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Sexual health challenges

Written by Funmi Akingbade
~Punch, Nigeria. Sunday, May 29, 2016

Funmi Akingbade
The World Health Organisation has given an amazing review of the extent that marital intimacy has suffered under the destructive and damaging effect of sexual health problems. Most times when I have the opportunity to counsel couples, my heart bleeds when I see the threat and danger untreated sexual health challenges pose to unions of loving couples. The most disappointing aspect of it is that 87 per cent of couples are not even aware that these sexual challenges can be prevented, treated and permanently cured.

Sexual health problem or dysfunction refers to a set of problems during any stage of the active sexual age preventing couples from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activities. Research suggests that 83 per cent of men and 47 per cent of women suffer from sexual health challenges and many couples are shy, timid, cautious, uncertain and hesitant to discuss them.

Fortunately, most cases of sexual health challenges are treatable, so it is important to share your concerns with your partner, doctor or sex therapist. Although both men and women are affected by sexual health problems unfortunately, men suffer more than women. Sexual health problems occur in adults of all ages. Among those commonly affected are those in the geriatric population, which may sometimes be related to a decline in health associated with aging due to bad lifestyle. For this week's article and next, we shall extensively shed light on the male sexual health dysfunctions and round it off with the sexual challenges facing women.

Barrister Kulaju and motor dealer in his late 50s was in my office some weeks ago, wanting to know the causes of male sexual problems. He was experiencing some recession changes in his sexual performance and this was hurting him. Sexual health challenges can be a result of a physical, psychological and medical problem. 'How do sexual problems affect men? he asked. The most common sexual problems in men are ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunctions and inhibited sexual desire.

Psychological causes include work-related stress and anxiety, environmental pollution, concern about sexual performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings of guilt and the effects of a past sexual trauma. Physical causes are many; we have physical and/or medical conditions such as diabetes, heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalance, chronic diseases such as kidney or liver failure, alcoholism, drug abuse and smoking. In addition, the side effects of certain medications are leading causes. Let us start with erectile dysfunction and inhibited sexual desire.

Erectile dysfunction (or ED), commonly referred to as 'impotence' is defined as the consistent inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual disorder and responds to treatment about 95 per cent of the time. Although psychology can play a major role in sexual function and desire, most erectile conditions have an underlying physical cause. It is important to note that failing to achieve and/or maintain an erection just once or very infrequently does not necessarily indicate erectile dysfunction. Factors like stress and alcohol consumption could be at play. For erectile dysfunction to be diagnosed, the condition has to be consistent and recurring.

Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age, but it is more common among men over the age of 65. An estimated 15 per cent of 40-year-old men experience erectile dysfunction, compared to 20-35 per cent of 65-year-olds. Fortunately, erectile dysfunction is treatable at all ages and many men can have normal erections well into their eighties and more. Men who smoke or consume alcohol excessively do increase their risk of being affected by erectile dysfunction as do those with high blood pressure or diabetes.

The severity of erectile dysfunction ranges from mild to severe (complete loss of erectile function). Men who believe they are affected by erectile dysfunction can experience low self-esteem, performance anxiety, depression, stress, and guilt and relationship problems. Without treatment, these psychological factors can compound the physical causes of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction can be harmful to a relationship, affecting a man's self-image, his spouse's, their relationship with each other. For the treatment of erectile dysfunction to be effective, couples need to communicate honestly and openly with each other. Discussing the condition and confronting any concern that either partner may have are critical for a relationship to remain a healthy one.

Appointments with a sex therapist mostly solve these problems and challenges. Physical examination, medical and sexual history are necessary for effective assessment and treatment of erectile dysfunction. It is very important that you tell your doctor if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, as it can be a sign of other, serious conditions like heart disease. Identifying heart disease early could very well save your life. Most time when my clients speak with me about this, I evaluate the most appropriate and possible treatments and in most cases, I have discovered that 36-hour-of-freedom-drug and the natural herbs from Vietnam have proven to be highly effective with fantastic result for many. For detailed enquiries about these and others, call me. Your sexual health is inextricably linked to your general health. It is always advisable that a man sees his doctor if he finds that he has any trouble with achieving erection. While erectile dysfunction can be prevented or even reversed, it can be a symptom of a more serious health issue.

Because it is caused by problems with blood vessels, erectile dysfunction actually serves as an early warning of life-threatening conditions resulting from cardiovascular disease. It is said that 11 per cent of men with erectile dysfunction will experience some form of cardiovascular event, (a stroke or heart attack) within five years. Understanding the several connections between erectile dysfunction and the health of your heart can help you to recognise signs and symptoms of heart disease early.

While it may not feel like it at the time, being diagnosed with erectile dysfunction can be a piece of good fortune in that it alerts your doctor to possible heart problems. In addition, of course, early treatment will dramatically increase your chances of overcoming cardiovascular disease and save your life. So, what are the risk factors you should look out for? Atherosclerosis is a build-up of plaque in the arteries which can restrict the blood flow to your heart, legs and brain. That is why sometimes many men present a sign and symptoms of waist and leg pains. It also affects blood-flow to your penis. Moreover, when blood does not sufficiently fill your penis, you will not be able to achieve an erection.

A high level of what is known as 'bad' cholesterol will contribute to atherosclerosis in the blood vessels. Smoking raises the risk of developing atherosclerosis. Men who smoke will experience an increased risk of a heart attack and are almost twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure is also a risk factor. It can lead to damage in the lining of arteries and accelerates atherosclerosis.

