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Sex and Health Benefits

Anytime I go to login to my email account, I always check out the yahoo articles to see what is new and interesting.  I happened on an article about 7 health benefits of sexual intercourse.    So besides being an intimate bonding time with your spouse, you are getting some wonderful health benefits, too!  Here are some of the health benefits:

1.  Sex = exercise: your burning calories!

2. Sex keeps you looking younger: I would want to see more proof on this one, but if it is true, ladies, could this be our fountain of youth?

3. It’s good for your heart: wanna lower your blood pressure?  want a better chance of not having a heart attack?  sex can help!

4. Sex boosts immunity: immunoglobin A is produced more often which helps your immune system. It would be interesting to see if I get less colds and sinus infections, since immunoglobin a (igA) works with your nose, eyes, ears, digestive tract and vagina to protect those areas from outside foreign substances.

5. It can cure the common headache….kind of: Intimacy and bonding helps you to relax, and oxytocin is released during sex which helps decrease pain.

6. Sex gets the blood pumping: sex increases blood flow which gets oxygen molecules moving through out your body and you feel better.

7. Sex helps you sleep better: oxytocin not only can help decrease pain and increase endorphins, but it relaxes you so you can sleep better.

Do you think any of these hold water?  I think these can offer some of these benefits, but I am not trying it out on my next sinus headache to see if it works!  :)   What other benefits do you think sex has on your physical health?

The Dreaded VA

No, I am not talking about the Veteran’s Administration, though I could make a whole other post on my Dad’s experiences with their hospitals, but I am referring to Vaginal Atrophy.   Just saying the word atrophy makes me think about something old, shriveled up and ready to crumble at any minute.  Something a paleontologist would dig up from some ruins along with some dinosaur bones.    Here I am using that word with my vagina…. the birth canal that delivered my 2 babies…. the pleasure center for myself and my husband…. atrophied.   I shudder at that word.

I was referred by my PCP to a gynecologist for severe pain and swelling in that area of my body.  Never knowing if I had constant monthly yeast infections or lactobacilli infections….e coli…. I’ve had it all, but it keeps coming back month after month after month since May of this year.   So, I made the appointment to see him.

Vaginal atrophy.   “I can definitely see physical signs of perimenopause during your exam”   Well, finally, someone who will agree with me that I am in perimenopause.  With my PCP, my hormones were always “within acceptable range”   Now, the actual proof.  He said my vaginal walls were thinning out, it was dry in there (I call it the Sahara Desert) and I needed some help.

Vaginal atrophy, also called atrophic vaginitis, is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to your body having less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body’s estrogen production declines.  For many women, vaginal atrophy makes intercourse painful — and if intercourse hurts, your interest in sex will naturally decrease. In addition, healthy genital function is closely connected with healthy urinary system function.  Symptoms associated with his include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Genital itching
  • Burning with urination
  • Urgency with urination
  • More urinary tract infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Discomfort with intercourse
  • Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
  • Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

I was  prescribed a vaginal cream called Estrace.   Estrace is a vaginal estrogen cream. You insert this cream directly into your vagina with an applicator, usually at bedtime. Your doctor will let you know how much cream to use and how often to insert it. Typically women use it daily for one to three weeks and then one to three times a week thereafter. Although creams may offer faster relief than do other forms of vaginal estrogen, they can be messier.

So, I start my journey with estrogen cream.  I’ll document it on occasion for those who are interested in how it works for me.   Trust me, I’ve tried OTC Replens (see my article HERE on that fiasco)  Also, please feel free to comment on your experiences, too as well.

spicynutmeg

Oral blessings for him

I was so glad to happen upon an article called Oral Blessings as I was doing some online reading today.   This was a very helpful and useful article!  I know that oral sex is something that my husband really loves…. not only because it feels good, but he is a visual person, so he likes the view…..   I have to admit, even though I have contributed to blogs like this one and Christian Nymphos for over 5 years, I do still have hang ups over oral sex.  I found in this article, it hits on one of my biggest hang ups…. the gag reflex.

The article gives you some great information on how to start if you haven’t or if you have hang ups, how to get yourself into the mindset that it is a blessing for him, and a very giving thing to do for him.  It also has sections on other common hangups, such as the taste of semen, his hair down there, the other areas of the body that are closest to that area, and the owie factor (like jaw pain) .  I found it to be a very good read, and I am bookmarking it for future reference.

Who knows… maybe I should start practicing while he is in the room….  where are those popsicles.  Not only would it be erotic for him, but he will know that I am working on the issues that I have.   :)

What hang ups do you have?   How have you overcome them?  Are you willing to overcome them to bless him?

Comfort Zone

I wrote an article on Christian Nymphos about this exact topic eons ago, so to find another author writing on the same subject was quite refreshing.  My article was on a personal experience I had of coming out of my comfort zone.  It was a really big step for me at the time, so it was a really big deal for me.

