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From Our Blog

Multiple Sclerosis: Be Open to Sexual Changes


May 28, 2019

Last year, scientists reported that almost two-thirds of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience sexual challenges, with the most common problems being loss of libido, orgasm difficulties, and trouble with arousal (vaginal lubrication and erections).

While this rate is high, it doesn’t mean that people with MS can’t enjoy intimacy. But understanding the challenges, staying patient, and making adjustments will go a long way in keeping sexual relationships strong.

Mechanisms

How does MS cause sexual problems? Here are some of the mechanisms:

  • Poor message transmission. MS is a central nervous system disorder that attacks the myelin sheath, the coating that protects nerve cells. The result is a disconnect between the brain and other body parts, including organs involved with sexual function. For example, a man with MS might receive sexual stimulation (such as an erotic image or touch), but his brain might not “get the message” to start an erection. Similarly, a woman’s vagina might not lubricate because it doesn’t “know” about sexual stimuli. For some people, MS leads to decreased – or increased – genital sensation. In some cases, touch might become painful.
  • Depression and anxiety. An illness like MS takes a toll on one’s mental health as well. It can be hard to plan for the future, and people may miss doing things they used to do. They might also worry about their partner’s feelings and reaction to the situation. Communication between partners can break down. Together, these factors can diminish libido and make it more difficult to become aroused.
  • Incontinence. Some people with MS feel nervous about having urinary accidents, especially during sex.
  • Fatigue. With MS, it’s not unusual to feel too tired for sex.
  • Spasticity and muscle weakness. Trouble controlling muscle movements or feeling weak in the muscles may make some sexual activities difficult.

Problems for Women

In November 2018, a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine provided some insight on how extensive sexual dysfunction is among women with MS. Researchers looked at data from nine other studies on MS and female sexuality. Overall, almost 1,500 women – roughly half with MS – were involved.

In the analysis, women with MS were almost twice as likely to have sexual problems than women who didn’t have MS. Trouble with arousal, lubrication, desire, orgasm, and pain were more common in women with MS. They also tended to have lower sexual satisfaction.

Problems for Men

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem for men with MS. Erections might not be firm enough for sex, or they might not occur at all.

Fortunately, men with ED have a number of treatment options:

Men might also experience trouble with ejaculation.

Next Steps

If you or your partner is struggling with MS and intimacy, consider these options:

  • See your doctor. As about treatments for sexual issues. For example, the solution for poor vaginal lubrication might be an over-the-counter product. And as noted above, there are several ways to treat erectile dysfunction. Many people feel awkward discussing their sex life with their doctor. But remember, your doctor is there to help you.
  • Seek other professional help. Seeing a counselor or sex therapist, especially one who works with people with MS, can give you some new ideas to try in the bedroom. He or she can also help you cope with any depression, anxiety, or relationship conflict you might be experiencing. (Learn more about sex therapy here.)
  • Talk to your partner. Have an honest, open conversation with your partner about any changes in your sexual relationship and how you’re feeling about them. He or she might be feeling the same way but be hesitant to bring it up. Work as a team to keep your relationship on track, emotionally and sexually.
  • Plan for sex. For people with MS, it isn’t always possible to have sex at the spur of the moment. But you can plan for romance and intimacy. Figure out when you and your partner can have time to yourselves to relax and enjoy being together. It might not be as spontaneous, but having that time to look forward to can be just as exciting.
  • Take your time. If it takes you longer to become fully aroused or to climax, that’s okay. Just enjoy the journey and don’t worry about timetables.
  • Experiment. You might need to try other types of sexual stimulation because what worked for years might not be as effective. Now is a great time to try something new. That “something new” could be a new type of touch, different sexual positions, oral sex, the use of sex toys like vibrators, sex at a different time of day, or sex in a new location. Be open to new ideas.

Resources

EverydayHealth.com

Vann, Madeline R., MPH

“How to Have a Healthy Sex Life When You Have Multiple Sclerosis”

(Last updated: December 21, 2016)

https://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/living-with/maintaining-a-healthy-sex-life-when-you-have-ms/

International Society for Sexual Medicine

“How might multiple sclerosis affect a person sexually?”

How might multiple sclerosis affect a person sexually?

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Zhao, Shankun MD, et al.

“Association Between Multiple Sclerosis and Risk of Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”

(Full-text. Published online: November 1, 2018)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(18)31215-3/fulltext

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

“Sexual Problems”

https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Sexual-Dysfunction

SexHealthMatters.org

“About Two-Third of MS Patients Have Sexual Problems”

https://www.sexhealthmatters.org/did-you-know/about-two-third-of-ms-patients-have-sexual-problems

WebMD

“Maintaining Intimacy With Multiple Sclerosis”

(Reviewed: April 24, 2016)

https://www.webmd.com/g00/multiple-sclerosis/multiple-sclerosis-maintaining-intimacy



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Marijuana and Male Fertility | SexHealthMatters.org


Jul 03, 2019

Marijuana (cannabis) use laws have been changing rapidly in North America. Last week, Illinois became the 11th U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana, and such use became legal across Canada last October. Mexico might legalize recreational marijuana later this year.

