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  #1  
Old 26-10-2015, 09:59 AM
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Sexual Health News

HIV drugs provide added benefit of protecting against hepatitis B virus
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1012180922.htm

Date:October 12, 2015
Source:Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary: In a study involving 2,400 men who have sex with men who were also enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, researchers report that men with HIV who were treated effectively with HIV therapy — defined as no detectable HIV virus in the blood — were the least likely (80 percent less likely) to get infected with HBV over a median follow-up of approximately 9.5 years

Previous studies of individuals with HIV have suggested that HIV drug regimens that included drugs active against hepatitis B virus (HBV) can decrease the risk of infection with the liver-damaging HBV. Now, in a study involving 2,400 men who have sex with men who were also enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, researchers report that men with HIV who were treated effectively with HIV therapy -- defined as no detectable HIV virus in the blood -- were the least likely (80 percent less likely) to get infected with HBV over a median follow-up of approximately 9.5 years, compared with men with HIV who were not on HIV therapy or men who had detectable HIV virus while on HIV therapy. In fact, the men on effective HIV therapy had the same risk of HBV infection as the men who did not have HIV.

report of the finding, published in the October issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, is based on analysis of information on men who have sex with men who were not infected with HBV when they first enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, which began in 1984 in four U.S. cities, 12 years before effective HIV therapy became available.

"What this means to us is that effective HIV therapy appears to restore an impairment in the immune response that protects someone with HIV from acquiring hepatitis B infection," says senior author Chloe Thio, M.D., professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

This study also confirmed what researchers have known for some time: that vaccination against HBV protects individuals from acquiring a new HBV infection regardless of HIV infection status, Thio says.

"We found a 70 percent reduction in new HBV infections in the men who reported receiving at least one dose of HBV vaccine," says lead author Oluwaseun Falade-Nwulia, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Sadly, she reports, "vaccination rates, even in high-risk individuals, such as men who have sex with men, remain low, and we need to do a better job of encouraging vaccination."

At the start of the study in 1984, 41 percent of men with HIV had been vaccinated against HBV, compared with 28 percent of men without HIV. The proportion of men who received more than one dose of HBV vaccine increased to 60 percent by the end of the study period in 2013 -- 67 percent versus 58 percent among men with and without HIV, respectively. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults getting the HBV vaccine should get three doses, all within six months.

While the findings highlight the benefits of effective HIV therapy in those with HIV that go beyond suppressing the virus, the researchers say, without increased HBV prevention in men who have sex with men, control of the epidemic in this population cannot be achieved. Approximately 15 to 25 percent of new HBV infections in the United States occur in men who have sex with men.

Thio and Falade-Nwulia say they plan to study next whether effective HIV therapy also reduces the risk of developing a chronic hepatitis B infection and to learn which parts of the immune system are being restored by effective HIV therapy to protect against HBV.
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  #2  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:00 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Alcohol and first sexual experience: Risks for young womenhttp://<br /> http://www.sciencedail...1015141417.htm

Date:October 15, 2015
Source:University at Buffalo
Summary: If a young woman's first sexual experience involves alcohol, she is more likely to be at risk for problems such as sexual assault, and this risk may persist in her future, new research finds.

f a young woman's first sexual experience involves alcohol, she is more likely to be at risk for problems such as sexual assault, and this risk may persist in her future, new research finds.

The study, authored by Jennifer A. Livingston, PhD, senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), surveyed 228 women, ages 18 to 20, about their sexual experiences and drinking habits. The average age the women began drinking was 14 and the average age for first sexual intercourse was 16.

Livingston found that first sexual experiences involving alcohol were most likely to occur outside the context of a relationship (a "hook-up"), with a partner who was also using substances and after a social gathering involving alcohol. Alcohol-involved first experiences were less planned, less desired and rated more negatively overall than those not involving alcohol, which usually occurred in the context of a romantic relationship and were described as wanted, planned and more positive.

"Drinking to intoxication places adolescent females at increased risk through exposure to high-risk sexual partners found in drinking contexts such as parties. These partners may be significantly older, more aggressive, not well-known or substance users themselves," Livingston says. "Over time, these young women continued to use alcohol in conjunction with sex, which further exposed them to high-risk partners. In these contexts, there is less discussion of birth control and greater risk of sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault and unintended pregnancy."

Disturbingly, nearly 20 percent of the young women in the alcohol-involved group reported their first intercourse experiences were without consent, or rape. Even more troubling, these young women were found to be three times more likely to be victims of incapacitated rape in the future.

Livingston says this study raises questions about how schools and parents approach talking about drinking and sex. "Traditionally, substance use prevention efforts and sexuality education aimed at middle and high school students have been approached separately," Livingston says. "Results of this study suggest that it would be beneficial to combine the two. Alcohol-related risks should be addressed in sexuality education and sexual risks included in substance use prevention. Interventions aimed at delaying the initiation of alcohol use or reducing heavy drinking may have the added benefit of reducing risky sexual behavior."
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Old 26-10-2015, 10:02 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Updated Pap smear test guidelines lead to decreased STI screening, study finds
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1015144701.htm

Date:October 15, 2015
Source:St. Michael's Hospital
Summary:Following the introduction of Cancer Care Ontario's 2012 cervical cancer screening guidelines, female patients were 50 per cent less likely to undergo screening for sexually transmitted infections, a new study has found.

Following the introduction of Cancer Care Ontario's 2012 cervical cancer screening guidelines, female patients were 50 per cent less likely to undergo screening for sexually transmitted infections, a new St. Michael's study has found.

The research, published in Canadian Family Physician, tracked patient charts across five primary care sites at St. Michael's Hospital in the year before the guidelines changed and the year after.

The study found that the guidelines not only reduced Pap smear tests by 60 per cent (from 42 to 17 per cent), but also resulted in decreased screening rates for gonorrhea and chlamydia -- the two most common STIs in women aged 15 to 24 -- from 40 to 20 per cent.

