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orgasm

Intercourse Shouldn’t be Painful

Although the typical female response to sexual arousal is for the vagina to produce a liquid that moistens the area, it should not be taken for granted that our bodies always do what we want them to do. When sufficient lubrication is not produced, often times, in an intimate situation, despite her state of arousal, a woman will suffer from painful intercourse (also known as dyspareunia) due to insufficient lubrication. Dyspareunia is defined as painful sexual intercourse persistent or recurrent genital pain before, during, or after intercourse.

There are a few reasons why a woman might suffer from dyspareunia. Physiologically speaking, the body naturally lubricates the vaginal area. However, decrease in estrogen, the reproductive hormone, often leads to the decrease in lubrication of the vagina. As estrogen dwindles, as it does with childbirth, breastfeeding, menopause or due to certain medical conditions/treatments, the vagina feels the effects. Dryness, laxity, and other symptoms can result in pain during or after penetration, as well as a burning, throbbing, and an itching sensation.Pleasurable sex is not a natural law that comes with the territory. Many women have to work hard for it. In fact, over 40% of women have reported that they suffer from (or have suffered from) painful intercourse. That’s 40% too many! Pain during sex is not, and should not be just par for the course. There are treatments out there to help women, physically and psychologically overcome the pain and distress that sexual intercourse is causing. Some of the options out there include: diVa Laser Treatment, the O-Shot, pelvic floor therapy, and counselling. Most often, the recommendation pairs two (or more) therapies together for optimal results.

Because the cause of dyspareunia is varied and the degree of pain falls on a spectrum (some women feel pain from inserting a tampon, while others can begin to have sexual intercourse only to run dry within a few minutes), the treatments we offer are best prescribed case-by-case.

Let’s look at diVa laser therapy and consider some of the benefits:

  • Increased lubrication and sensation during intercourse
  • Tightened vaginal canal
  • Enhances ability to reach orgasm
  • Improved control over urinary incontinence
  • Significant improvement in confidence and quality of life

Does sexual intercourse hurt? Do you feel like your body is failing you? Is it taking a toll on your overall emotional and sexual health? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, it’s time to pick up the phone or start typing that email. Yes, talking about sex can be difficult, but leave it to us professionals to make sure you feel comfortable so we can sort out whatever issue you may have… contact us and you’ll be one step closer to a healthier (and more pleasurable) sex life!

Lori.

What is Sex Therapy Anyway?

Sex therapy has been around for decades, helping women, men, and couples learn how to navigate the huge topic of sex and sexual wellness. I’ve come to understand that most people have limited knowledge about sex therapy and most of what they’ve gathered comes from movies or social media. Unlike the quasi-sex therapist from Meet the Fockers (think Barbara Streisand), sex therapy is not about touching, nudity, and tips and tricks to spice up your sex life. Sex therapy is a legitimate form of psychotherapy whereby the patient(s) seek the help of a health professional to overcome sexual problems or improve sexual feelings and resolve any intimacy issues they may have.

There are a number of reasons why one would seek the counselling of a sex therapist, and in my field, more often than not, I recommend counselling (specifically with a sex therapist) to my patients – here’s why:

As humans, we have multiple systems working in tandem at all times. To treat one aspect or one (dys)function in an isolated manner would be to disregard the human as a whole person. Sounds simple, but the interdisciplinary approach to medicine is a wave that hasn’t fully caught on worldwide, although, it is my belief that the wave is coming and it will be tidal.

We are holistic beings and I treat my patients as such. That means that if a man should come in suffering from erectile dysfunction, I might treat with Shockwave Therapy, Testosterone Replacement Therapy or the experimental P-Shot, but I will almost certainly recommend counselling as well. Whether the premature ejaculation stems from a physical issue or has a psychological origin, physical inevitably seeps into the psychological and the other way around. It’s the basic nature of a mind / body connection; it’s how each pone of us functions on a very fundamental level.

