I encourage young people to explore a more expansive definition of sex, one that does not completely focus on penetration and orgasm as the end goal. Sex is about pleasure, discovery, connection, and consent!”

Start talking about sex, awkward as it may be.

“Find a safe space to explore and expand your comfort zone. This could be with yourself at home in the mirror saying words that make you uncomfortable, a trusted friend, a course that offers a safe space to openly talk about sex” — or the Wellness Centre on campus (which supplies free condoms and lube). “It takes an act of courage to open this sort of dialogue and combat shame; the more you talk about it and push past the discomfort, the easier it gets,” Nantz explained.

Getting to yes

When talking to a partner, consent is the first thing to discuss. One in three women in Canada will experience sexual assault in their lifetime; learning about consent is more important than ever.

Consent doesn’t have to be verbal (and neither does revoking it), but talking to your partner helps you better understand and respect their boundaries. If you are ever sexually assaulted, get to safety and explore your options, which can include going to the hospital to gather medical evidence for filing a report (the university website details other courses of action).

But consent goes beyond a “yes” or “no” — it’s about discovering what makes sex great for you and asking for it. “Negotiate the sex you want to be having!” says Nantz.

Safe sex

When it comes to practicing sex safely, knowledge is the key.

“Research STIs, practice safer sex, get tested, and learn how to share your status with partners,” said Nantz.

“STIs are highly stigmatized and getting tested and talking about it can bring up a lot of fear and shame for folks.

The best way to combat that shame is to talk openly and honestly about it and to be as informed as possible.”

A visit to Student Health Services is the best time to settle any uncertainties — and to speak to a doctor about birth control options, which could mean taking a daily pill, installing an intrauterine device, or simply using condoms (the only option that doubles as protection against STIs).


The most Googled questions about contraception answered

The most Googled questions about contraception answered

Contraception is a tricky one.

It shouldn’t be, given that it’s 2017 and the pill was first introduced in 1961 (only to married women, mind you) but despite school sex education, our own experiences and conversations with our mums and friends, plenty of women and girls still feel completely overwhelmed and confused when it comes to contraception.

There are actually 15 different methods of contraception available to women in the UK. A lot of women tend to go on the pill hassle-free but, for others, it’s not always the best option. The pill can cause a range of side effects which may not suit everyone, plus there’s that small major detail of remembering to take it every day. Given its popularity, and the assumption that it is the norm, other methods of contraception which might be more suitable for others can get side-lined. But where are we supposed to start when there are 15 choices?

As we have been raised in the era of technology, more often than not we turn to Google for life advice. And apparently there’s no difference when it comes to sexual health.

We asked Google Trends the top ten questions entered into the search engine when it comes to contraception and, with help from the Family Planning Association – who provide sexual health and contraception advice – we got the answers.

1. What is contraception?

Essentially, methods and devices which stop you from getting pregnant when you have sex. They range from permanent and long-term methods, like the pill, to those which you need to physically use during sex, like condoms.

Some are known in the health service as long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) and include methods that don’t rely on a person having to remember to take or use them to be effective; like the implant, injection and coil.

2. How does the contraceptive pill work?

How the pill works can be confusing because there are two types of contraceptive pill: The combined pill and the progestogen-only pill.

The combined is the first option doctors usually go for and mainly works by stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg each month aka ovulating. No egg, no baby.

It also thickens the mucus from your cervix, making it more difficult for a sperm to swim through, reach an egg and fertilise it. As another step in mission no pregnancy, the pill makes the lining of the uterus thinner so the uterus is less likely to accept a fertilised egg.

The Progestogen-only pill, also known as the mini pill or POP, varies. All of them thicken the amount of mucus in the cervix and make the lining of the uterus thinner but one group called desogestrel POPs, like Cerazett, also stop the ovary releasing an egg in the same way the combined pill does.

3. Which contraception is best for me?

Everyone is different; what works for your best friend might not work for you. Finding the right contraception may take time and can be a case of trial and error.

Karin O’Sullivan, a sexual health nurse and clinical lead at the FPA, broke down what might and might not work for certain people.

“If you really hate needles, then the injection’s probably not the way to go, and if you’re pretty forgetful then something you have to remember to take every day – like the pill – might not be your safest bet,” she said. “On the other hand, if you have very heavy periods then the combined pill can help reduce them, and if you’ve had difficulty with a variety of hormonal methods then you might want to use the extremely effective IUD, also known as the copper coil.”

There might also be medical reasons which make you less suitable for certain types of contraception so it’s always best to discuss with a doctor.

The FPA have a very handy ‘My Contraception Tool’ on their website which can also provide guidance on the right contraception for you.

4. Is contraception free?

Yep, absolutely. It’s one of the only prescriptions that’s completely free.

5. How effective is the pill?

So you’re taking measures to stop becoming pregnant, but you jussssstttt want to really, really make sure it means no pregnancy.

Both the combined and mini pill are 99 per cent effective BUT that’s as long as they’re taken according to instructions.