"Historically, we know that Pap tests and STI screening are linked because they're often performed at the same time," said Dr. Tali Bogler, a family physician at St. Michael's and the study's lead researcher. "Now that the Ontario guidelines delay cervical cancer screening until age 21 and also recommend less frequent intervals, we found that women weren't visiting family physicians as often for Pap tests, causing a drop in STI screening as well."

Female patients were also less likely to be screened for syphilis, hepatitis C and HIV under the new guidelines. The findings are concerning, especially because over the past 10 years chlamydia and gonorrhea rates in Canadians rose by 72 and 53 per cent, respectively.

"Based on prevalence trends, our findings suggest a possibly harmful public health consequence," said Dr. Bogler. "These infections are extremely common in young women; therefore it's critical that family physicians find new and innovative ways to screen for STIs in sexually active women under 25."

Before 2012, women were advised to start cervical cancer screening within three years of becoming sexually active, followed by annual screening. After three normal Pap results, screenings were recommended every two or three years until the age of 70.

However, Cancer Care Ontario released new guidelines in May 2012 advising screening start at age 21 in women who are or ever have been sexually active, with three-year screening intervals if Pap results are normal. Most Ontario physicians follow these guidelines, but to the researchers' knowledge, there have been no studies investigating the impact of the new Ontario guidelines on STI screening.

"Primary care providers must explore other opportunities to discuss sexual health with their female patients and screen for STIs in at-risk women," said Dr. Bogler. "Self-administered swabs and urine tests are highly accurate for detecting STIs and can be easily extended into community settings."

The researchers suggest that these non-invasive testing methods could be used in high schools, universities and other community outreach sites to help young women access treatment and avoid the long-term health issues caused by untreated STIs -- such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
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  #4  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:04 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Researchers propose novel solution to HIV prevention
Rectal microbicides delivered as enemas or douches as a possible tool to prevent HIV

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1015183450.htm

Date:October 15, 2015
Source:University of California - Riverside
Summary: Enemas are commonly used by men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen (TW) before sexual intercourse. But these groups are vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) because enemas can seriously damage the thin tissue lining the rectum. A research group that worked recently with Peruvian MSM and TW proposes a rectal microbicide formulated as an enema to prevent HIV and possibly other STIs.

Enemas are commonly used by men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen (TW) before sexual intercourse. But these groups are vulnerable to HIV and a host of other sexually transmitted infections because enemas -- even those that use tap water -- can seriously damage the thin tissue lining the rectum, allowing for easier transmission of harmful viruses and bacteria.

A research group that worked recently with Peruvian MSM and TW now proposes an approach: a rectal microbicide formulated as an enema to prevent HIV and possibly other sexually transmitted infections.

"A douche-based rectal microbicide that is safe and effective could play an important role by providing another HIV prevention option for these highly vulnerable groups," said Brandon Brown, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, who led the research project. "In view of the expanding global HIV epidemics in MSM and TW, there is an urgent and immediate need for novel HIV prevention options, such as the douche-based rectal microbicides we propose, that can be readily incorporated into existing sexual practices."

Study results appeared online this week in AIDS and Behavior.

"While we conducted the study among MSM and TW in Peru, our findings may extend to these groups locally and globally," said Brown, a member of the Center for Healthy Communities at UCR. "Unfortunately, little is known about rectal douching practices among these groups and the damage such practices may cause."

For the study, the team led by Brown examined during February 2012-February 2013 the prevalence of enema use among 415 MSM and 68 TW in Lima, Peru. Participants completed a self-administered interview on rectal douching practices to inform rectal microbicide douche development. In the previous 6 months, 18 percent of participants reported rectal douching, and those who reported douching were mainly those who had some receptive sexual role.

"We found that men who douched prior to sex did it primarily for hygiene and pleasure. We should capitalize on these reasons to increase this practice and eventually include a rectal microbicide for HIV prevention," Brown said.

The study was conducted in Epicentro, a gay men's health center in Lima that provides free and low-cost health and social services for MSM and TW. During the study period, the researchers invited MSM and TW who attended Epicentro for any reason to participate in the study. The researchers also recruited participants at bars, clubs and volleyball courts frequented by MSM and TW, and via social media. Participants referred other MSM and TW to the study.

"Based on the findings from this study and previous studies on rectal microbicides, we need to learn more about the sexual practices and beliefs among diverse MSM and TW," Brown said. "In the absence of the availability of oral antiretroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP in Peru and globally we need to explore additional venues for HIV prevention. Rectal microbicides are one possible cost-effective tool to prevent HIV."

Brown explained that oral PrEP may not be for everyone, and not all MSM and TW use lubes for sex.

"The more we know about rectal douching practices, the better situated we will be for developing interventions with rectal microbicides," he said.
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  #5  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:04 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Better communication about sex is just as effective as 'female Viagra'
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1019072032.htm

Date:October 19, 2015
Source: Medical University of Vienna
Summary: A hormone treatment with oxytocin improves the sexual experience of women suffering from sexual dysfunction. However, a control group that only received a placebo via a nasal spray, showed similar improvements. Sexual dysfunction in women is therefore not merely a question of a chemical hormone deficiency but is often also a sign of a lack of communication with a partner and an expression of everyday stress, emphasizes an expert.

A hormone treatment with oxytocin improves the sexual experience of women suffering from sexual dysfunction. This is the finding of a study conducted at MedUni Vienna, which has now been published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. However, a control group that only received a placebo via a nasal spray, showed similar improvements. Sexual dysfunction in women is therefore not merely a question of a chemical hormone deficiency but is often also a sign of a lack of communication with a partner and an expression of everyday stress, emphasizes Michaela Bayerle-Eder, specialist in internal medicine and sexual medicine at MedUni Vienna.

Oxytocin, which is known as the "bonding hormone," is also thought to enhance sexuality. In order to investigate this, 30 women taking part in an eight-month long-term study conducted by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at MedUni Vienna used an oxytocin nasal spray immediately before intercourse. The test subjects were women with sexual dysfunction (arousal problems, inorgasmia, painful intercourse etc.). Together with their partners, the women kept a diary and used a questionnaire to assess how sexual function changed for them during the treatment. A control group was given a placebo for the same period of time.

