5 Myths about Anal Sex

5 Myths about Anal Sex

Are you new to anal sex? Have you been thinking about trying, but find yourself scared due to the unknown? There are a lot of myths about anal sex that are out there and you may feel better seeing some of them debunked. Read on to learn five anal sex myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1 – It Must be Painful

Anal sex should not be painful as long as you use lubrication, relax, take it slow and do not have hemorrhoids. You have to be gentle — especially in the beginning — because the anus is much tighter than the vagina. Take it slow and warm up. The chances are good that you haven’t followed the above instructions completely if you have experienced some pain in the past or have heard horror stories from friends.

Myth #2 – It Can’t Feel Good Because Women Don’t Have a Prostate

Pleasure during anal sex involves way more than a prostate, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “The anus is rich in blood vessels and nerves and thus highly sensitive, making anal play popular and erotic for some women.” Actually, one study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that 94 percent of women who received anal in their last sexual encounter had an orgasm.

Myth #3 – You Do Not Need a Condom

The chance that there is nearly no chance of pregnancy with anal sex makes it that much more pleasurable for many women. But it does carry a risk of STD transmission, so you need a condom. Also, condoms can not only prevent STD transmission they also reduce friction and make for a more smooth entry. Be sure to change condoms before switching from either vaginal to anal or anal to vaginal sex.

Myth #4 – It Will Literally Be Dirty

While it is possible to get feces particles on his penis or letting loose, it is highly unlikely. “Most waste is sitting in the lower intestine where a finger, sex toy, or penis is not going to reach,” says sex therapist Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. Your rectum only contains small fragments of feces. If you’re worried about getting anything dirty, wash your anus with mild soap and water and/or empty your bowels before having sex. This is another way a condom is useful as well.

Myth #5 – Your Butt Hole Will Stretch Out

Just because you receive anal sex does not mean you’re going to end up with a penis-sized hole. “Tissue is elastic, and the anal sphincter muscles are tightly toned, so unless you are receiving ‘larger than life toys,’ this shouldn’t pose a problem,” explains Dweck. “In fact, please ensure all toys have an easy ‘retrieval’ mechanism, like a string or base. You don’t want to lose toys inside.” It is that tight, which is one reason it feels so great for men to give it.

 

7 Types of Drugs That May Lower Your Sex Drive

7 Types of Drugs That May Lower Your Sex Drive

You’ve likely heard about drugs that can improve the sex drive, but there are actually some medications that can reduce it. Do you find that you’re less interested in sex than you would like to be? The issue might be in your medicine cabinet. Be sure to speak with your doctor about possible alternatives if you think medication may be to blame. Read on to learn about medications that have been known to reduce the libido.

Certain Antidepressants

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft and Prozac improve the mood by raising serotonin, but they can also kill your sex drive. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, which are not used as often these days, can also decrease the libido. There are other options as far as antidepressants go, and your doctor may be able to make adjustments for you. Be sure to ask about your options.

Antihistamines

OTC antihistamines such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine) can ease allergy symptoms, but also affect your sex drive temporarily. The solution may be to carefully time when you take these drugs. “Many of these drugs do not last 24 hours and certainly their side effects don’t,” says Allison Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D. “Antihistamines should be cleared in eight hours in younger and healthier patients.” Antihistamines are also frequently found in combination cough and cold medicines, so be sure to read the label carefully.

Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptives may affect libido because they can lower levels of sex hormones, including testosterone. Speak with your doctor about alternatives if your sex drive is being negatively affected by the pill you’re taking.

Anti-Seizure Drugs

Drugs such as Tegretol that are used for people who have seizures and some people with Bipolar Disorder can reduce sexual desire. These types of drugs prevent impulses from traveling along the nerve cells, which is the issue when it comes to sex drive because an orgasm is similar to a seizure, so medications that dampen nerve impulses can also reduce sensations that bring pleasure.

Medical Marijuana

Marijuana is not approved for medical purposes in every state, but it can have a “significant negative impact both on libido and on ability to perform,” says Dering-Anderson.

Opioids
These can work wonders when it comes to pain relief, but can lower libido as well. Studies show that opioids such as Percocet, Vicodin, and OxyContin can lower testosterone levels, which affects the libido.

Beta Blockers 
Millions of Americans use beta blockers such as metoprolol and propranolol for their heart, but it doesn’t necessarily benefit their sex lives. Fortunately, there are a lot of beta blockers on the market, which lower blood pressure in different ways. Speak with your doctor about finding one that will work for you.