With marijuana more freely available, people do have health concerns. In regard to sexual and reproductive health, both men and women should know the possible short-term and long-term effects of marijuana on their sexual performance and fertility.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss some recent research of interest to men and to couples who are interested in having children.

Past Research

Before we get started, let’s take a moment to consider past research on marijuana and male fertility. Back in 2011, we reported on ways marijuana might affect sperm cells:

When healthy sperm cells are released, they don’t start swimming toward the egg right away. Instead, they go with the flow of the semen until they are closer to the egg. Then the swimming starts in a process called hyperactivation.

But sperm under the influence of marijuana start swimming immediately. The result? Many tire themselves out and don’t reach the egg at all.

Those that do reach the egg are less likely to fertilize it. This is because THC [tetrahydrocannabinol – marijuana’s active ingredient) hinders their ability to release enzymes needed to pass through the egg cell’s wall.

What do scientists think of marijuana’s effects on sperm now? The answers are mixed.

Increased Sperm Concentrations

In February 2019, researchers reported that men who had smoked marijuana in the past had “significantly higher concentrations of sperm” than men who had never smoked it.

Between 2000 and 2017, researchers collected and analyzed 1,143 semen samples from 662 men who were patients at a fertility clinic. The men also answered questions about their marijuana use.

Over half the men said they’d smoked marijuana at some point in the past. Forty-four percent said their smoking days were behind them, but 11% said they still smoked. About 45% of the men said they had never smoked marijuana.

Semen sample analyses showed that men with a history of smoking marijuana had an average of 62.7 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen. For men who had never smoked, the average count was 45.4 million sperm per milliliter.

The researchers also looked at how many men had sperm concentrations below 15 million per milliliter, the “normal” benchmark set forth by the World Health Organization. Five percent of marijuana smokers fell into this category, but over twice as many – 12% – of the nonsmokers did.

Does this mean that marijuana leads to higher sperm concentrations? Not necessarily. The authors pointed out that the men may have mis-stated their marijuana use, since the drug was illegal for most of the study period.

Also, the results run counter to previous studies that have shown negative effects on sperm. So more research is needed.

“These unexpected findings highlight how little we know about the reproductive health effects of marijuana, and in fact of the health effects of marijuana in general,” said study co-author Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in a press release.

“Our results need to be interpreted with caution and they highlight the need to further study the health effects of marijuana use,” he added.

Negative Effects on Sperm

Another study, published in April 2019, had some discouraging news for hopeful fathers.

At the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, researchers reported that sperm quality declined in men who used marijuana.

Their study involved 622 men between the ages of 18 and 59. One hundred twenty-five of the participants were infertile, 144 men used tobacco, and 74 men used marijuana. Another 279 fertile men who did not use tobacco or marijuana served as a comparison group.

After analyzing the men’s semen samples, the researchers found poorer semen parameters among marijuana users compared to the men who used tobacco. The marijuana users had fewer sperm cells per milliliter. Their sperm also had worse motility (ability to swim to an egg cell for fertilization) and poorer morphology (defects in size and shape).

The Takeaway

We still have a lot to learn about marijuana’s effects on our general health, as well as our sexual health. In the meantime, couples who hope to become parents should be open about their marijuana use when talking to their doctors. They should also be up front about the use of any other substances that could reduce their chances of conceiving.

Even if you’re not thinking about having children, take a moment to consider your own marijuana use. Do you think it’s impacting your health, even in subtle ways? If so, don’t hesitate to bring this up with your doctor and take steps to get your use under control.

Resources

CNN.com

Simon, Darran and Nicole Chavez

“Canada just legalized recreational pot. Here’s what you need to know”

(Updated: October 17, 2018)

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/17/health/canada-legalizes-recreational-marijuana/index.html

Stracqualursi, Veronica

“Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana”

(June 25, 2019)

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/25/politics/illinois-legal-marijuana/index.html

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“Marijuana smoking linked with higher sperm concentrations”

(Press release. February 5, 2019)

Marijuana smoking linked with higher sperm concentrations

Human Reproduction

Nassan, Feiby L., et al.

“Marijuana smoking and markers of testicular function among men from a fertility centre”

(Full-text. February 5, 2019)

https://academic.oup.com/DocumentLibrary/humrep/PR_Papers/dez002.pdf

Journal of Urology

Hallak, Jorge, et al.