The result: although the sex lives and sexual satisfaction of the women receiving oxytocin treatment improved significantly, the group that only received a placebo also had significantly improved scores.

Sexuality as the "highest" form of communication between two people

For project leader Michaela Bayerle-Eder, doctor of internal medicine and sexual medicine at MedUni Vienna (currently working in the Endocrinology Division of the University Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology), this proves just how important communication with one's partner is to sexual satisfaction: "Clearly the fact that the women thought more about their sexuality and spoke with their partners about sex during the course of the study in itself brought about measurable improvements." This therefore suggests that it is often only misunderstandings that prevent couples from fully expressing and enjoying their sexuality. "Sexual problems are often caused by the stress of everyday life rather than any chemical deficiency in a woman's hormone balance." If sexual problems arise, it is therefore advisable to seek medical advice as soon as possible to try to track down the cause.

"Female Viagra" is not a wonder drug

A drug called flibanserin, which was only approved by the US FDA (Federal Drug Administration) at the third attempt and is being marketed in the US in October 2015 under the name "Addyi," produced similar results in clinical trials. This drug, which is being called a sex pill for women or "Female Viagra" changes the hormone balance in the brain and in this way increases a woman's sexual desire, thus resulting in more enjoyable sex. But, once again, clear improvements in sexual function were also found in the placebo group. Moreover, this drug has unpleasant side-effects such as dizziness, fatigue and nausea and can only be prescribed by doctors who have been trained in its use and are authorized to do so by the FDA. "So we are still a long way from a sex pill for women," explains Bayerle-Eder and makes the plea: "Up to 40% of women and more than 30% of men suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction, which detracts from their quality of life, and this figure is even as high as 90% amongst chronically ill patients. In order to meet the "WHO criteria 2006" for maintaining health, it is important that sexual medicine should be an important part of medical training and advanced training."

The "Interdisciplinary Sexual Medicine" symposium, which takes place in the MedUni Vienna auditorium center in Vienna General Hospital (Wδhringer Gόrtel 18-20) on 20 -- 21 November 2015 will look at this subject from different perspectives. It is directed at representatives of all medical disciplines that are concerned with sexual dysfunction.
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  #6  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:09 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Outreach increases completion of HPV vaccination series by adolescent girls
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1019103752.htm

Date:October 19, 2015
Source:UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:A multicomponent outreach program increased completion of the three-dose human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination series that reduces the risk of cervical cancer caused by the virus, say researchers.

A joint study by UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System investigators found that a multicomponent outreach program increased completion of the three-dose human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination series that reduces the risk of cervical cancer caused by the virus.

"Delivery of the HPV vaccine in safety-net settings is critically important because uninsured African-American and Hispanic women have higher rates of cervical cancer," said Dr. Jasmin Tiro, Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at UT Southwestern, who led the study.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), HPVs are the most common types of sexually transmitted infections in the United States and can be spread by vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Completing the HPV vaccine series before beginning sexual activity reduces risk of infection from the HPV types targeted by the vaccine. HPV infection can cause cervical, head and neck, and anal cancers, plus genital warts.

Despite the HPV vaccine being available since 2006, challenges remain in persuading parents and their teenage children to complete the vaccine series.

"Teens should receive all three recommended doses to protect against HPV infections that can persist and lead to cervical cancer," added Dr. Tiro, also Co-Leader of the Cancer Control and Population Science Program at UT Southwestern's Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, this study is the first to compare effectiveness in safety-net populations of HPV-specific information and follow-up calls to those overdue for later doses of the vaccine versus more traditional general vaccine information. The work was funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

The study was conducted at Parkland, the public health system for Dallas County, the ninth largest county by population and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S. From Parkland's system of 10 neighborhood-based pediatric clinics, researchers identified four clinics with the largest volume of patients aged 11 to 18. All of the clinics use electronic health records. At the time of this study (2010-2011), the vaccine was only recommended for girls. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that boys also receive the vaccine.

The 814 girls in the study were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Those in one group received a general adolescent vaccine brochure. Members of the other group received an HPV vaccine-specific brochure, plus telephone calls to parents who declined, and reminder calls to patients overdue for the second and third doses of the vaccine. One year later, HPV one-dose and three-dose coverage rates were assessed via electronic health records. Study participants were diverse -- 68 percent Hispanic and 28 percent African-American.

The HPV vaccine-specific educational brochure, designed to motivate parents to start the series, had mixed results by race/ethnicity. Developed with feedback from Parkland parents to explain the value of the cancer-fighting HPV vaccine in a culturally sensitive manner, the brochure was effective for Hispanic parents only.

"Our study shows that one brochure does not work for all parents at Parkland. Parents have different information needs, and different messages will motivate them to start the series. As a follow-up to this study, our current grant from the NCI supports testing a tablet-based self-persuasion intervention to address the needs of different subpopulations at Parkland -- adolescent girls and boys, Hispanics, and African-Americans," said Dr. Tiro.

The senior author of the study is Dr. Donna Persaud, Parkland's Chief of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Population Health Division.

"As a result of this research partnership, Parkland has focused on improving vaccine outreach, education, and parent-provider discussions with African-American families," said Dr. Persaud. "We are implementing a quality improvement program funded by the state's Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program. Preliminary results show a small, steady increase in HPV vaccine completion among African-American girls by their 13th birthday. The rate increased from 14.8 percent to 21.1 percent during the period October 2014 through September 2015."

"HPV vaccine delivery is challenging because of the dosing schedule and parental hesitation about vaccines," said contributing author Dr. Celette Sugg Skinner, Interim Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences, Associate Director for Population Research at the Simmons Cancer Center, and holder of the Parkland Community Medicine Professorship at UT Southwestern. "Given these challenges, we must offer both education and vaccine opportunities at all health care visits. UT Southwestern and Parkland are committed to eliminating health care disparities and improving cancer prevention services."