 

Debunked Myths about Emergency Contraceptive Pills

Debunked Myths about Emergency Contraceptive Pills

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), sometimes called “morning after pills” are a highly misunderstood method of birth control.  There are a lot of myths floating around the internet (and in general) that need to be cleared up.  It’s vital to have this information because there are numerous situations that a woman might find herself in that would call for an an ECP.  Here are some common myths, debunked.

ECPs are in limited supply and not easy to obtain.
There are actually many types of ECPs.  Some examples of the most common type (the levonorgestrel-only-pill) are Plan B, Take Action, My Way and Next Choice One-Dose.  You can buy them at your local drugstore, grocery store or online, over-the-counter and without any age restriction. There are some that require prescriptions, too, such as ella.  Just ask your doctor.  It’s also possible to be seen very quickly if you seek help at most walk-in/urgent care facilities.

Taking an ECP is equal to having an abortion.
ECPs are not the same thing as medication abortion pills.  A lot of people seem to think they are, so it’s important that the difference is made clear.  ECPs delay ovulation and prevent pregnancy.  There is not an effect on an existing pregnancy from the pills with levonorgestrel such as Next Choice and Plan B One-Step.  The pills don’t work if a woman has already ovulated.

Taking an ECP will keep you protected for a while.
It’s crucial to remember that ECPs protect against one instance of unprotected sex. Having unprotected sex again will greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant. ECPs are meant to block ovulation for a few days, nothing more.

You shouldn’t bother taking an ECP if you just drank alcohol or took drugs.
If you went out and partied like crazy, an ECP is still going to be effective.  Sure, taking drugs and boozing might not be in your best interest for other reasons, but the benefits of taking an ECP are greater than the risks, for the most part.

Taking ECPS will interfere with fertility.
There isn’t any evidence that this is true.  What would be more worth consideration is the effectiveness of an ECP to prevent pregnancy in general.  ECPs are less effective than other types of birth control such as the pill, ring, patch or IUD.  It’s a good idea to have a discussion with your doctor about your different options.  Hopefully some of the above information will give you a decent head start!

 

Contraception Misconceptions

Contraception Misconceptions

Becoming pregnant unintentionally can cause an extreme amount of stress, and can affect emotional and physical health. There’s a tremendous amount of misinformation out there about birth control. Read on for some of the most common myths about contraception.

I won’t be able to feel pleasure nearly as much if I use a condom.
This is a very popular myth and even those who rank high in the area of sex education tend to fall for it. It’s simply untrue.  One study showed that men felt the same amount of ease where orgasms and erections were concerned, with or without the use of a condom.

The pull-out method is just fine. I won’t get pregnant that way!
It’s very possible to get pregnant, even when the male pulls out before ejaculation.  Why?  Because ejaculate that contains sperm can make its way out before a man has an orgasm…which can lead to pregnancy.

There aren’t any female condoms available.
This might be what many believe, but it’s untrue.  Yes, most marketing is targeted towards men, advertising male condoms, but female condoms are also available.  These condoms have two rings at each end and are inserted into a female’s vagina.

Taking emergency contraceptives will allow me to have unprotected sex in the next 72 hours.
This is not true.  If you take an emergency contraceptive pill you can greatly lower your chance of pregnancy if you take it within 72 hours after sex.  One pill works for one session.

Using two condoms is better than one.
It’s actually less safe to use two condoms, as the friction created by having two can cause them to tear each one apart more easily and break the condoms.

Condoms can be reused if I wash them thoroughly.
Condoms are only meant to be used once.  It doesn’t matter how much you wash one, it’s not reusable. If you absolutely have no access to a new condom, refrain from engaging in sexual intercourse until you can get a new condom.  There are ways to have sex that use body parts other than the penis, so try some of those out.

 

Long-term Hormonal Contraceptives Carry Increased Cancer Risk

Long-term Hormonal Contraceptives Carry Increased Cancer Risk

British scientists have uncovered a disturbing find that those women on long-term hormonal contraceptives, five years or longer, carry an increased risk of glioma—the most common form of brain cancer.

Participants between the ages of 15 and 49 were used in this study, which was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Women all over the world use hormonal contraceptives, making the results of this study far more worrisome.

It is also a tad contradictory. For certain age groups, hormonal contraception can also be cancer protective, other studies have found. Still, there has been some evidence that an increase in female hormones can increase the propensity of developing certain cancers. As for glioma, not much is known on what causes it or its development.

