Archive for the ‘sexual health’ Category

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Week 54-What are the complications of anal sex?

September 4, 2009

Consensual Text is featured on Twitter and on Facebook .  Fan and follow us for info on a range of topics pertaining to sex and sexual health!

A few months back, one of our readers wanted to know how common anal sex was. Turns out 40% of men and 35% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 engage in heterosexual anal sex.   But to answer this week’s question, we will focus on the more risky aspects of engaging in anal sex.

What exactly are the complications associated with this sexual act?

It is easy to tear the tissue in the anal canal and rectum.  The lining of the anal canal is thin and has no natural lubrication.  Adding friction to the mix makes tearing possible. If there is enough force, the sphincter muscle can also tear. Go slowly and pay attention to how it feels. Stop when you feel it’s too uncomfortable.

 Spread of STIs and HIV.  Because the lining of the anus tears easily, it offers an easy path for bacteria and viruses to enter blood stream.  To avoid the spread of STIs and HIV, always use a condom.

The deeper you go, the more likely the tear.  The inner third of the rectum is less sensitive, meaning you could tear tissue and not even know it right away.  If you have prolonged pain after having anal sex, definitely go see your doctor.

Sex toys can be hard to retrieve.  Certain toys can be hard to reach after anal sex, and in some instances, need to be surgically removed. “Sorry, I can’t come into work today because I have to get a sex toy removed,” is NOT something you ever want to utter to your boss.  Make sure you’re using equipment specifically designed for anal sex.  You’ll want toys with flared ends which will prevent the toy from moving up into the rectum.

Beware of bacteria.  Bacteria from your anus can often negatively affect the healthy environment of your vagina.   If you choose to have both vaginal and anal sex, use a new condom when moving from one locale to the other.

The Bottom Line.  Anal sex always involves fecal matter, no matter what you do to prevent it.  Always wash well before and after anal sex .  Use a condom, use gloves.  Don’t let a little fecal matter affect your health.

 Tips

  • Take it slow
  •  Pay attention to how it’s feeling
  • Stop when and if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Have fun

Planned Parenthood of northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org

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Midweek Condom Video

August 24, 2009

Consensual Text is featured on Twitter and on Facebook .  Fan and follow us for info on a range of topics pertaining to sex and sexual health!

It is a bit hard for me to reconcile that this is the country that brought us something as sultry and hot as the Kama Sutra.  That said, anyone who can pull off a 6 minute video with four men singing in pastel colored condom suits and extensive choreography deserves some credit.

“I am the condom friend ever useful to you,” does have a certain ring to it.

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Week 49-Are scented tampons dangerous?

July 31, 2009

CottonPlantsmConsensual Text is featured on Twitter, along with other information relating to a range of topics.

Scented tampons are not good to use. Commercial tampon manufacturers use artificial fragrance to create flowery fresh scents.  The perfumes used can irritate vaginal walls and it’s also an easy way to get a yeast infection.   Although scented tampons are marketed, they are not recommended.

It is best to use unscented tampons. 

Scenting is also unnecessary-there shouldn’t be a bad odor from your period. If you think there is, try changing your tampon more often. If the odor continues, call your health care provider.

Ideally, you would also use tampons made of organic cotton.

According to Seventh Generation, there are some pretty good reasons for this:

“…an incredible 55 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on cotton fields each year in the US… The World Health Organization classifies many of
these pesticides as “extremely or highly hazardous”. Five of the nine most commonly used cotton pesticides have been identified as possible human carcinogens. Others are known to damage the nervous system and are suspected of disrupting the body’s hormonal system.”

Not something you want near your fun parts.

On other related tampon questions,we are often asked: “can you masturbate with a tampon in your vagina?”

Yes, you can … if it’s comfortable for you, then there is no problem.

Some basic tampon advice:

  • Change tampons regularly – don’t leave in for a long time.
  • Don’t use scented tampons
  • Don’t leave a tampon in your vagina overnight
  • Try using organic cotton tampons – there are some good brands on the market

If you have any problems with odor or irritation, have it checked out.