The authors recommend that future research test mechanisms that may mediate intervention effects for different racial/ethnic groups, such as different informational needs, experiences, norms, or cultural beliefs.
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  #7  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:13 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Sex May Boost Female Immune System to Aid Fertility
http://health.usnews.com/health-news...-aid-fertility

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Sex at any time in a woman's monthly cycle may trigger immune system changes that boost the likelihood of getting pregnant, a new study suggests.

The findings could eventually prove useful for couples trying to conceive, researchers from Indiana University at Bloomington said.

"It's a common recommendation that partners trying to have a baby should engage in regular intercourse to increase the woman's changes of getting pregnant -- even during so-called 'nonfertile' periods -- although it's unclear how this works," said lead investigator Tierney Lorenz, from the university's Kinsey Institute.

"This research is the first to show that the sexual activity may cause the body to promote types of immunity that support conception," she said in a university news release. "It's a new answer to an old riddle: How does sex that doesn't happen during the fertile window still improve fertility?"

The findings are based on information from 30 women who participated in the Kinsey Institute's Women, Immunity and Sexual Health Study. Half of the women were sexually active, half were abstinent.

Previous studies found that immune system changes occur during pregnancy, after childbirth and across the menstrual cycle, but this is the first research to show that sexual activity affects immune function, the researchers said.

"The female body needs to navigate a tricky dilemma," Lorenz said. "In order to protect itself, the body needs to defend against foreign invaders. But if it applies that logic to sperm or a fetus, then pregnancy can't occur. The shifts in immunity that women experience may be a response to this problem."

The researchers found clear differences in immune system regulation between women who are sexually active and those who are not.

"We're actually seeing the immune system responding to a social behavior: sexual activity," Lorenz said. "The sexually active women's immune systems were preparing in advance to the mere possibility of pregnancy."

The researchers also said these findings could potentially have an impact on treatments for autoimmune disorders in the future.

The findings were published recently in the journals Fertility and Sterility and Physiology and Behavior.
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  #8  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:14 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Health Buzz: More Sex May Mean Better Fertility
http://health.usnews.com/health-news...tter-fertility

Timing is everything, right? Not so fast. Two new studies suggest that having sex at any time may boost a woman's chances for getting pregnant, even if it's outside of the ovulation cycle.

The studies, based on data collected from 30 women who participated in the Kinsey Institute's WISH Study – Women, Immunity and Sexual Health – were both lead by Tierney Lorenz, a visiting research scientist at the Kinsey Institute of Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University in Bloomington.

"It's a common recommendation that partners trying to have a baby should engage in regular intercourse to increase the woman's changes of getting pregnant – even during so-called 'non-fertile' periods – although it's unclear how this works," Lorenz said in a press release. "This research is the first to show that the sexual activity may cause the body to promote types of immunity that support conception."

In the paper published in Fertility and Sterility, Lorenz and colleagues collected saliva samples from 30 healthy premenopausal women, 16 of which were abstaining from sex – and 14 who were sexually active – at the four phases of the women's cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal phases.

Lorenz and colleagues found significantly higher levels of type 2 helper T cells, which are believed to help the body accept changes associated with pregnancy, during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. They also found higher levels of type 1 helper T cells, which act as the body's defense against illness or disease, in the same women during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.

"We're actually seeing the immune system responding to a social behavior: sexual activity," Lorenz said in the release. "The sexually active women's immune systems were preparing in advance to the mere possibility of pregnancy."

In the paper published in Physiology and Behavior, Lorenz and colleagues collected the same type of saliva samples from 32 healthy premenopausal women – 15 sexually active and 17 abstinent. Once again, the sexually active women showed greater changes to helper T cells and proteins that T cells use to communicate to the body that it's ready for pregnancy.
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Old 26-10-2015, 10:18 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Beyond Sex: Erectile Dysfunction Could Spell Heart Trouble
http://health.usnews.com/health-news...-heart-trouble

Judging by the ubiquity of ads touting drugs that treat erectile dysfunction, or ED, marketing campaigns would have you believe that 21st-century medicine has revolutionized modern men's sexual performance, improved couples' romantic lives and all but eradicated a disorder that was once only whispered about.

But what TV commercials tend to leave out is that ED has an even darker side: It can herald cardiovascular trouble.

Furthermore, ED – defined as the inability to achieve or maintain erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse – is very common, affecting 40 percent of men older than 40 and 70 percent of those over 70. Yet relatively few men seek help for this.

ED: It's Not All in Your Head

Stress often gets the blame for most cases of ED, hence the sometimes erroneous assumption that once the demands of modern life subside, "things" will invariably get back to normal. While anxiety, depression and stress can all contribute to ED – a condition known as psychogenic ED – it can also signal the presence of more ominous medical conditions, including pelvic trauma, nervous system disorders and diseased arteries. The latter, known as vascular ED, is the most common nonpsychogenic form of ED.

Complicating matters further, ED often stems from several factors, and determining the main driver can be challenging. For example, a history of sexual frustration caused by an underlying organic disorder can lead to feelings of anxiety in subsequent sexual encounters, fueling a vicious feedback loop.

ED and Your Heart

Vascular ED stems from poor blood flow inside arteries that have been hardened and narrowed by the buildup of fat and calcium deposits – a condition known as atherosclerosis, the main culprit behind heart attacks and strokes. Another cause of vascular ED is a condition known as endothelial dysfunction, which is marked by the inability of blood vessels to relax properly. The condition is caused by the insufficient release of an all-important chemical called nitric oxide, which is needed for blood vessel relaxation, the underlying mechanism of erection. Atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction are closely related processes that are both fueled by smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all well-known players in cardiovascular disease.

This is why vascular ED can often signal the presence of processes that also lead to heart attack and stroke.