Men with diabetes are more likely to experience erection problems. The reason for this is that the blood vessels that supply the penis can partially close up due to diabetes-related damage. Recent studies have shown that men with diabetes who also have erectile dysfunction are at an even higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who do not. Weight is an issue as well. Heart disease and associated erectile dysfunction will more often affect overweight men. Certain medication that is used to treat heart disease can also cause you to experience problems achieving erections. It is also worth bearing in mind that some medications prescribed for erectile dysfunction are not safe when used in combination with several heart medicines. You should not stop taking medication prescribed for you, but you can of course speak to your doctor about the possibility of being prescribed another drug that will not affect your ability to get an erection.

In most instances, erectile dysfunction can be treated, and getting it checked out is usually a simple procedure. Remember that erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of a bigger problem. By resolving the health risk, you should resolve the impotence and improve your sex life. For some men, making a few healthy lifestyle changes may solve the problem. By stopping smoking, losing excess weight and increasing physical activity and taking some natural anti-erectile dysfunction herbs may help some men regain sexual function.

The impact of smoking and obesity on your general and sexual health are quite dramatic. Stopping smoking and getting down to your ideal weight are the two most important things you can do to improve your health. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and contributes to the formation of plaque, which restricts the flow of blood to your penis.


Is this a prank or what?

Funmi, I used to think I have a wonderful sex in marriage and even boast of it but recently, I don't even know how to place it anymore. This is my story. I have been married for 15 years but my wife and I could not have a baby for 12 years. Eventually two years ago, we had a child and I think [I am not sure ] she may be pregnant again. But the challenge is that while we were expecting to have children, my wife was just the best in bed when it comes to sex. There is nothing you wrote that she has not practised with me. As a matter of fact, at a point, I started believing she must have been too deep into this stuff before my marriage to her. But immediately she gave birth, all these changed. She has totally closed up sexually. If I can recollect, we have only had sex four times since 2014. She professed she loves me, and candidly every other thing is okay between us but immediately I make any move towards sex, she closes up. She said she does not know why and declines the idea of visiting the hospital. I am confused; do you have a clue?

Mr Lukuman Alobeju

When a case like this pops up, the first thing that I usually do is to have a one on one chat with the wife and from the discussion, I discover that such wives are actually undergoing postpartum depression which they also are not aware of. Ironically for some wives, the birth of a child alters their entire life, spirit, soul and body especially their emotion and mental disposition. They start displaying some negative attitudes that baffle everyone. This condition is usually discovered early during ante-natal care in most developed countries but in our part here, people don't know things like this exist. The only way out is to shower such women with love, attention, care and understanding. Help them out with the baby, daily chores, take them out on a date and look out for someone that can take the baby away from them like a week or two so that they may have a feel of their independence once in a while. Place them on lots and lots of fruits rich in zinc and potassium. Give them room to sleep more.

What is excitement ringing tones?

I am a widower and for four years now, I have not had sex. Will it affect me mentally? And also, is it compulsory that when having sex, either the man or woman must make some noise? I am now dating a lady who said that until she hears sound from someone, she has not really started to enjoy sex. She actually calls it ringing tone. She said both man and woman have different ringing tones and the sound of each ringing tone indicates the peak of excitement.

Elder Wisdom

To your first question, not having sex for any particular period of time does not affect one's mental health; neither does it make one not physically fit for sex when the time comes. The only challenge is that there is a possibility of having to learn the trick all over again and also carrying out a total overhauling activation on the penis and the brain. For your second question, ringing tone is just the different shade, types of rhyme and duration of noise man and woman produce when they are deeply excited and are either about to reach orgasm, or during orgasm or when sex actually hurts or when shortly after orgasm. As much as it exists, it does not indicate compulsion for everyone. It is not mandatory that everyone has to make sound. If you do not make sound and you do not want to, so be it. But the expression of sound by either of the couples indicates that the couples are very free with each other, they have good communication line, they encourage and give room for expression of fantasies and they are actually experiencing limitless orgasm.

I have black hairy tongue when pregnant

Each time I am pregnant with a child, I always have a black hairy tongue, is this normal?

Expectant mother

Black hairy tongue is a painless condition, which occurs when the little bumps on your tongue grow long, and trap bacteria that live in your mouth, making your tongue look black and hairy. Causes can include antibiotic use, poor oral hygiene, smoking, drinking a lot of tea or coffee, and not producing enough saliva. Brushing your tongue and using a tongue scraper is usually all you need to treat it, though sometimes medication is necessary, it is not because of pregnancy.

I lost my wife to her dance group leader

Funmi, it is sad to say but I just lost my wife of four years to her dance group leader. I did everything to get her back but to no avail. It bruised my ego when she told me to my face that her dance group leader gave her real sex because his penis is bigger than mine and that he is good at the game. Why are women of today so heartless and senseless? Though before now, she had insisted we watch pornography together, talk more about sex and that I should increase my penis size. But I was never raised to talk about sex, so I ignored her. Can I increase the size of my penis?

Wounded husband

I am so sorry to hear this but the truth of the matter is that majority of Africans were not raised to talk about sex, but it is a very vital tool in marriage. The earlier we talk about sex the better for our marriages. However, because our spouses never complain most times, we do not take inventory of our sexual activities and we take them for granted. Many couples are unhappy in marriage because their sex life is going nowhere. Spouses need to tell each other what they need otherwise a small problem is magnified. There is really no relationship between the penis size, masculinity and power but survey has shown that 90 per cent of women now have preference for bigger penis. They insist it makes them enjoy sex better. This explains why many men want to increase their penis size. However, the average penis size is between five and six inches. That is for erect ones and today, technology and science have put smile on the faces of men in this dilemma. You can now get the Chinese herbs for a bigger penis. It is not everything men know about sex that is from pornography. One of the most destructive myths of pornography is that it convinces so many men that they are sexually inadequate and that their penis is too small compared to the ones they see in pornography. But, they forget to realise that porn stars are selected men with extreme big organs. So an average increase in the growth is advisable for an average man.

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