Feeling Broken?

NOTE: This post may be fun and informative BUT it may also offend some. If you are sensitive about very grown-up subjects, please avoid this post.

Many female FM sufferers have reported also suffering from Vaginismus. Vaginismus is defined as involuntary spasm/contraction/reflex of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina, making penetration impossible and/or painful, which causes personal and/or relationship distress.

It is a very serious subject (so, please note, I am not making fun of the condition); however, I found this cartoon which deals with the subject a little more lightly.

2016-01-05-Vaginismus

Untitled

Another Uncomfortable Subject

Millions of women suffer from an unexplained vulva pain so severe, known as vulvodynia, it can make intercourse, exercise and even sitting unbearable.

Vulvodynia, also known as vulvar dysesthesia, literally means pain, or an unpleasant altered sensation, in the vulva. It is characterized by itching, burning, stinging or stabbing in the area around the opening of the vagina. Pain may be unprovoked, varying from constant to intermittent; or occur only on provocation such as attempted vaginal penetration with sexual intercourse.

Symptoms may range from mildly irritating to completely disabling. While a distinct area of redness might be visible, often the vulva and the vagina show no abnormalities or infections on gynecological and/or dermatological evaluation. Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware that these conditions even exist, and may mistakenly suggest to patients that this is a psychological condition. It is common for women with vulvodynia to suffer for many years and see many doctors before being correctly diagnosed.

According to a new University of Michigan Health System study, women with this painful condition are two to three times more likely to also have one or more other chronic pain conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, FM and interstitial cystitis (bladder pain),.

These increasingly prevalent chronic pain conditions are known to be underdiagnosed – and the new data sheds more light on how they may also be related, according the University of Michigan Health System study that was published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“Millions of people in the U.S. have chronic pain. This report stresses the need to further study relationships between these types of disorders to help understand common patterns and shared features,” says lead author Barbara D. Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School, who used data from the six-month follow-up survey of the Michigan Woman to Woman study, a population-based cohort of 2,500 adult women in southeast Michigan.

“Chronic pain conditions like these can seriously hamper quality of life and it’s imperative that we understand the commonality among them. Results we see in any studies related to one of the conditions, such as regarding etiology, physiology, or treatment, may be relevant to any of others.”

Other studies show that chronic pain conditions are much more prevalent than previously estimated, and there has finally been growing interest in understanding the patterns of co-morbidity.

“Women who have these disorders often see physicians but are not given a diagnosis or are given an erroneous diagnosis and continue to suffer without being treated properly,” Reed says. “Until their symptoms have a name, it can be really discouraging because patients begin thinking it’s all in their head.

Sound familiar?

Chronic pain is, at long last, starting to get a lot more attention, with more research being done on all of these disorders, as well as combinations of these disorders. As such, the identification and treatment of these conditions will/should continue to improve.

 

The Sleeping (Mass) Debate

I was sent an article about older women (although I have no idea by what is meant by older: is it older than 18? 30? 40? 50?). I had a read, then did some further research.

So now, I have found a treatment, as old as time, which may help those of us with sleep problems: masturbation!

Sexual climax (of any kind) leaves one in a relaxed and contented state. This is often followed closely by drowsiness and sleep – particularly when one masturbates in bed. Ta-Da! Problem solved!

***If you do not approve of masturbation, please do NOT continue reading***

Matched with male masturbation, female masturbation is considerably less common: 90 per cent of the total male population compared to 65% of the total female population masturbate from time to time. There are many benefits linked to masturbation, in general.

General Benefits

Masturbation has been shown to relieve depression and lead to a higher sense of self-esteem.

Masturbation may even be considered a cardiovascular workout. Though research remains scant, those suffering from cardiovascular disorders should resume physical activity (including sexual intercourse and masturbation) gradually and with the frequency and rigor which their physical status will allow. This limitation may also serve as encouragement to follow through with physical therapy sessions to help improve endurance.

Benefits for Men

In 2003, an Australian research team led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Australia found that males masturbating frequently had a lower probability of developing prostate cancer. Men who averaged five or more ejaculations weekly in their 20s had significantly lower risk! However they could not show a direct causation. The study also indicated that increased ejaculation through masturbation rather than intercourse would be more helpful as intercourse is associated with diseases (STDs) that may increase the risk of cancer instead.

However, this benefit may be age related. A 2008 study concluded that frequent ejaculation between the ages of 20 and 40 may be correlated with higher risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, frequent ejaculation in one’s 50s was found to be correlated with a lower such risk in this same study.

A 2008 study at Tabriz Medical University found ejaculation reduces swollen nasal blood vessels, freeing the airway for normal breathing. The mechanism is through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and is long-lasting. The study author suggests a male can masturbate to alleviate the congestion and can adjust the number of ejaculations depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Benefits for Women

As you age, your body undergoes normal physical changes that may affect your sex life. The good news is that all these changes aren’t bad: ageing can have positive effects on sexuality. Some women, for instance, report feeling the freedom to enjoy sex more as they get older and don’t have birth control issues to contend with. Other women, however, experience emotional or physical changes that can make sex less enjoyable.

Practicing masturbation techniques can help remedy some of the problems experienced by women as they grow older. As a woman ages, her vagina becomes shorter and more narrow. In addition, without regular supplies of estrogen, the walls of the vagina can become thin and stiff. For this reason, it is common to experience vaginal dryness, or a lack of natural vaginal lubrication (wetness), as you get older. Masturbation stimulates the brain to produce physical changes in the vagina and activates various neural pathways responsible for clitoral swelling, vaginal congestion, lengthening of the vagina, and lubrication.

Bottom line? Having a healthy sex life, including masturbation well into your golden years, may solve those sleeping problems!

Sore Pink Bits?

One in four women suffer from chronic vulvar pain at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Volvodynia Association.

AND women with chronic vulvar pain, or vulvodynia, are at a substantially increased risk for other chronic pain conditions, according to a University of Michigan Health System study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology (just in case sore pink bits weren’t enough!)

The new research reveals that women suffering from this painful vaginal condition have between a two and three times more likelihood of having other chronic pain conditions, including FM.

Vulvodynia is chronic vulvar pain that consists of burning, stinging, soreness, or rawness in the area at the opening of the vagina. To date, it has no identified cause, although a genetic component or nerve injury may be the culprit. The pain can be so severe that it makes exercise, intercourse and even sitting unbearable. The condition may occur for months, but can last for years.

“Chronic pain conditions like these can seriously hamper quality of life and it’s imperative that we understand the commonality among them,” says lead author Barbara D. Reed, a professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School. “Chronic pain is starting to get a lot more attention, with more research being done on all of these disorders, as well as combinations of these disorders. I think the identification and treatment of these conditions will continue to improve.” (Yippee! – but there are huge numbers of these conditions; we need to get FM out ‘there’ so we can be first on the list!)

“Women who have these disorders often see physicians but are not given a diagnosis or are given an erroneous diagnosis and continue to suffer without being treated properly,” Reed says. “Until their symptoms have a name, it can be really discouraging because patients begin thinking it’s all in their head.

Millions of people have chronic pain. This report stresses the need to further study relationships between these types of disorders to help understand common patterns and shared features.