Women’s sexual health can be complicated, and you’ll be required to make many choices throughout your life about birth control, menopause, sex, and general reproductive health. With so much information to learn on a subject that many people find uncomfortable and too intimate to discuss with loved ones, it’s only natural that you won’t have all the facts and might even believe a few mistruths.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be well-informed about your own body. At a minimum, you can lay a solid foundation for intimate knowledge about your sexual health by learning the following facts.
It’s Normal to Experience Orgasm Difficulties
Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are widely-discussed topics, but many women have never heard of female orgasmic disorder. Female orgasmic disorder, also known as anorgasmia, describes a woman’s challenge to reach orgasm. In some cases, women can’t achieve orgasms at all.
There are four well-known orgasmic disorders in women: delayed orgasms, absence of orgasm, fewer orgasms, and less-intense orgasms. When you experience such problems, it’s easy to feel embarrassed and alone, and you might not feel comfortable discussing this information with anyone.
However, don’t be afraid to contact a trusted healthcare provider for advice. They can recommend a wide range of treatment options, depending on the cause, such as hormone therapy, sex therapy, and couples counseling.
Birth Control Doesn’t Necessarily Cause Weight Gain
Many women are dubious about using hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills, vaginal rings, and skin patches. They believe these products cause them to gain weight. However, researchers haven’t yet found a link between particular hormone dosages and weight gain.
According to a research paper, many people put on weight due to fluid retention, increased body fat, or increased muscle tissue. Theoretically, this means that hormonal contraceptives might contribute to weight gain if they result in increased body fat and fluid retention.
However, researchers are struggling to make a connection because women who don’t use hormonal contraceptives also gain weight as they get older. Researchers concluded that it was unlikely that hormonal contraceptives could cause significant weight gain, but they couldn’t rule out at least a small possibility.
You Should Get Tested for STDs
You might not think that you should get tested for sexually transmitted diseases because you’re in a trusting relationship with one person. However, there’s no harm in having tests performed as part of your regular health checkups.
It doesn’t matter how much you trust your partner, some sexually transmitted diseases are symptomless. This means that whether you’re faithful or not, they or you might have already had an STD before entering into your current relationship.
Human papillomavirus, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are among the most common STDs that don’t always present with obvious symptoms. By undertaking regular tests, you can become aware of any possible infections requiring treatment and inform anyone needing to get tested.
Your Uterus Can Gather Sperm
Many women experience pulsation feelings during orgasm that might feel like nerves or tingling. Those pulsations are actually caused by the uterus trying to collect semen to enhance fertility. Round ligaments connected to the labia majora move the uterus back and forward during orgasm to help the cervix gather up any semen that might have become ‘lost’ in the back of the vagina.
You Don’t Have to Put Up With Pain
It’s not uncommon to experience pain during sex. Many women do and for a raft of different reasons. However, even if you’ve been putting up with pain and discomfort for a long time, that doesn’t mean sex must be a painful and unenjoyable experience. You simply have to identify the cause and develop a solution, either on your own or with the help of experts.
One of the most common causes of pain during sex relates to the cervix. Some sexual positions can cause your partner to knock against your cervix, resulting in momentary discomfort. Changing positions might be able to rectify this issue, along with open and honest communication about the positions you like, dislike, and are most comfortable with.
Pain during sex can also relate to medical conditions like endometriosis and the use of contraceptives. If you’re experiencing pain you can’t identify or rectify, don’t be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider.
Many Factors Can Affect Your Sexual Experiences
Some people are entirely in-tune with their sexual health. They know what they like, don’t like, and feel entirely comfortable with their bodies and their sexual partners. However, that’s not everyone’s experience.
Your physical, psychological, and social health can all contribute to the success of your sexual experiences. For example, cultural influences might impact how you see your sexual identity and beliefs about where you engage in sex and who you choose as your sexual partner. Your psychological health, such as your self-esteem, mood, and mental health conditions, might also impact your libido and how frequently you engage in sex.
Vaginal Dryness Is Common
Many women can be embarrassed about purchasing lubricant products, especially as the female body can produce its own. However, a multitude of different things can cause vaginal dryness, leading to pain during sex, urination, exercise, and sometimes, even sitting.
It’s most commonly experienced after menopause when estrogen levels drop and the vaginal walls become thin and dry. However, studies show that at least 17% of women aged 18 to 50 report vaginal dryness during sex, even before menopause. After menopause, that number increases to more than half. A number of factors can contribute, aside from menopause, including:
- Cancer treatment
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Ovary removal
- Specific medications
- The use of particular sprays and wash products
If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness, talk to your local healthcare provider. They might be able to recommend several medications and treatment options, such as lubricants and low-dose estrogen creams and rings.
We all deserve to be in the driver’s seat of our own bodies. Becoming more familiar with your sexual health can be important for feeling confident in your own skin and understanding your version of ‘normal.’ The more you know about your hormones, sexual desires, and body, the easier it might be to know what you need at any given moment to take care of your mental, physical, and sexual health.