53 Surprising Facts About Your Sexual Health

In this age of technology where so many people have access to information about their bodies, most have quite a bit of knowledge about their bodies and sexual health. Despite this vast pool of information, there are still a few things out there that may not be common knowledge. Read the following list to find a few surprising facts you might not have known about your sexual health.

Women

From leakey urine to sexy thongs to an allergy to sex, find out a few new things about women and their sexual health.

  1. Yeast infection. What you think is a yeast infection might also be a bacteria from an STD or an infection from protozoa. Learn about these forms, as well as causes and treatment for a true yeast infection in this article.
  2. Testosterone. Women’s ovaries produce testosterone throughout their life. If this testosterone is significantly reduced, it can result in a loss of libido, less sensitivity, and less pleasurable orgasms. Experimental testosterone patches in post-menopausal women have shown encouraging results for regaining the loss of sexual feelings.
  3. Dryness. Vaginal dryness can negatively effect the sexual experience for women. Try using a lubricant specifically designed to replicate the natural secretions such as K-Y Silk-E or Astroglide.
  4. Sex allergy. Yes, there really is an allergic reaction some women have to semen. Thankfully, there is a way to treat this disorder which can lead to anaphylaxis in some women. Learn more about this uncommon allergy.
  5. Thongs. While the comfort and loss of panty lines leads many women to love their thongs, there may be a connection between thong wearing and increased chances of urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Due to the fact that the thin strip of material of the thong moves between the areas of the anus and the vagina, fecal matter and bacteria can be easily spread.
  6. Rectovaginal exam. Many women are not accustomed to having a rectal exam during their annual pelvic exam, but this is actually a valuable tool to for feeling the ovaries and for screening for colon cancer. Some practitioners perform rectovaginal exams as a part of the typical pelvic exam while others perform them predominately in women over 40.
  7. Urine leak. That annoying bit of urine that comes out when you cough, sneeze, or laugh too hard can be prevented. Do the same Kegel exercises you were instructed to do while pregnant to prevent this drip.
  8. Dysfunction. Female sexual dysfunction occurs in 43% of women between the ages of 18 and 59. For women who seek help, there is treatment.
  9. Interstitial cystitis. That urinary tract infection that won’t seem to go away may be interstitial cystitis. Also known as painful bladder syndrome, women with this disorder may feel anything from mild discomfort to stabbing pains in the bladder and pelvic area. Physicians are working to find the cause and treatment for this baffling disorder that affects over one million women in America.
  10. Douching. Douching is no longer a recommended practice for women as it tends to wash away the helpful bacteria in the vagina. Just stick with soap and water on your vulva while bathing.

Men

There are plenty of surprising facts for men to learn about their sexual health, too. Ever heard of a fractured penis?

  1. Yeast infection. Yes, men can get yeast infections too. Untreated, male yeast infections can affect reproductive organs and sexual performance. Learn more about this frequently misunderstood condition.
  2. Kegel These exercises have long been known to help women during pregnancy and afterward, but they also help men to improve performance and enhance orgasm. Start doing Kegel exercises today.
  3. Biological clock. Men’s fertility has long been touted as an ageless concept. Studies now show that a man’s ability to reproduce actually goes down after age 35. Additionally, the genetic disorders linked to a woman’s age at time of conception now also applies to men. After age 40, men’s sperm shows more than twice the DNA problems than that of a 20 year old.
  4. "Broken" penis. A man’s erect penis can actually be injured similarly to a broken bone. If while erect, the penis is pushed too forcefully into an object harder than the penis, the result can be a penile fracture that requires immediate medical attention.
  5. Prostate health. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association indicates that frequent ejaculation helps improve prostate health. That’s good news for guys!
  6. Menopause? A male form of menopause called andropause appears to affect some men. Find more information and support in this blog dedicated to andropause.
  7. Retrograde ejaculation. some men have a faulty valve system that allows ejaculate to travel backwards into the urethra. Many times a man will still ejaculate, but upon his next urination, notice his urine is cloudy. Learn more about retrograde ejaculation and fertility issues.
  8. Climax and ejaculation. It might be surprising to learn that for men, climax and ejaculation are not the same thing. Sometimes men can ejaculate without a climax at all or climax before or after ejaculation.
  9. Dysfunction. Male sexual dysfunction occurs in 31% of men between the ages of 18 and 59. Viagra’s use in the treatment for sexual dysfunction may not just be for grandfathers.
  10. Size. It’s good to know that size doesn’t matter. What matters is an attentive and caring lover who can share the experience with his partner.

Breasts: Both Women’s and Men’s

While women’s breasts tend to get most of the focus both from a sexual standpoint as well as a medical one, men also have breasts, and they have health issues too. Find out some facts about breasts in the following list.