Sex therapy is a great treatment option for those suffering from a plethora of sex concerns, such as:

  • Concerns about sexual desire
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculating early (premature ejaculation)
  • Difficulty with sexual arousal
  • Body image
  • Anxiety
  • Menopause
  • Trouble reaching orgasm (anorgasmia)
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Intimacy issues related to a disability or chronic condition
  • Conflicts with partners about sexual needs, desires, frequency or specific sexual activities

Not limited to the list above, sex therapy is also a forum for people to talk openly and confidentially about any concerns or questions they may have about sex, their sexual lifestyle, and overall sexual wellbeing. You might not have an identifiable physical issue, but might still be interested in sex therapy, because here’s another thing – sex is a part of our lives and it is important that we understand what it means to us and why. There is a strong interaction between thoughts, feelings, social/cultural factors, behaviours, and biological components. By unpacking each one of these five points, a sex therapist will help you identify your values, your beliefs, and your ideas of what sex is as opposed to what you might have previously though sex should be. That is the first step toward a healthier sexual wellness.

There are many benefits to sex therapy. A few notable goals include:

  • Achieving a healthy sexual life
  • Reducing anxiety associated with sexual activity
  • Learning new skills and healthier ways of approaching sex
  • Feeling in control of one’s sexuality and regaining confidence
  • Learning concrete strategies for managing uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and harmful behaviours that are impacting sex
  • Minimizing pain during intercourse

By understanding and dismantling old attitudes and habits that get in the way of enjoyable sex, sex therapy will help you establish new beliefs that reflect your values so that you can increase sexual arousal, feel less anxious and more comfortable about sex, and ultimately help lead a better, healthier, sexual life. If you aren’t sure sex therapy is for you, call or email to learn more. Put it to you this way, the first step is easy, all you have to do is start talking.

Dr. Steinberg

What is Anorgasmia?

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Reaching orgasm might seem like a logical conclusion to sexual activity. However, it shouldn’t be taken for granted that an orgasm just happens. For some, waiting for that orgasm to happen feels like an impossible dream. Whether it’s lifelong, acquired or situational, if you are experiencing difficulty reaching an orgasm, your sex life can feel compromised.

More common than one might think, anorgasmia—the medical term for difficulty reaching orgasm—affects about 10-15% of women. It could feel quite frustrating if you are experiencing this sexual dysfunction, but the truth is there are a wide array of treatments available. Despair not, once you’ve seen a doctor and the cause has been established, you can be well on your way to reaching a (hopefully, mind-blowing) orgasm.

Symptoms of anorgasmia range from long delays to complete incapacity in reaching climax. If you take the time to sit back and think about what is required in order to achieve orgasm, it is actually a more challenging task than one might believe. A combination of sexual arousal, complete relaxation, ease and comfort with yourself or your partner, as well as a few other psychological or emotional factors all work in tandem to bring you to that climactic moment of your sexual activity. It is not just some stroke of luck that your body can take you to that euphoric state… it’s actually hard work for some women (and men)! It’s important to not feel ashamed or stigmatized about your body, and for most, releasing that negativity is the first step toward letting go and feeling comfortable having your body take the lead.

Maintaining your overall sexual wellness is a vital part in overcoming anorgasmia. First and foremost, getting to the root of the issue is a fundamental step that you and your doctor will work on together so as to properly assess the situation and treat it accordingly. For some, the correlation is straightforward, as anorgasmia can be linked to physical, emotional, and psychological factors, like the ones listed below:

Physical factors can include:

  • Illness (diabetes, for example)
  • Aging (low estrogen levels, loss of natural lubrication in the vagina)
  • Medical treatments (such as hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or cancer surgeries)
  • Other sexual dysfunctions (vaginal dryness, dyspareunia)
  • Alcohol abuse

Emotional / Relationship factors can include:

  • Poor communication
  • Relationship conflicts, resentment toward partner
  • Lack of connection with partner
  • Domestic violence or abuse