“MP75-09 Marijuana Consumption Has a Direct Deleterious Effect on Spermatozoa by Increasing Intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species Levels 20 Times More Than Tobacco Smoking: Reasons For Concern On Widespread Use”

(Abstract. Published: April 1, 2019)

https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/01.JU.0000557221.22634.47

Medical News Today

Nall, Rachel, MSN, CRNA

“Normal sperm count: Everything you need to know”

(Last reviewed: March 28, 2019)

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324821.php

MedPageToday.com

Bankhead, Charles

“Studies: Weed Degrades Sperm, Spurs LUTS”

(May 5, 2019)

https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/aua/79630

The Motley Fool

Williams, Sean

“Mexico Aims to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Before October”

(April 28, 2019)

https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/04/28/mexico-aims-to-legalize-recreational-marijuana-bef.aspx

The Science Times

Inocando, Aileen

“Marijuana Use Found to Cause Infertility Among Men”

(May 6, 2019)

https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/21304/20190506/marijuana-use-found-to-cause-infertility-among-men.htm

SexHealthMatters.org

“Marijuana and Male Sex Health”

(May 31, 2011)

https://www.sexhealthmatters.org/sex-health-blog/marijuana-and-male-sex-health



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Things You Can Do To Improve Your Relationship

Relationships are formed from communication and then are continued with mutual respect and efforts. If you have been in a relationship for more than six months and if you sense that you are losing the spark that you have and want to give your relationship another go then here are some ways you can improve your relationship

Communication

The critical factor for a successful relationship is communication. Ask your partner about his day but asking it every day will make it boring. Try putting effort into your question by being more specific. This approach will ensure that you avoid falling into a routine and you are having a more meaningful relationship.

Happy

A monthly date night

In this busy day and age, having a relationship and finding the time for each other is a mammoth task. Plan a date night every month dedicated to just you two this will help spice up your love life. Try going out instead of staying in as going to a date night will last only one night, but the happiness will stay much longer.

Express your appreciation

An act of kindness or just appreciating brings a lot of comfort into a relationship. A small gesture from your partner is will reinforce your partner to be more thoughtful and mindful of your feeling and will most often than not trying to do similar things to make you happy.

Remember the small thins

Add some meaning to your conversation by listening to your significant other talking about you or any events in the future. If your partner mentions something important remind him of that as this little things mean the most when and remembering these things is the best way to show your partner that you are putting some effort into your relationship.

 

Let go of the past

Past is gone, and it does not always stay. It is difficult to move forward after your relationship has taken a hit. Try to move out of it, as this might ruin your relationship. If you find that you still continue to look at the past and sob. Try to reconsider what is making you do so and find clarity within you and also your partner

Know your partner’s boundaries

Try to understand your partner’s space, by understanding their boundaries you can stop yourself from crossing them. Your partner’s way of holding his privacy is most likely to be different from your, and he might like to stay alone when he is upset or might not want to talk or text about the same, try respecting them and move away from the situation. This will ensure that you respect boundaries and also improve your relationship in the long run.

Portrayal Of Women In The Media & How It Affects Us

 

Women perpetrated in the media and it has a great effect on men!

 

Winter trade in the media in today’s culture and we could even say pop culture is getting even more crude as it goes along. From the simple changes of the one piece bathing suit to the micro bikini, the founding fathers views on naked pictures to the subculture of Internet pornography (Athens call girl or Athens call girls), the views and women have changed but the nasty feelings behind them have it.

 

Yes, women have gained the right to vote and the ability to be independent, free and at liberty to choose, to divorce, to work, even the power right over the dual ship of birthing a child. However, it seems one thing has not changed, from women being second-class slaves from the years 1000 BC to 1880 A.D., to the re birthing of women’s rights and liberating of the household woman.

 

We have seen women allow themselves to use sexual power in the media to sell, whether it is a ridiculous perfume or some clothes that are American-made, thus they’re allowed to show half naked Americans, because again there 100% American, to Victoria’s Secret being the fact that her closer made in sweatshops and the models are paid so much that they deserve to be in the 1% that everyone seems to hate recently.

 

portrayal-of-women-in-the-media-how-it-affects-us

The thrill of women has been used to cloak over what’s being done behind closed doors. It’s a sad fact that the media betrays women as if they are still objects to be owned, while allowing them to rise up and claim the spotlight of independence inside of the media mogul chain.

 

All the while, women feel liberated, men are looking at more breasts and being more programmed to all their life satisfactions will come from mammary glands and how large they are!

 

The use of media has always been about power, from Hitler forcing the use of the population to watch two hours of his propaganda so that they would be fully willing to go into a world war for the great hero, to the use of women to actually affect what men should think do and say because of their physical beauty. The media knows that women have a power over men sexually, and they make darn sure to use 100% of that knowledge to control men.

 

It’s sad because sometimes when you wake up to these disgusting commercials and what they really program us with, I even wonder if I was ever supposed to like breasts as a man myself. It’s not like the milk was meant for me this late in my life, I was a baby once and I had my time, but I’m done nursing.

 

Aren’t all the other guys out feeling the same way as me? Sure women (Athens call girl or Athens call girls) can be physically attractive, in their face, curves, attitude, mentality, etc. But why are we so drawn to breasts as a male… in one word… MEDIA!!!

Read more articles here.

Stay Connected With Your Partner

It is important that you stay connected with your partner and follow our tips to make the most of it.
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