  1. Self-exam. The best time for a breast self-examination is the week following a woman’s menstruation. At this time, the normal hormonal changes that can leave your breasts feeling more lumpy are at the most even-keeled.
  2. Hair. Nipple hair on women’s breasts is normal. If you don’t like these stray hairs, just break out the tweezers and remove them.
  3. Extra nipples. Many men and women have one or more extra nipples. They may be confused for moles if you aren’t aware of the possibility of having extra nipples.
  4. Fat. Breasts are made up of fat, collagen, and mammary glands, but as you age, the proportion of fat to the other items changes, leaving your breasts with more fat and more sag. Find a good-fitting bra to help prevent the sag.
  5. Sunburn. Remember that bras, t-shirts, and bathing suits provide only minimal protection against the sun. If you plan to be outside and are applying sunscreen to your arms, shoulders, and chest, don’t forget your breasts as well.
  6. Nipples. The color and shape of your nipples can change with pregnancy. Additionally, it is not uncommon for nipple discharge to occur in women of any age and boys going through puberty.
  7. Genetics. You don’t necessarily inherit your breast size from your mother. Like hair color or height, your breast size may come from either side of the family.
  8. Cancer. Women are not the only ones who can get breast cancer–men do too. Find out the facts about breast cancer occurrence in men.
  9. Paget’s Disease. This is a type of cancer, again occurring in both men and women, that affects the nipple. This type of cancer is easily treatable.
  10. Massage. A professional breast massage has health benefits. According to The Breast Site, massage can "diminish benign breast cysts while helping to flush lymph nodes and stimulating your glandular system."
  11. Different sizes. It is common for women’s breasts to be different sizes. About 50% of women have different sized breasts–some even an entire cup’s difference.

Birth Control

Birth control is one area where no one likes surprises. Find out the facts below and become a more informed and well-protected birth control user.

  1. Pill effectiveness. There is a connection between women with a body mass index of over 27.3 and reduced effectiveness of the pill in those who take it every day. Learn more about the relationship of weight to your birth control pill in this article.
  2. Rhythm method. Charting and following the cycle of your menstrual period as a form of birth control is remarkably effective. Some estimate it at close to 90% while others guess around 75%. If your cycle is more regular, it is easier to use this form of birth control successfully.
  3. Missed pill. Did you know that missing the pill even just two days can reduce the effectiveness enough to cause pregnancy? If you miss a pill two days in a row, use a back-up form of birth control.
  4. Filshie clip. This device is used to clip the fallopian tubes closed in a form of tubal ligation. This form of having a woman’s tubes "tied" can be reversed with a pregnancy success rate of about 76%.
  5. Breastfeeding. While many women do not get pregnant while breastfeeding, it is possible to ovulate prior to getting your period back after childbirth. While breastfeeding is great for your baby, it is not a reliable form of birth control.
  6. Essure. For women who want a permanent form of birth control, Essure is one of the newest ways to take care of this. Read how this less-invasive form of permanent birth control works.
  7. Male pill. The male birth control pill that has been in the works for several years is still another decade away. This blog post offers the facts as well as some interesting speculation on why it’s taking so long.
  8. IUD. Many women have heard that a woman who has not had children cannot use an IUD. This is not true. Some doctors may prefer not to insert an IUD into a woman who has not had children based on the smaller size of her uterus.
  9. Low libido. Some birth control pills can cause a woman to have a loss in her libido. Switching to a different type of birth control pill with a lower hormone level will probably solve this problem.
  10. Condom care. Keeping a condom in your wallet is not a good idea. The friction and temperature changes can create microscopic tears in the condom that allow sperm to get through.
  11. Lambskin. Condoms made of lambskin are effective against pregnancy, but they do not protect you from STIs. If you have a latex allergy, polyurethane condoms are a good alternative. Recent studies show that they are as effective against STIs as latex condoms.

Sexuality

From a surprising second sexual peak to a great reason not to stop having sex, learn about these surprising sexuality facts.

  1. Aging. According to an AARP study, 49% of older couples engage in sexual intercourse once a week or more. That number drops to 34% in those over 70, but it looks like the myth of older couples not enjoying sex is just not true.
  2. Antidepressants. Many people on antidepressants relate how their sex drive is almost eliminated. Most of the medications responsible for the loss of libido are SSRIs. Check with your doctor about taking Wellbutrin, which has been shown to actually increase sex drive in one study.
  3. Don’t stop. Not having sex can have negative effects for when you want to begin again. For women, the elasticity of the vaginal walls breaks down, and for men, the blood flow is inhibited by lack of use. The good news is that if you don’t have a partner, masturbation will help keep everything working in proper order.
  4. Sexual peak. While men reportedly have their sexual peak in their teens or 20s and women in their 30s or 40s, there is also information suggesting that men and women also have a psychological sexual peak that is different from the physical peak more commonly known. For both men and women, the psychological peak occurs in their 50s.
  5. Supplements. Two natural supplements have been used for years to work as a stimulant to the genitalia in men and women. If your libido needs a boost, try damiana (dried leaves from a shrub) or muira puama (dried root and bark from a tree).
  6. Monogamous STIs. Monogamous couples can suddenly discover they have an STI without either one having been unfaithful. Some infections can lie dormant for years and suddenly surface.
  7. Plastic wrap. While using plastic wrap like Saran Wrap for oral sex may be a popular substitute for a dental dam, if you use a microwavable variety, STDs can penetrate through the plastic wrap.
  8. Outercourse. Having sex without intercourse is a safer way to engage in sexual activity if you are not in a monogamous relationship. You can still get STDs while having outercourse, though. Pubic lice, scabies, and genital warts are among them.
  9. Multiple orgasms. A woman having more than one orgasm may serve a reproductive purpose. The contractions of the vagina during orgasm may help to pull the sperm further inside the cervix, thus increasing the chances of fertility.
  10. Headache. This old excuse for not having sex has a new twist. Apparently is is possible to get headaches from having sex. Two types of headaches can occur, one as a result of orgasm and the other from the build-up prior to orgasm.
  11. Cold sores. Cold sores on the mouth are very contagious. Performing oral sex while you have a cold sore on your mouth can very likely give your partner genital herpes.

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