Article
EDUCATION CORNER

    Improving sexual life

    Sexual life is a very important part of human life and is directly related to health status. A healthy body and mind will let the person enjoy sexual life while an unhealthy body or disturbed mind can affect the pleasure of sex.


    Let’s know the sexual response cycle of a woman to understand more about sexual life:

    • Phase I: Desire (Excitement): This is the first phase and a kind of charge that boosts the interest of a person in sexual intercourse. There is a rise in heartbeat and breathing during this phase.
    • Phase II: Arousal (Plateau): In the next phase, sexual stimulation like touch, the smell of your partner, taste, voice, vision or even imagination brings more changes to the body and various fluids are secreted within a vagina. The fluids lubricate the vagina and facilitate sexual intercourse. Also, the vagina expands while nipples become hard and aroused.
    • Phase III: Orgasm (Climax): When arousal happens and reaches its apex, muscles surrounding the vagina start contracting rhythmically. This gives a sensation of pleasure and a woman reaches her orgasm.
    • Phase IV: Resolution: Finally, after pleasure, vagina and surrounding areas return to their unaroused state. Woman feel content and relaxed. This may also induce sleep.


    Tips to improve sex life

    As sex life is very important for the health of both male and female partners, every effort should be made to enjoy it and stay healthy. However, there can be some problems that may affect sexual life.

    Here are a few tips to improve sexual life and how to increase sex capacity in females:



    • Communicate about your desires and expectations openly and be honest with your partner
    • Enjoy a healthy lifestyle to increase confidence and self-esteem
    • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
    • Avoid stress
    • Enjoy plenty of sleep
    • Say no to tobacco
    • Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes
    • Practice yoga for mindfulness
    • Increases your attention and concentration for a healthy mind
    • Mind-body practice of yoga can assist your libido as various yoga postures are believed to improve mood, pelvic muscle tone and relax body, mind, and soul
    • Use of lubricants to decrease irritation, friction, and discomfort during sex

    A sexual problem can occur if a woman is facing any health issue or issue with any phase of the sexual response cycle. There may also be a medical reason that can diminish your sex life or lower your sexual desire like diabetes, thyroid, heart problems, etc.

    Moreover, some medications can also inhibit sexual desire like birth control pills, anti-depressants, antipsychotics, anti-hypertensive drugs, etc.


    Symptoms of female sexual problem

    The sexual problems reported in women commonly are of three types:

    •  Lack of sexual desire
    •  Difficulties in achieving orgasm
    •  Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)


    Causes of female sexual problems

    In females’ sexual problems can occur due to various reasons like:

    • Relationship problems: Bad relationship with her partner can prevent a woman from communicating her sexual desires to him. Poor communication between both can also be the reason behind the unsatisfactory experience.
    • Emotional problems: Stress, depression, anxiety can also affect a woman's sexual function.
    • Insufficient Stimulation: Lack of knowledge of woman about sexual health and sexual stimulation can prevent her from achieving satisfactory results.
    • Gynecologic Problems: Some physical issues with a woman that can affect her sex life are:
    • Vaginismus: An involuntary spasm in the vaginal muscles can cause pain or stop vaginal penetration (painful penetration). This is termed as vaginismus. It can occur due to irritation from condoms or spermicide or infection. Sexual fear can also be a cause for vaginismus.
    • Vaginal Dryness: Dryness in the vagina can occur due to menopause, childbirth, breastfeeding, cancer treatment, or contraception, etc. This can make intercourse uncomfortable.
    • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD): Certain disorders that are transferred through sexual intercourse are termed as sexually transmitted diseases e.g. gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, etc. These cause discomfort or pain during sex.
    • Vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina is termed as vaginitis. It may cause vaginal irritation and make intercourse uncomfortable or painful.
    • Painful coitus: Any problem that affects the woman and causes pain during coitus can decrease her desire to enjoy sex.
    • Post-coital bleeding: Any bleeding other than menstrual bleeding is considered as abnormal bleeding. If bleeding occurs after sex, it can be a sign of worry and can decrease the sexual desires of the female.


