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November 2016

Trampoline worthy pelvic floor
Featured, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Orgasms, Your Body

Kick It With The Kegels: Better Orgasms With A Toned Up Pelvic Floor

So you’ve been scratching your head for months now, wondering just what the @#7*! is this ‘core’ that your hot, bouncy Pilates instructor has been enthusing about …so buckle up kids and let’s find out a little bit more about the pelvic floor! Your pelvic floor (PF) is the group of muscles that supports your spine, bladder and bowel and, for women, it also holds in some important lady bits, like the uterus (womb). That’s right; both men and women have a big, fat PF. Awesome!

But, what’s even more awesome about your PF, is that if you spend time maintaining and developing that area, not only is it important to your body alignment , ‘structural integrity’ (captain) and ability to hold your wee,  but it can also lead to some mind blowing orgasms! Now we’re talking.

A good PF can boost sexual sensations, improve men’s erectile function (help you get it up and keep it up) and give you greater orgasmic control, potential and strength.  Wow!

So, now I have your attention, what’s the key to a PF as taut and supple as that trampoline that post-natal mums eye off so nervously??

It’s simple. Get your Kegels on and boost that booty!

Kick It With The Kegels

You’ve probably heard of Kegels or pelvic floor exercises, but are unsure about how to do them.  Here’s a simple how-to:

1)      Find your PF muscles.

This is easy and you should only need to do it the once. Go for a wee and stop your pee mid- flow.  Ta-da! You’ve just used your PF muscles.

(Don’t make a habit of using your PF muscles to stop your wee though, as this can weaken you PF and even cause infections)

2)      Now squeeze. And hold. Then reeelease.

Squeeze those PF muscles you’ve just identified, hold them and then release. Make sure you release all the way. Oh and breeeeatthhheeee.

3)      Repeat.

If you’re still unsure go and see a physiotherapist and they will help you to identify and exercise those pesky PF’s in no time at all.

There are also all sorts of devices that can help out too.

Boost Your Booty

If you’re going to work on the pelvic floor you are also going to have to work on your butt! And who doesn’t love a pert behind?  Strong glutes (butt muscles) will stretch the PF from a dilapidated hammock to a springy-sproingy trampoline of luuurrrveee.

Here’s how:

1)      Squat.

The squat is just about the most natural way to plump those pillows. Just check out any toddler and watch them get down to it, voila, there you have it – the most prefect squat position. No need for any fancy pants gym equipment or weights.  And as an added sexy bonus, squatting opens up the hips and groin too – awesome for that weekend Karma Sutra ‘sesh’ of spine-tingling, pretzel-like sex positions you’ve got planned!

2)      Stair climbing.

Skip the lift and take the stairs..and boost your bedroom bliss!

3)      Walk.

Walk tall and walk proud, you’re working your way towards that stronger, harder butt and orgasm.

 

Need more specific help? Check out our article “How To Activate Your Pelvic Floor Properly” 

When Sex Hurts
Featured, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Your Body

Does Sex Hurt? When You Should Consult A Doctor

Fire In Your Loins

Hopefully when we talk about the fire in our loins we are referring to the heat of our sexual fervour. But for some the flames of desire are being dampened by a burning that has nothing to do with smouldering passions.

The fire in your loins can become something very different to the heat of sexual passion.

Vaginal pain (Colpalgia) or vulval pain (Vulvodynia) can lead to some unpleasant bedroom experiences, such as the “Jesus, hell fire, where do you think you are going with that ?!!” type of  painful penetrative intercourse (Dyspareunia).  The pain can be caused by penile/finger/toy entry into the opening of the vagina or ‘deep’ thrusting during intercourse. It can be an aching, burning, stinging or throbbing sensation.

Suffering In Silence

 Unfortunately it’s very difficult to estimate the prevalence of dyspareunia within the general population because most women that experience it do not report it; they literally grin and bare it (a.k.a.  The ‘lay back and think of England’ approach) or simply abstain from any of ‘that sort of thing’. But what we do know is that for the 10-20% of women that do experience pain in the vajayjay, it can have a devastating impact upon their relationships and quality of life. Nobody likes it when our beaver is bothered.