A 2013 Australian study of 95,000 men with no known heart problems found that those with severe ED had a 60 percent higher risk of developing heart disease and nearly twice the risk of dying compared with those without ED. Other studies have reaffirmed these findings. Research published earlier this year also showed a link between ED and dementia, a condition that often stems from diseased blood vessels in the brain.

Experts estimate that more than 40 percent of men with ED and risk factors for cardiovascular disease are unaware of their heart risk.

A study published this year in The Journal of Sexual Medicine estimated that screening men with ED for cardiovascular disease risk would be a cost-effective strategy that would not only help avert heart attacks and strokes, but would also save more than $21 billion in health care expenses over 20 years in the United States alone.

Because of the shared risk factors with cardiovascular disease, a diagnosis of vascular ED can signal the presence of atherosclerosis in other vessels, including the arteries of the heart. And the presence of atherosclerosis in those vessels boosts the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Thus, a diagnosis of vascular ED should be heeded as a warning bell, an alarm signaling there may be something wrong in the arteries.

An Ounce of Prevention

Although ED is often deemed a normal consequence of aging, both atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction are abnormal processes that can occur at almost any adult age. Most importantly, they can be prevented.

Vascular ED is fueled by the same factors that lead to cardiovascular damage, so preventing either takes the exact same approach – a healthy lifestyle, marked by a good diet, regular exercise, no smoking and maintaining normal blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

I Already Have ED. Now What?

Tell your doctor. Social progress notwithstanding, ED still carries a stigma that can deter some men from discussing this problem. But being at the doctor's office is no place to be bashful. Speak up and let your physician know about it. After all, there's more at stake than your sex life. Your doctor will help determine the underlying cause of ED and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist for treatment.

A culprit in the medicine cabinet? Some medications used to treat depression and high blood pressure can cause or exacerbate ED. Certain drugs used to treat heart disease, called nitrates, can make for a dangerous mix when used with an ED medication, as the combination can lead to a precipitous drop in blood pressure.

Get screened for heart disease. ED may be the very first warning sign of cardiac trouble, even in the absence of other heart-related symptoms.Men with ED and no obvious causes, such as pelvic or neurologic disease, should be evaluated for underlying heart disease before starting ED treatment.

Know your cardiovascular risk score. ED symptoms often precede the onset of heart symptoms by at least two years, so the detection of ED offers a window to intervene and stop cardiac disease in its tracks. What this means is that even in the absence of heart disease signs, you should have your cardiovascular risk score calculated and managed accordingly. Your physician will determine your 10-year risk for suffering a heart attack or stroke by using a formula that factors in your age, gender, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking and any conditions that drive up that risk, such as diabetes.

Better performance through healthier lifestyle. Patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease may benefit from treatment with cholesterol-lowering statin medications. Regardless of drug treatment, research shows that adopting a healthy lifestyle can also improve ED symptoms and at the same time reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The Eight Pillars of ED Prevention

Quit smoking. Smoking worsens the function of the cells that line the walls of the arteries, and inflammation contributes to atherosclerosis. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, which can reduce blood flow to the penis.

Exercise regularly. Physical activity can reduce cardiovascular risk, lower stress and improve blood flow.

Eat your way to a healthier heart and better sex life. The same diet that is good for the heart can also prevent ED. Opt for a menu rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and legumes, and low in processed and fatty foods.

Maintain normal body weight. Being overweight can cause or worsen ED. Having a waist circumference above 40 inches is associated with lower testosterone, the main male sex hormone.

Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These factors are not merely harbingers of heart attack and stroke – they can also cause sexual dysfunction.

If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar in check. At least half of men with diabetes experience ED symptoms. Controlling blood sugar can help prevent ED and improve symptoms in men who already have ED.

Limit alcohol. You might think that alcohol might get you in the mood, but overindulging can limit sexual performance.

Manage anxiety and stress. Talk to your doctor about healthy ways to manage stress and boost mental health. Consider seeing a mental health expert if things don't get better.
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  #10  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:20 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Pill for Low Libido in Women Goes on Sale on Saturday
http://health.usnews.com/health-news...le-on-saturday

FRIDAY, Oct. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The so-called "little pink pill" -- the controversial drug intended to boost flagging sex drive in women -- goes on sale on Saturday.

Flibanserin (Addyi) is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug designed to help women with low libido. But that approval, announced in August, came with significant restrictions because the drug can cause severely low blood pressure and loss of consciousness, the FDA warned.

Addyi's label will include a boxed warning saying the drug shouldn't be taken while drinking alcohol, and shouldn't be used with certain other drugs and by women with liver problems.

And the once-daily pill, to be taken at night, can only be prescribed or dispensed by doctors and pharmacists who have been thoroughly briefed on the drug and its benefits and risks, the FDA added.

"Today's approval provides women distressed by their low sexual desire with an approved treatment option," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement released Aug. 19. "The FDA strives to protect and advance the health of women, and we are committed to supporting the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction."

Woodcock said Addyi will only be available through certified health care professionals and certified pharmacies "because of a potentially serious interaction with alcohol."

Addyi is being marketed by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, based in Raleigh, N.C.

Dr. Holly Thacker, a women's health specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, said the FDA's approval of Addyi "provides an additional, helpful option for women across the country who experience sexual dysfunction. The medication has been studied in 11,000 women and it does improve sexual function in women who have certain sexual problems.

"It doesn't treat all sexual dysfunction, it won't help all women with sexual problems, but it will have a role in the therapy," Thacker added. "Just like with any medication -- adult women in conjunction with their physician can make an informed decision about whether this is an appropriate therapy for them."

Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: "Although the efficacy [effectiveness] of flibanserin is not clear, it seems to be safe. Couples will have the option of finding out for themselves whether or not it enhances their sexual relationship. It is clear that flibanserin will not address interpersonal or emotional problems. Nor will it address issues related to painful intercourse."

The pursuit of a drug for women with low libido has been like a Holy Grail for the pharmaceutical industry, given the enormous popularity and financial windfall from the erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis for men since the late 1990s.

And Addyi's long road to FDA approval -- it had been rejected twice by the agency since 2010 -- was a contested affair.