To conduct this study, researchers combed through the national health registries isolating women who developed glioma between 2000 and 2009. 317 cases were found. These were matched against women who did not have brain cancer. What stood out to researchers, these same women with brain cancer were also on hormonal contraceptives.

Dr. David Gaist was the team leader of this study. He hails from Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark. Dr. Gaist said that although they found a statistically significant link “…a risk-benefit evaluation would still favor the use of hormonal contraceptives in eligible users.” Doubtless this study will spur more research and debate, and perhaps even contribute to the development of new and better contraceptive methods.

Are You Really Ready to be Sexually Active?

Are You Really Ready to be Sexually Active?

When it comes to making any decision in life, it’s always best to think it through carefully, and this especially applies when considering whether or not to become sexually active.  In fact, taking the time to ponder on the pros and cons of being sexually active shows a great deal of maturity in a person.

The first thought that should be considered is what the possible consequences — good or bad — are that could occur as a result of choosing to have sex.  Of course some of the positive aspects include sensational feelings of pleasure, the ability to feel really close to someone and even possibly becoming pregnant.  Then again, being close to someone and/or becoming pregnant are not always good things, particularly if the relationship has not been going strong for quite some time.

A few of the negative consequences of having sex include the possibility of contracting an STD, becoming extremely hurt if the relationship ends, and enduring rumors and gossip if the news was to spread that the sexual encounter took place.

Because of the cons, it’s imperative that a couple know each other well before diving into bed together.  Each person’s feelings should be openly discussed, and as always, protection should be used.  The only instance in which it’s okay not to use protection is when both parties know that each other do not have an STD and a pregnancy is not wanted.

It cannot be stressed enough just how pertinent it is to use protection when having sex.  Unless both parties have tested negative for STDs, there’s always the chance that an STD can be contracted.  For women who do not want to become pregnant, using hormonal birth control is an excellent way to prevent pregnancy 99 percent of the time, but still yet, it will not protect against STDs.

To help a person choose whether or not he or she is ready to become sexually active, the following questions should be considered:

  • Have both parties in the relationship discussed their feelings about having sex?
  • Are both parties in agreement that they should or should not have sex?  If a disagreement was to occur, this is a sure indicator that becoming sexually active with one another should not take place.
  • Do both parties know for sure that one another do not have any STDs?
  • Is the thought of becoming sexually active taking place only because of pressure by the other party or friends?  If so, sex should be avoided.
  • Are both parties ready for the emotional attachment that sex brings to a relationship?
  • Are both parties comfortable with being naked in front of each other?
  • Is protection going to be used?  If so, what type(s)?
  • What would happen if a pregnancy was to occur?

Becoming sexually active for the first time only happens once, and it is a crucial decision to make.  You’ll be very happy if you consider it carefully.

Report Shows Funding is Needed to Expand Sexual Health Services

Report Shows Funding is Needed to Expand Sexual Health Services

UN report predicts that if $25 per woman was spent annually on sexual health services, there would be a dramatic decrease in the number of mother and infant deaths that take place each year.  In turn, this would help create families that are healthier and more productive.

The report outlined out there is “a staggering lack of basic sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries.”  This leads to a whopping 225 million women each year who don’t have access to proper contraceptives, and it’s because of this that many of them who are trying to avoid pregnancy do in fact become pregnant.

The report also stated that there are tens of millions of women who don’t have access to basic pregnancy care both during and after pregnancy.  This means neither the women nor their babies are receiving the health care they need to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.

There is good news, though, and it comes from the UNFPA’s executive director, Babatunde Osotimehin, who says” “We know what to do and we know how to do it…These investments save lives, empower women and girls, strengthen health systems and have a profound and lasting impact on development.”

For only $25 a woman per year for those who are between the ages of 15 to 49, the pertinent sexual health services that are needed to provide basic sexual health care to women in developing countries could be offered.  This amount is about twice as much as what is currently being spent.  The services that could be provided through the new spending would include contraceptive advice and services, pregnancy and newborn care, HIV testing, and distribution and administration of medicines

It is believed that unintended pregnancies could be cut by 70 percent if $25 a year was spent on sexual health services for women in developing countries.  And unsafe abortions could be reduced by as much as 74 percent; this alone could almost completely eliminate mother-to-baby HIV transmission.

Although the report itself is covered in numbers that can be hard to understand, at the heart of the report are the people who the funds can help.  This “includes adolescent girls, married or not, who know that pregnancy right now will mean the end of their schooling and, very likely, the end of their dreams for a better life.  And women who have already four, five or six children and know that they cannot afford to bear and raise another one.”