Psychological factors can include:

  • Stress
  • Past sexual, physical, emotional abuse
  • Negative self-image, embarrassment
  • Cultural/ religious beliefs related to sexuality
  • Mental health conditions (such as depression and anxiety)

The medical field has made great strides in coming up with effective treatments for anorgasmia. From prescription medicine to sex therapy, the range is wide and the options varied. Two treatments that we practice at Elna Sexual Wellness, the O-Shot and diVa Laser Therapy, encourage a more optimized sexual experience by stimulating tissue regeneration around the clitoral and vaginal areas, as well as provide more lubrication to the genital area, which can in turn reduce painful intercourse. Whether it’s a conversation with a counsellor or a non-invasive shot, sometimes, restoring sexual performance just requires that you to take the first step… calling your doctor. Yes, it can be that easy.

Lori

What’s the O-Shot All About?

It’s been around for a while, but more and more women are finally catching on to the major benefits of, drumroll please… the O-Shot. Ground-breaking in its field, the O-Shot provides everything from easier arousal and increased lubrication to much needed relief from urinary incontinence.

It was only a matter of time until science and technology caught up to the sexual revolution. It took a few decades, but the O-Shot is here to stay. Taking a look at a woman’s relationship with sex, the O-Shot responds to many of the common problems women face and seeks to restore sexual function so women can enjoy sexual activity (pain-free!).

 

How does it work?

The O-Shot, also called the “orgasm shot,” delivers regeneration cells that immediately revitalize muscle, tissue and nerves. To alleviate female sexual dysfunction (and increase bladder control), the O-Shot begins with a simple blood extraction consisting of PRP (platelet-rich plasma), which is then injected back into the vaginal area, to increase blood flow, reawaken or stimulate sexual function. A natural solution and highly effective treatment, the O-Shot has multiple benefits, including:

  • Increased sexual desire
  • Improved or resolved urinary incontinence
  • Increased vaginal sensitivity and pleasure
  • Increased natural lubrication
  • Decreased pain during intercourse
  • Increased ability to have a vaginal orgasm

There are a number of ways to treat weakened muscles (like the ones that support the bladder), for example, Kegel exercises (pelvic floor physical therapy), bladder training, and surgery. But another simple, and non-invasive technique used widely is the O-Shot.

If you suffer from urinary incontinence or are experiencing any form of sexual discomfort or dysfunction, consider discussing your options with Elna Sexual Wellness. At the very least, you’ll learn something new!

 

Lori

Premature Ejaculation: You Can Have Control

You’re in bed with your partner and you’re getting intimate. Sexual intercourse begins and before you can control it, you’ve finished. You lay there, beside your partner and begin spiralling down the rabbit hole with negative thoughts about what is wrong with you. You’re embarrassed and your anxiety about your performance takes over. Sound familiar?

Many men suffer from what is known as Premature Ejaculation. But, just to be clear, premature ejaculation is not defined by the speed in which you finish, but rather whether you finished when you desired to. Being in control of your ejaculation is a more precise definition of what we, in the medical field, call Premature Ejaculation (PE).

Although many men have been known to finish too quickly, there are a large set of factors that distinguish a one-time occurrence from frequent PE. If you ejaculate sooner than you’d like to during sexual intercourse, and this is happening more often than that one time you got too drunk or went a long time without ejaculating, then it’s probably time to see a doctor to figure out what’s going on.

When it comes to premature ejaculation, there is always the possibility that psychological factors (poor body image, depression, relationship issues, and so on), are working in tandem with the physiological causes (abnormal hormone levels, abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra, and so on). By understanding the full spectrum of the disease, you will be able to begin treating the issue so that sexual intimacy can be improved.

By sitting down with men or couples (depending on the situation), we try to learn where the problem is stemming from. There can be a host of variables that are playing a role in your sexual experiences, by knowing all of the symptoms and how the disease is affecting you (and your relationship), we can better prescribe a course of action that will help you gain control of your ejaculatory function.