Proponents said the drug would provide an important option for millions of American women who suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which causes a persistent or recurring lack of desire.

"This would bring another option to the table that doesn't currently exist," said Fred Wyand, spokesman for the American Sexual Health Association, a group that testified in favor of flibanserin during an FDA hearing in June.

But opponents cited a host of concerns about the drug. Among the concerns: symptoms of extreme fatigue and the potential for accidental injuries, as well as questions about the medication's effectiveness.

An FDA advisory panel voted 18 to 6 in June to recommend the drug's approval, but the endorsement was somewhat muted. The committee called the drug's benefits "moderate" or "marginal," and the panel members who voted yes said full FDA approval should come with conditions.

cond...http://health.usnews.com/health-news...aturday?page=2
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  #11  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:21 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

8 Things Doctors Tell Patients About Abortion
http://health.usnews.com/health-news...about-abortion

Scan the headlines for "abortion," and you won't come up empty. You may read about lawsuits against abortion providers, funding cuts to Planned Parenthood or controversy over how clinics should be designed and regulated.

What you won't learn? What exactly the procedure is like for the providers who perform it and the women they treat.

"There's so much hype about it, you'd think it's sort of [like] brain surgery," says Dr. Eve Espey, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. In reality, she says, most abortions are "pretty minor" procedures.

The women she sees aren't always more informed. "Sometimes, people really don't have any idea what it's about," she says. Here's what Espey (and other providers) tell them:

1. You have three options.

Providers counsel all women with unintended pregnancies on their options, including parenthood, adoption and abortion. For women who've already thought about the decision thoroughly and discussed it with loved ones, the process can be quick. For others – especially those who have a tough personal situation or a fetal anomaly – it can take several visits, Espey says.

Either way, providers are trained to discuss the options in a way that doesn't judge women or push them to one decision or another – regardless of the providers' personal stance on each choice, Espey says. (Only in rare cases, such as when women seem to be forced into the abortion or are really undecided, would providers steer women away from abortion until they've had more time to consider it.) Over time, "[doctors] really become nonjudgmental, nondirective, supportive and help women make the choice that's best for them," Espey says.

2. Your feelings are valid.

"It is OK for you to feel like the decision to have or not have an abortion is difficult," says Rachna Vanjani, an OB-GYN at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, California. "It's normal to have emotions about it."

Even when women feel that the decision is the best one for them, it's not always easy to make, says Farnaz Farhi, a fourth-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine who's applying for residencies in obstetrics and gynecology. She's seen how difficult it is time and again when sitting by women's bedsides before and after abortions. "The decision to have an abortion is not one that any woman ever makes without considerable thought," she says.

3. Your reasons are valid.

About one-third of women who've had an abortion cite other caregiving responsibilities as a reason, while 73 percent say they can't afford a baby and 13 percent worry about the fetus's health problems, a 2004 survey of about 1,200 women found. "It's often demonized as a selfish decision, but incorrectly so," says Colleen McNicholas, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "The vast majority of women I see describe the impacts of continuing the pregnancy on everyone else and rarely, if ever, talk about themselves."

Whatever your reasons, they don't need to be justified to your provider, Vanjani says. "If you want to talk about it, that's great. We are here to listen," she says. "But don't feel like you have to."

4. You're not alone.

By age 45, about 30 percent of women have had an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes reproductive health. More than 60 percent of them are already moms, the institute found. "These are our friends, our neighbors, our sisters, our mothers," says Dr. Neha Bhardwaj, an OB-GYN in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are also women of all ages, religions, political affiliations and income levels, McNicholas says. "It is impossible to characterize the procedure or the women who undergo the procedure as just one thing," McNicholas says.

5. There are two common ways to go about it.

Women in their first trimester of pregnancy can usually choose between a medical abortion, in which pills essentially induce a miscarriage, or a surgical abortion, in which a provider removes the embryo through the vagina using a suctioning instrument. Which procedure a woman chooses is a personal decision. The former can be done at home and is not an invasive procedure, while the latter is quick (the actual "abortion" part of the procedure takes less than a minute, Espey says) and slightly ​more effective. However, women who are more than nine ​weeks out from their last period usually aren't offered a medical abortion, since the pills become less effective as a pregnancy progresses. (Women beyond the first trimester of pregnancy – only about 10 percent of abortion cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention​ – usually undergo a more invasive and complicated type of surgery.) Here's what to expect:

Medical abortion: If you choose (and are cleared for) a medical abortion, you'll first take a pill, usually mifepristone​, which causes an embryo to detach from the uterine lining. One to three days later, you take misoprostol (usually by putting the dissolving tablets in your vagina or between your cheek and gums, but sometimes by swallowing them)​​​, which causes contractions so that the pregnancy tissues and fluid​ pass through the vagina. Women rarely feel pain or experience other side effects after taking mifepristone, but should experience increasingly heavy bleeding and cramping about 30 minutes after taking the second set of pills. The cramping and bleeding usually peaks a few hours later when the embryo expels​, although the tissues may be too small to notice​. While women may bleed or spot for a couple of weeks afterward​, they usually don't have to take time off work, particularly if they plan to take the second set of pills over the weekend, Espey says. A week or two after taking the misoprostol, women return to their doctor to make sure the pregnancy has terminated.
Surgical abortion: If you choose a surgical abortion, you'll first receive some sort of pain relief – either an oral medication like oxycodone or a sedative​ through an IV – and then lie on an exam table with your legs in stirrups, as if you're preparing for a Pap smear or annual gynecological exam. After opening the vagina with a speculum​, the provider cleans the cervix and may numb it. He or she then dilates the cervix with a plastic tool and removes the fetus with a suctioning tool. While it can feel like a bad menstrual cramp, the pain passes quickly, Espey says. "It's less than a 10-minute procedure from start to finish."

