Balanitis. Bowel Problems And Sex
Balanitis is an inflammation of the head of the penis and foreskin, if there is one. The affected area can be very irritated, red, hot and sore. There may also be a smelly discharge. It may be difficult or impossible to retract the foreskin and erections will be painful. Balanitis can be due to an infection, skin condition or allergy. For instance, you may develop an allergy to soap, shower gel or washing powder. Sometimes, spermicides, rubber contraceptives or lube can provoke an allergic reaction. Often, balanitis occurs as a result of poor hygiene when there is a build-up of a thick, creamy material comprised of dead skin and secretions (smegma) under the foreskin.
This can be avoided by daily washing with the foreskin retracted and ensuring the head of the penis is properly dried after urinating, washing or ejaculating . Balanitis is usually easily treatable with antibiotics. However, it can keep recurring if the foreskin is especially tight and difficult to retract. This will also cause painful intercourse and, sometimes, painful masturbation. In such cases, it may be necessary to stretch the foreskin under anesthetic or consider circumcision.
This is a very common problem, so it is worth mentioning balanitis or tight foreskin to your GP as soon as you notice it. It is also important that your partner understands why you may be avoiding sex. There is no excuse for poor hygiene – which is off-putting for partners anyway – but partners can help with identifying possible allergens and may be keen to begin and/or end sexual encounters with a warm bath or shower together to help maintain cleanliness. There are many tummy and bowel issues which can make sex difficult or embarrassing, from constipation to managing a stoma (an opening on to the abdomen for passage of urine or faeces).
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a particularly common problem which often exists alongside other conditions, such as fibromyalgia or interstitial cystitis. It involves episodes of constipation or diarrhea, or both, often accompanied by flatulence and bloating. It is thought that only about a quarter of those affected seek medical help, though IBS is treatable. It also needs to be differentiated from other bowel conditions which can do more damage if they are left alone – thus, self-medicating is not a good idea. If pain or urgent diarrhea is a problem, you may choose to avoid naked sex during flare-ups.
However, you can still enjoy cuddles and try to make the most of the time in between episodes. Stress and diet may impact the condition, so it is worth keeping a diary to see what affects it. Sugar, fat, caffeine and alcohol are common culprits. Some of our clients have noted that fear of flatulence or diarrhea happening during sex can bring them on. This means that special occasions and holidays, when sex might be expected, are ruined by performance anxiety unless a way to relax can be achieved. Practicing mindfulness and sharing your fears may help alleviate anxiety.
Brain Injury And Strokes
Brain injury, whether caused by a stroke or an accident, can turn your world upside down. However, regaining intimacy is part of the recovery process and it is thought that less than a quarter of those with an active sex life give it up following a brain injury. Nevertheless, it does present a number of challenges. Some people lose their sexual inhibitions, which may make for a great new sex life or be embarrassing if, for instance, they make inappropriate comments to a stranger.
Some perceptual changes and differences in behavior, personality and memory are also fairly common, so that it can seem as though you are making love to someone new, who is behaving in unfamiliar ways. After a brain injury, you may experience some loss of sensation, taste or smell, which creates a different sexual experience and can affect your confidence, making patience and perseverance a necessity for both of you. Sexual problems do occur, including erectile problems, changes in sexual interest and difficulties with orgasm. These are sometimes due to the brain injury itself but often occur as a side effect of medication, so it is always worth getting them medically checked.
Function may return given time or there may be help available, such as changing medication or referral to psychosexual therapy. The biggest problem for couples may be a difference in the relationship itself if the affected partner requires a great deal of care. It can feel uncomfortable to make love with someone who is dependent and vulnerable, especially if they are also at all confused. Counselling can offer support and give you time to work out what you both want from your sexual relationship now and in the future.
Being overweight can make it difficult to find comfortable positions for intercourse which don’t leave you out of breath or require too much stamina. The conventional missionary position, with the man on top, can be very uncomfortable. It is also helpful to adopt positions which make it easier to reach the genitals if there is a lot of padding around them. The following positions may be worth exploring: If the person being penetrated lies on their side, legs bent, and brings the knees up slightly towards the chest – but without adopting a full foetal position – the one penetrating can kneel to enter, resting their hands/arms on either side of the body.
If necessary, use a pillow to raise the hips of the one being penetrated to make insertion easier and thrusting less strenuous. To keep tummies apart, the penetrator lies on their back and the person being penetrated sits astride them, facing towards the partner’s feet. They can guide insertion and experiment with fast or slow movement on the penis. The penetrator has access to the partner’s body and genitals for additional stimulation. Lying right at the edge of the bed, with the knees bent, the person being penetrated opens the legs as far as possible while the partner stands or kneels upright to penetrate.
A diagnosis of herpes can occur at any time and usually comes as a most unpleasant shock. The herpes simplex virus can cause painful blisters, which rupture leaving sores in the mouth (cold sores) and genitals. They are very easy to pass on; consequently, it is important not to have sexual contact (oral, genital or anal sex) while the blisters are active. Sometimes, the virus can be active but asymptomatic, so it is always worth using a condom and avoiding direct contact with other unprotected anal and genital areas.
Also steer clear of sharing towels, flannels and sex toys, especially if one of you has herpes and the other seems not to. The condition can lie dormant for many years, so it does not necessarily mean that a partner has been unfaithful if one of you suddenly develops herpes. The first outbreak is normally the worst and episodes diminish in frequency after the first couple of years, so most affected couples do manage the condition. There isn’t a cure but tingling often precedes the development of blisters. Starting antiviral medication at this stage may help to limit the outbreak.
The Relate Guide To Sex And Intimacy
Cate CampbellA Four-Inch-Long Penis Is More Than Adequate