Why Your Foo-Foo May No Longer Be Your Friend

There is usually an underlying medical condition for vulval or vaginal pain and it may even be associated with psychological issues (depression, issues with sexual identity or previous trauma). However, just to be clear I’m going to flagrantly capitalise – POONANI PAIN IS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD!!!!

There are many reasons that your foo-foo may not be feeling too jiggy:

  • Insufficient lube

When the love juices aren’t flowing, or haven’t had enough time to get going, then pain can be created during intercourse.

Vaginal dryness can also be caused by certain medications, such as anti-depressants, anti-histamines, high blood pressure medications, sedatives and some birth control pills.

Vaginal atrophy (when your vaginal walls thin and become inflamed because of low oestrogen in your body) is another cause of your chuff experiencing desert like aridity. This can occur during menopause or when breastfeeding. Also unlike its name suggests,  vaginal atrophy does not mean the old girl has packed her bags and is leaving for good, there is still light at the end for this tunnel.

  • Vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), which is caused by an irritation or infection. The common symptoms of Vaginitis are vaginal discharge, itching, redness, swelling and pain.

Your lady bits are sensitive little beasts and they may become inflamed or react to antibiotics or other medications, scented ‘hygiene’ or menstrual products, tight clothing, condoms, spermicides, lubricants or even semen. Yep, she’s that fussy – and why shouldn’t she be??

Anyone that encourages you to douche your little flower with natural flora and fauna napalming, pH unbalancing chemicals and perfumes is, well, a douche.  Treat your beast with care.

Infections such as vaginal candidiasis (a yeast infection, commonly called ‘thrush’), Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and trichomoniasis (‘Trich’) can also be the cause of vaginitis.

  • Hormonal changes

As mentioned before our poonanis are pretty delicate flowers – hormonal imbalances or changes (e.g. during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, menopause – jeez pretty much every life cycle milestone) can lead to sensitivity.

  • Previous trauma or surgery

Nerve damage can occur during various activities where our beaver may have taken a bit of a bashing, such as cycling, horse-riding, aggressive or rough penetrative intercourse or during childbirth.  Genital surgery can also be the cause of chronic or recurrent pain.

A previous history of sexual abuse may have its physical and psychological aftermath for the survivor.  It’s important to recognise that a sexual problem is often more than just examining the physical body part. We are more than a sum of body parts. In order to get to the root of vulval pain we may have to look at the body, its parts and the feelings and emotions connected to them.

  • Abnormal growths or cysts

How Your Honey Pot Can Heal

Sexual pain can impact upon your current relationship or prevent you from engaging in a new one – it can have detrimental effects upon our sense of self, how we feel about our body and sexuality and even our self-esteem and confidence.

In some cases dyspareunia can lead to vaginismus, where the body and subconscious mind anticipates pain and will tighten the pelvic floor or cause muscular spasms to resist intercourse.  So doing something about your poonani pain can be very important, before further issues arise.

We all deserve to have a rich and pleasurable sexual life, so if we choose to engage in penetrative sex, with our partner (s), ourselves or our toys there are treatments that can help manage the pain.

Self-help

  • Engage in plenty of foreplay and outercourse
  • Ensure you are at a high level of personal arousal before engaging in penetrative intercourse
  • Try ladies-on-top positions and guide in any fingers, toys or penises
  • Communicate with your lover(s) about your level of comfort
  • Use plenty of an organic, water-based personal lubricant and moisturiser when engaging in some love play (e.g. Yes!)
  • Rinse the area in cool water, particularly after urination or sex
  • Soak in a bath
  • Apply icepacks wrapped in towels, cool compresses or use heat pads (just not too hot!!)
  • Use unscented tissues and body products
  • Wear organic bamboo or cotton underwear
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes or underwear
  • Avoid pools/tubs or spas with heavily chlorinated water
  • Keep your vulvar clean and dry (i.e. when wiping after the toilet wipe from front to back)
  • Maintain a healthy diet and keep your gut happy with plenty of pre and probiotics

Professional  Poonani Pampering

Seeking help from a range of professionals (gynaecologists, physiotherapists, sexual health professional and sex therapists) can be very beneficial and your twinkle with thank you.

Counselling and sex therapy will incorporate assessment, education, goal setting, and relaxation techniques, identify underlying personal or relationship issues and offer you the necessary tools to resolve these issues. They may give you homework exercises too so that you can hone your skills in the privacy of your own home.