6. It's safe. ​​

One of the biggest concerns women have about an abortion is how it will affect their future fertility, Bhardwaj​ says. If you can relate, rest easy. "Having an abortion doesn't make it less likely to carry a pregnancy to term or miscarry," she says. Complications from the procedure are rare, affecting ​less than 1 percent of women in the United States who get them from trained clinicians in safe conditions, according to the Guttmacher Institute. (To find a qualified professional, search the National Abortion Federation's database ​of members.)

"I counsel patients that they have a higher risk of getting in a car accident on their way to the clinic than having a complication from the procedure," Vanjani​ says.

Women also have a much higher risk of complications from pregnancy and childbirth, McNicholas points out. (Preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication, for example, affects at least 5 to 8 percent of all pregnant women, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation.) A 2012 study in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that women are 14 times more likely to die from childbirth than from abortions, though the risk of death from either is small.​​ "In general, women and families assume the risk [of pregnancy] because the reward at the end is so desired," she says. "But occasionally, assuming the risk for some woman means a real risk of death."

cond http://health.usnews.com/health-news...bortion?page=2
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  #12  
Old 26-10-2015, 10:22 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

'Super-Gonorrhea' Breaks Out in Northern England
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/...rthern-england

A new strain of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea — known affectionately as "The Clap" or "The Drip" — is spreading throughout Northern England.

The Telegraph reports that the STD superbug has been identified in 16 patients.

According to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, the outbreak was first detected in Leeds in March 2015.

This particular kind of gonorrhea, typically treated with a two-drug cocktail, has developed a resistance to azithromycin, one of the antibiotics used in treatment.

Drug-resistant gonorrhea is hardly a new phenomenon.

A 2013 study found that 6.7 percent of patients with gonorrhea at a Toronto health clinic still had the disease after a round of treatment. Of 133 patients who returned, nine still had gonorrhea.

Symptoms include burning when urinating, discharge, and painful or swollen testicles. To reduce your risk of getting the disease, the CDC recommends getting tested regularly and using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
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Old 26-10-2015, 03:43 PM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Can I Take it? And Other Questions About The Female Libido Pill

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/sexual...o-pill-n412276

Federal health officials have approved the first-ever prescription drug intended to treat women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, ending a vigorous debate over the drug's fate.

The daily pill, called Addyi, comes with warnings about risks of fainting if it is combined with certain other drugs or alcohol. Additionally, doctors won't be able to prescribe it unless they complete an online certification test.

Here are answers to questions about the new drug from Sprout Pharmaceuticals:
How does it work?

Addyi, known generically as flibanserin, acts on brain chemicals associated with mood and appetite, similar to antidepressant drugs. In fact, it was originally studied as a treatment for depression before being repurposed into a libido drug. It's not entirely clear why the drug increases sexual desire but researchers point to its ability to increase dopamine - a brain chemical associated with appetite - while lowering serotonin - another chemical linked with feelings of satiation.
Who will take this drug?

The FDA approved Addyi for premenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, described as a lack of sexual appetite that causes emotional distress.

Surveys estimate that between 5.5 million to 8.6 million U.S. women have the condition, or roughly 8 to 14 percent of women ages 20 to 49. Because so many other factors affect sexual appetite, there are a number of alternate causes doctors must rule out before diagnosing the condition, including relationship problems, medical conditions and mood issues caused by other medications like sleeping aids and painkillers.

The diagnosis is not universally accepted and many psychologists argue that low sex drive should not be considered a medical condition.
I've heard this decision was controversial. Why?

The drug followed a long, contentious path to approval, including two previous rejections by the FDA. For years, two opposing sides have argued over the fate of the drug.

On one hand, drugmakers and some medical experts argue that women need FDA-approved medications to treat sexual disorders, which they consider serious medical problems. On the other side, consumer-safety advocates have said the drug's side effects are too risky, and there are those who question whether low libido is a medical condition.

On top of this debate, Sprout Pharmaceuticals enlisted outside politicians and women's groups to lobby the FDA to approve the drug.
Does the drug work?

Experts usually describe Addyi's effect as "modest." In company studies, women taking flibanserin reported a slight increase in sexually satisfying events each month. Their answers to separate questionnaires indicated they experienced a slight increase in desire and a slight decrease in stress.

While FDA scientists describe these effects as "small," they were significant enough to meet FDA effectiveness standards.
What are the side effects?

About 10 percent of patients in Sprout's studies experienced the most common problems: dizziness, fatigue and nausea. The drug will also bear a boxed warning that women should not drink or take certain types of other medications, including antifungal drugs, because of an interaction that can cause low blood pressure and fainting.
How much will it cost?

Sprout says women who have health insurance will pay between $30 and $75 for a month's supply of Addyi, depending on their coverage terms. They intend to make the price similar to what men pay for Viagra.
Why did the FDA approve Addyi this time around?

When FDA regulators first rejected Addyi in 2010 they noted that the drug failed to achieve a key study goal - increasing desire based on patients' daily journal entries. Because of that lack of effectiveness, they said, the drug's negative side effects outweighed its benefits.

Since then, Sprout conducted another study of sexual desire using a different method that achieved statistical significance. The company also conducted several safety studies to more clearly define the drug's risks, which are outlined in its warning label.

While the FDA is required to make all decisions based on science, critics say that the concerted lobbying effort by Sprout-funded supporters also played a role in Addyi's approval.
When will the drug be available?

Sprout plans to launch the drug in mid-October.
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  #14  
Old 27-10-2015, 08:39 AM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Chronically Ill? Your Sex Life Need Not Be Over
http://health.usnews.com/health-news...ed-not-be-over

After working through the "hard to believe, hard to understand and hard to accept" aspects of a chronic illness diagnosis, and having faced and answered the questions and worries you had when initially given the news about the illness, questions about managing and controlling your sexuality may arise.

Chronic diseases are long lasting and cannot be cured, but they can be controlled and managed. Seeing as control and management of a chronic disease feature a great deal in the maintenance of active sexual functions, you are obviously at the center of this process and the one person who determines your future health and sexuality.