We will often recommend sex therapy for patients suffering from premature ejaculation. Counselling is vital for so many reasons, but the main one is whether your premature ejaculation is caused from psychological issues or not, once a man starts to experience PE, anxiety settles in fairly quickly thereafter. Anticipating frustration or shame, or feeling embarrassed about ejaculating prematurely is common and can exacerbate the issue. Talking through the stress of performance can dissipate the anxiety that goes along with it.

In the realm of medication, we typically prescribe anti-depressants (like Paxil, for example) which can help delay ejaculation. We could also explore numbing ointments (such as EMLA cream) in the realm of topical medication. EMLA is rubbed onto the head of the penis approximately 30 minutes prior to sexual activity. There are also a variety of behavioural changes or techniques you could try to help delay ejaculation. These can all be discussed with a counsellor or doctor.

Sexual experiences should not bring on stress, and anticipating ejaculating before desired is no fun for anyone. You can improve your overall sexual wellness by seeking help. It’s that easy. You just need to #HaveTheBallsToTalkAboutIt.

Dr. Steinberg

The Orgasm Gap

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You may have heard of things like the pay gap or age gap, but what you might not have heard of is a little thing called the Orgasm Gap.

Let’s rewind a few decades, way back to the 1960s when the sexual revolution was at its core. The idea of sex being a taboo topic was being challenged in hopes of celebrating the act as a part of normal life. Talking about sex and liberating it from it from the repressive state it was in for so long was quite the feat for the 60s. So much changed for women because of the fight they put up. Take contraception for example, that’s a notion that is so common in this day and age, it’s crazy to think that at one point it was against the law. But, despite the road that was paved by our foremothers, one major inequality remains to this day: equal pleasure.

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Today, sexual education is part of school curriculums as early as Kindergarten. Children are taught about their reproductive organs and the mechanics of sex. But, what about the pleasure aspect of it all? By not describing potential sensations, encouraging self-exploration, and being given the tools to speak to your partner about intimate issues, then sex is not an act people engage in for fun, rather it becomes something more results-oriented. See where we’re going with this? Here’s the thing, as long as pleasure is left out of the conversation, then sex is being misrepresented as being an act exclusive to reproduction. You know what that means?

Think about it. Go through the motions in your head. If sex is for reproduction, then who is the one who orgasms? That’s right. The man. Well, there you have it. The Orgasm Gap.

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The Orgasm Gap refers to men having more orgasms than women in heterosexual encounters (yes, heterosexual, because funny enough, in lesbian sexual encounters, the gap is not quite so big). Culturally, the importance of women “finishing” or feeling pleasure is considered less important than a man reaching the finish line. But why?

A lot of factors play key roles in why a woman’s pleasure is less sought after than a man’s:

  • Sex for reproduction
  • Feeling self-conscious
  • Lack of communication between partners
  • Insufficient clitoral stimulation
  • Not feeling entitled to feeling pleasure

When referring to sexual intercourse, we immediately connect the idea to penetrative sex. However, most women do not reach climax through penetration. Mislabeling clitoral stimulation as “foreplay” is part of the problem, because as long as we think of a woman’s orgasm as the pre-act, the less likely the woman will ever reach an orgasm. Very few women are able to reach orgasm through penetration, unlike what is represented in the media. Most women can achieve orgasm through masturbation, but again, this can make a woman feel uncomfortable during the act… to reach down and take care of herself evokes a take-charge kind of woman. But it shouldn’t.

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In the wake of #MeToo, women of 2019 are picking up where our 60s sisters left off. The Orgasm Gap is just one more challenge to take on. A reflection of today’s woman, roaring, empowered, justice-seeking, the Orgasm Gap is going to be squeezed tight.

Equal pay? Working on it.

#BelieveWomen? We do.

Eternal search for the missing orgasm… On our way!

Lori