 – Physiotherapists specialised in women’s sexual health can perform a full examination, including musculoskeletal, vulval and pelvic floor examinations. They can offer therapy that is both hands on (e.g. trigger point massage in the pelvic area and transvaginally or using biofeedback) and educational (e.g. teaching you to engage and relax your pelvic muscles).

– Health care professionals (GP’s, gynaecologists, and sexual health practitioners) can rule out any underlying infections or health issues. They can also prescribe medications such as anti-fungals, local anaesthetics, oestrogen creams, antidepressants or nerve blockers. They even may refer you to a surgeon if a more radical approach as a last resort is required.

Alternative health care professionals (acupuncturist, naturopath) can offer treatment or advice that compliments more traditional approaches.

Image credit: © Sergey Nivens – Fotolia.com

Featured, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Relationships

Enjoying Your Sexuality While Breastfeeding

Your relationship with your breasts while breastfeeding is likely to have radically changed; previously there just for your entertainment and to make your clothes fit. Well, now they are working girls with a new agenda.

A breastfeeding mother may experience all or some of the following: leaking, pain, feeling over exposed and touched out, have an overflowing bra before a feed and look like a day old balloon after, but most of all, a new found reverence and appreciation for your breasts.

You are feeding and bonding with your child using your breasts; creating a closeness that is not easily matched in any other human interaction.

We should probably talk about your boobs

In the early days, your breasts may be a no-go zone during sex. They also may like to join in with a little spraying action once the oxytocin starts flowing. As a fan of ejaculate play, I thought that it was great to be on the other side of the equation.

Plus, its hilarious. The most important thing to know is it’s normal. Feeling sexual about your breasts while breastfeeding may be difficult for some mothers. I have found that treating my breasts like my vulva has helped; instead of being part of the foreplay, a no touchy policy until I am really tuned on has reintroduced me to the pleasures of boob play.

They always know!

Why is it that your breastfed cherub can be deep into the land of slumber and normally sleep through the neighbour’s leaf blower, but the slightest nookie noise and they are wide awake? Is it some kind of inbuilt sibling prevention system? I am sorry, I don’t have a solution for this one, just commiserations.

Sneaking Around Like a Horny Teenager?

So you may be having sex with a sock in your mouth, but that doesn’t mean you have to also be in the back of the car, unless a role play of a time with less responsibilities is helping you get in the mood. Often a couple will lose their shared sleeping/sex space to their frequently waking boobie monster on a permanent or part-time basis.

If possible, making a space that the kids can’t go, that is reasonably tidy and has your sex tools close at hand, can make getting your jiggy on that a bit easier during a typically sex-starved time.

My Grandma’s sewing machine inside the play pen brings to mind a possible solution. You really haven’t lived until you have opened your bleary eyes to your toddler painting the wall with your lube left out from the night before.

Coping with a Lower Sex Drive

Lower sex drive during breastfeeding is a biological reality for many women and one of the reasons it’s so important for couples to have a great sex life with themselves. Partner assisted masturbation is a wonderful option while your sex drive is on holiday. If your sex drive is still low after a year or two of breastfeeding, it may be worthwhile checking out the other factors that contribute to a low libido with a health professional.

Estrogen Wherefore Art Thou?

Breastfeeding suppresses estrogen production, which can result in vaginal dryness and irregular ovulation, even if you are regularly menstruating. While most women can deal with this with liberal use of a good lubricant and diligent foreplay, for some breastfeeding mothers low-estrogen can have a more serious impact.

Experiencing pain, bleeding after sex, tightness and irritation may be an indication of vaginal atrophy. Atrophic vaginitis, is the thinning, drying, and tightening of the vulva caused by low-estrogen and reduced blood flow to the vulva (read: not enough sex).

It can become a vicious cycle of painful sex leading to less sex which results in further atrophy. Many health professionals will not consider this diagnosis for women decades away from menopause despite it being a common condition for breastfeeding women.

It is important to be persistent with your provider if they keep fobbing you off with “use more lube” when you have already tried the entire selection at your local sex shop and you still have an unhappy vagina. This is a treatable condition with topical estrogen and more sex. That’s right, more orgasms is just what the doctor ordered.