However, let me reassure you, regardless of the level of advancement of your chronic illness: Your sex life is not over. You are, and always will be, a sexual being. Chronic illnesses obviously impact each person differently, and usually vary in advancement according to the person's attention to and control of the three modifiable risk factors for a chronic disease. These modifiable risk factors include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use.

Sexual dysfunctions are prevalent within the U.S., with 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men who experience sexual symptoms that cause great distress, and sexual dysfunctions and sexual disorders are increased in people with a chronic illness. Chronic illnesses include diabetes, hypertension, renal failure, stroke, heart disease, cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, obesity, spinal cord injury and intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities, among others. Let me emphasize that chronic illnesses vary a great deal in the way they demonstrate their impact on sexuality. Some sexual dysfunctions may take some time to happen, and some may not happen at all, so please do not assume that you are going to be impacted sexually overnight.

It's impossible to describe every chronic illness with its associated sexual conditions, interventions and specific levels of severity. Consequently, let's look at chronic diseases and sexuality from three different points along a timeline that includes some descriptions of signs and symptoms of both the chronic disease and the potential sexual issues that might develop. Here are three potential representations of the chronic illness and some of their potential associated sexual issues:

Person or Partner With a Chronic Illness Who Is Independent and Without Symptoms That Compromise Health

Depending upon your control of the modifiable risk factors for chronic illness, your sexuality (with or without a partner) may continue unchanged or lessen.

You will continue to enjoy sexual activities, especially intercourse, and may need more penile or clitoral stimulation.

Prior sexual rituals may assume a different format, with a little more preparation time needed.

Addition of some variety of location, time and activities often helpful.

Use of soft music, props, pillows, lotions, oils, candles and other creative activities is helpful.

Use romantic videos before soft-core pornography, and before hard-core pornography videos when using for first time.

Medications for erectile dysfunction (Cialis, Levitra, Viagra) in men, and Flibanserin for low sexual desire in women on an as needed basis.

Open communication about sex is essential between you and your partner. Sex therapy probably not needed.

Continue treatment and risk factor prevention for chronic illness.

Person or Partner With a Chronic Illness Who Is Moderately Dependent, With Some Symptoms That Compromise Health

If you and your partner have the sexual desire, but chronic illness symptoms require a change or modification to your usual coital positions, do not select one of the exotic positions depicted in sex magazines. Instead, adopt positions that provide comfort and support, minimize pressure and do not tire you out too quickly. A physiotherapist can suggest positioning that is best for you both, and how to maintain with position pillows.

If you are not able to maintain a body position of comfort, discuss the use of oral sex with your partner. If this is new sexual activity between you both or outside your value system, a sex counselor or pastor would be very helpful to facilitate discussion.

There are many sexual assistive devices that are available at reasonable prices to enhance the sexual experience for both partners, such as sex toys, lubricants, clitoral stimulants and devices.

If easily fatigued, work a little differently; perhaps become less intercourse-oriented and become more proficient in the use of the soft, gentle touch of Sensate Focus. Its emphasis is on lubricated, moisturized touch and stimulation of all of the senses, and its temporary ban of intercourse can be very satisfying, comforting and soothing, together with promotion of intimacy.

If you have other chronic disease symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, depression, anxiety and pain, medications will alleviate such symptoms and facilitate a symptom-free sexual experience.

Counseling approaches include couple therapy (counseling about any couple or sexual problems), cognitive behavioral therapy (changing adverse learned behaviors), sex therapy and bibliotherapy (reading therapy).

Open communication between both partners is absolutely essential, especially if difficulties are experienced. Sex therapy or social worker intervention are also helpful.

Continue treatment and risk factor prevention for chronic illness.

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Old 27-10-2015, 01:05 PM
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Re: Sexual Health News

Silicone vaginal ring may help protect underprivileged women against HIV, herpes
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/299601.php

The silicone vaginal ring can deliver hydrophilic molecules such as tenofovir, which is active on the most common strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) - HIV-1 - and acyclovir, which is active on the herpes virus. It is hoped the ring will benefit vulnerable women at risk of exposure to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STIs).

Its development at the University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, France, was made possible through the collaboration of a team of virologists, chemists and a silicone engineer, who designed the apparatus used to create the ring.

The concept of controlled release technology made from polymeric materials was first established in the 1960s and has been successfully used in vaginal ring devices for delivering long-acting steroids for the treatment of menopausal symptoms and contraception. Drug permeability has been an issue in the design of a successful ring.

The difficulty in creating this ring was that silicone is a hydrophobic compound. The problem was circumvented by adding a hydrophilic compound to the silicone, which allows the drugs to be released from their reservoirs.
Effective method will help women to protect themselves

Meriam Memmi, author of the study and PhD candidate, explains that some of the rings are able to release concentrations of drugs between 1.5-3.5 mg/day for acyclovir and 3-5 mg/day for tenofovir for up to 50 days.

Such doses are capable of preventing viral STIs such as HIV-1 infection, hepatitis B and genital herpes. The new device demonstrates the ability of silicone rings to continuously deliver hydrophilic antiviral drugs for a long period of time at a concentration that can neutralize the viruses present in semen.

It is now planned to have the rings evaluated in clinical trials, after which it is hoped that they can be produced in large numbers and at low cost.

Cost is important, considering who the rings are designed for. Among women from low-income countries, STIs of viral origin constitute a major public health concern. Many of these women become infected with HIV-1 early in their sexual life, while men tend to contract the disease 7-10 years later in life.

"It is difficult for women in these countries to master the prevention of STIs since the use of condoms is mainly under the control of men," says Memmi. Vaginal rings can be inserted and removed by the woman herself.

Memmi adds:

Quote:
"The aim of our study was to develop a vaginal silicone ring that was nontoxic to the health of users but was capable of delivering multiple active antiviral molecules against various STIs, including HIV, for a long duration."
Medical News Today have previously reported on the development of a vaginal ring to deliver dapivirine, also to be used against HIV. The technology is soon expected to be on the market.

Written by Yvette Brazier
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