    • Anatomical disorders (women diseases): Anatomical disorders like endometriosis, surgical scars, or pelvic mass can cause anatomical changes and makes intercourse painful.
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease: PID is a vaginal infection in which vagina moves up to the cervix, uterus, and ovaries. The condition itself is very painful and causes pain during intercourse.
    • Physical Conditions: Various physical conditions can decrease a woman's sex life like:
    • Hormonal imbalances
    • Alcohol
    • Menopause
    • Pregnancy
    • Vascular disorders
    • Neurological disorders
    • Tiredness


    • Medications: Certain medications can decrease sexual desires like anti-depressants, anti-hypertensives, serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), etc.
    • The sexual problem of partner: Sexual problems of the male partner like impotency or lack of desire of sex etc. can also affect a woman’s sexual experience. The most common problem of males is erectile dysfunction (impotence). It is the inability of a male to get aroused or keep a firm erection that is must for sexual intercourse.
    • Attitude towards sex: Also, some people do not consider sex as a part of normal life or an enjoyable experience. They associate sex with guilt, fear, anger or shame. These also decreases sexual desires and affect the health of the person.


    Tests, diagnosis & treatment


    Diagnosis of sexual problems requires the following steps:


    Medical Interview: During a medical interview, the doctor asks questions about physical, mental and sexual problems of the couple to find out the cause of sexual issues.

    Physical examination: Next a physical examination of the couple is done depending upon the type of problem of the couple.

    Diagnostic tests: Sometimes some diagnostic tests like X-ray, blood tests, USG, or semen tests are done to find out the problem.


    Treatments of sexual problems involve the following:


    Self-care at home: Both the sex partners can do care of their own by following:

    • Relaxation techniques like a warm bath before sex
    • Using vaginal lubricants to get relief from arousal problem
    • Try new sex positions
    • Masturbate to know what increases arousal


    Medical treatments

    • Vaginal Lubricants: Recommended for a woman who complains of vaginal dryness, these are available in the form of creams, suppositories, and gels.
    •  Topical Estrogen: In menopausal women, topical estrogens can be applied as a cream or inserted into the vagina.
    • Clitoral therapy device: In this therapy, a small suction cup is placed over clitoris before sex to increase sensation, lubrication, and number of orgasms in women.


     Psychotherapy

    •  If the sexual problem is due to lack of knowledge, then a sex therapist can teach about sexual response cycle and its elements.
    •  It can also help a woman identify problems in her life like
    • Changing sex attitude
    • Emotional issues and dissatisfaction
    • Past problems like rape, abuse, and traumatic sexual encounters, etc.
    •  A sex therapist or sex counseling
    •  A sex therapist can educate the couple and solve their sexual problems with various recommendations like
    •  learning non-sexual techniques
    •  minimizing pain during intercourse
    •  learning to eliminate distractions
    •  increasing sexual stimulation
    •  Kegel exercise (that involve regular contraction and relaxation of muscles around the vaginal opening)
    Frequently Asked Questions

    There can be various problems that can cause erection issues in males. It is best to consult a sex therapist to get the problem diagnosed and treated for both of you to enjoy sex.

    Pain during sexual intercourse can be very frustrating. It can also reduce or eliminate the pleasure of sex. You can try following tips but if these do not help, consult s sex therapist or a doctor:

    • Relaxation techniques like a warm bath before sex
    • Using vaginal lubricants to get relief from arousal problem
    • Try new sex positions
    • Masturbate to know what increases arousal

    A dry vagina is a very common problem. You can either try Self-care at home or Medications as mentioned above.

    Sexual life is very important for the health of body, mind and soul. Although there is no “right or wrong” for sexual desires, no sex life can affect your memory, immunity, relationship with your partner, vaginal dryness, tightening of vaginal walls, etc. So, it can be healthy and pleasurable to enjoy sex whenever you desire.


    It can be due to dissatisfaction. You should openly talk with your partner and tell him about your desires and expectations. This may help. Also, you might be having some physical problem that hinders your sexual pleasure. Either follow the healthy sex life tips or consult a sex therapist to know ways to boost your sexual life.


    Lack of sexual desire can be due to various reasons. Some medical problems, or medications or lack of sex education can be the cause. But all these are quite manageable issues. You should take your husband to a sex therapist or a doctor to find out the real cause of his lack of sexual desire.

    This is a sign of urinary tract infection. You should consult a gynecologist and seek her advice for further treatment.