Planned Parenthood of northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org

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Midweek “Ladyproducts of the Future”

July 22, 2009

vibratorsSLIDE

Enjoy this review of futuristic “ladyproducts” by Amanda Schaffer of DoubleX, featuring, discussing, and rating six products ranging from the vibrators above, to “smart Bras”, that can sense a possible abnormal growth in the breast.  Pleasure, pms, breast cancer and a bunch of other technology seems to be in the works. Don’t miss the girly gadget slide show!

Anyone rushing out to look for these products on the shelves?  What “ladyproduct” would you like to see”?

Consensual Text is featured on Twitter, along with other information relating to a range of topics.

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Midweek-Sex Toy Green-up Info

June 29, 2009

How well do you know your sex toy?

It turns out, sex toys are considered “novelty items” and are unregulated because “novelty” means they are not intended for use.  (Interesting, that a $ 1.5 billion industry exists for things that are not “in use”!)  Unregulated means that makers (mostly China) can make them out of just about anything, and there are no import regulations.

Cheap adult sex toys are often made with phthalates to give them that soft flexible feeling. In 2008, Congress banned phthalates from toys and cosmetics. Phthalates are group of chemicals linked to breast cancer, low sperm counts and other health problems. Pretty much the last thing you want near your fun parts, judging by some of the research on sex toys.

What are the risks associated with the amount of exposure we get from sex toys?  This question straddles (yes, pun intended)  two issues we have trouble discussing openly–sex and the health risks posed by low dose exposure to chemicals in every day products. It is no surprise we don’t know our sex toys as well as we should. New Hampshire Public Radio did a terrific piece on this.

If you want to green up your toy chest, seek a sex-positive retailer, like Portland’s Nomia, who will answer all your questions and take orders over the phone. Babeland is also very good at educating their customers. Both of these retailers offer less toxic alternatives including glass toys and paraben & phthalate free lube. If you’re worried about phthalates, but don’t want to kick your rabbit habit just yet, you can always use a condom.

Find more easy-to-implement tips and information on lessening your day-to-day exposure to harmful contaminants at our Good Chemistry site.


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Week 43-Does peeing after intercourse decrease UTIs?

June 19, 2009

It can help to urinate after intercourse, especially if you are prone urinary tract infections. In fact, if you are indeed prone to UTIs, it is good to pee every two to three hours throughout the day.

Many women deal with urinary tract infections. Sexual intercourse can be a common cause of urinary tract infections because during intercourse, bacteria in the vagina can be massaged into the urethra by the motion of the penis. 80% of all urinary tract infections occur within 24 hours of intercourse.

It has been suggested that washing your genitals before having sex can help.

If you feel susceptible to a urinary tract infection, find other ways to have a sexually good time-including an orgasm.

If you get UTIs regularly, talk to your health care provider about seeing a urologist.

Planned Parenthood of northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org

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Week 41-Why do some women claim that sex feels better during their period?

June 5, 2009

 

menstruation_cycle

 

A woman’s libido changes throughout the menstrual cycle. Changes in sexual emotion, energy and even aggression peak and wane during the cycle.  Women can feel more “turned on” and aggressive about sexual feelings and desires at different times during their cycles.

Women’s erotic desires and orgasmic capacities (nice term!) begin to increase during menstruation, and continue to build. They peak on Day 13 and 14 of her cycle.  This is due in large part to the hormones that affect sexual desire – testosterone and estrogen.  It warrants mention that Day 13 and 14 are the most fertile days in a woman’s cycle.

Sex during menstruation is completely normal, healthy and often very enjoyable.

Menstrual blood is an entirely normal and healthy bodily fluid and does not affect a woman’s reproductive organs or a man’s penis.

Orgasms cause uterine contractions and these contractions can ease menstrual cramps and pain.  Some women feel less “crampy” after having sex that includes orgasm.

On the other hand,  women who are prone to UTI’s (urinary tract infections) should consider the fact that menstrual blood is a good medium for bacteria to grow and perhaps intercourse during menstruation might increase chances of a UTI.

Planned Parenthood of northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org