In the blog, The Forgiven Wife, I read this article on comfort zone.  I will admit out of all my spice sisters from CN, I was probably the one that was least likely to try something wild out of my comfort zone.  I am a major introvert.  It is VERY hard for me to step out and do something new, to my husband’s chagrin.  We have this favorite hotel near us that we only go to for special occasions for an overnight without the kids.   The first time we ever stayed there, the room we stayed in had a balcony.  As we sat outside in the evening air, he wanted to make love on the balcony.  That set off a HUGE alarm that said, “NO NO NO NO NO!”   Petrified me.   We couldn’t be seen by anyone… we were high enough off the ground and there were no other balconies that could view ours, but I just couldn’t.  He was probably really disappointed … very disappointed.   Fast forward a few summers ago.  We were staying in North Myrtle Beach.   Once again we had a balcony at the condo we rented…. this time was different.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and it was a much nicer experience.

How far can you stretch your comfort zone?  How often are you willing to go outside your zone to please your husband?

We have an opportunity to go back to that special hotel this weekend when our daughter is at a sleepover.    If the opportunity is there again, this time I plan on making up for disappointing him so many years ago.

 

Taking a look at modesty

A friend of mine on Facebook had liked and shared this article on Modesty.  I have  noticed that the authors of this blog had to close comments since it took so many comments for them to moderate!

But they bring up a really good point that I had never really thought about with the verse they quoted.

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” - Matthew 5:28  (emphasis mine)

The verse doesn’t only address guys like I originally thought…  If I dress in a manner that would make any man stumble, I am a part of his sin.  No, we cannot make them NOT think lustfully, but if we dress modestly, we don’t give them the opportunity to sin.  Yes, there will always be those kinds of men who will lust after you no matter what you wear, but I think it is honoring to God to dress modestly, so that our other Christian brothers (or any man in general) does not sin.

What are your thoughts on this?

spicynutmeg

Candida, Lactobacillus and E-Coli, oh my.

Well, I thought I would throw this out there to y’all and see if you can help me!  (Yes, yes…haha)   Over the past month and a half, I have been on so much medication for the above mentioned things… first I thought I had a yeast infection.  When OTC stuff wasn’t working, I made an appointment to see my doctor (I was horribly sore, red and swollen)  She prescribed me  fluconazole (Diflucan) and sent my swab off for testing.  I also started eating more yogurt, thinking it would be helpful.  Actually, I ended up contributing more to the problem…..

It came back not for yeast, but for lactobacillus.   I had NO IDEA what that was at the time, but Google has become my friend…. good or bad.  Haha.  Evidently, I have an over abundance of lactobacillus, the bacteria that disinfects the vagina.  When there is too much, it is processed into lactic acid, hence the burning and pain I was experiencing.   Baking soda baths and baking soda douching as well.  Went back again after 10 days, and she did another swab.  While it was MUCH better than my original exam, it still showed larger than normal amounts of lactobacillus.   More Diflucan.   To this date, I have had more Diflucan than I care to count.  I also underwent a 7 day in a row regimen in order to get it under control…. then came the E-Coli.

So along with the Diflucan came Sulfa-meth.  I had her refill the prescription when I went on vacation.  I didn’t want to be far away from her and home before it happened again.  It didn’t, but when we came home, it came back.

She is probably going to send me to a urologist when I call her back.  Here is my question…. is there anything I can add to my diet to lower the lactobacillus in my digestive system?  I know of using it in yogurt to help with yeast, but evidently it has worked the wrong way.   Any suggestions?  I always wipe from front to back…. so the E-Coli caught me off guard.   I can feel it coming back again, so I want to be proactive so I don’t have to be medicated again.    It really messes with sex, too.  We go “long” times between intercourse when I have these episodes, and it seems to come back after sexual intercourse.  We haven’t changed lubes… I thought that might be the case, but we’ve used Swiss Navy for a long time.  He doesn’t use a different soap than usual….

If you have any suggestions, I am all open for them!

The influence of body image on sexuality

Do you have a good body image? I haven’t really for most of my life. There have always been parts of me that I wished were different, but I would say in the last year or so I have come to the place were I really embrace how I am. The only thing I still didn’t like is that I was mildly, but uncomfortably overweight. I had an epiphany quite suddenly this past summer that involved the realization that perhaps I could actually do something to change this. So I made some minor, but effective changes and am well on my way to having a body that I feel better about. So I accepted the things that I could not change and started changing the things that I could.

As this relates to my sexual relationship with my husband, I really hated certain positions that showed the rolls on my belly and I felt like I wanted to give him something better to look at. Of course, he always loved and accepted me and he never said anything derogatory about my body, but he has also appreciated the effort I have made to get fit again. He is doing the same thing, working towards a more fit body and a healthier lifestyle.

Having lost a sizable amount of weight I definitely enjoy looking in the mirror more when we are having sex than I did before. I love running my hands over my thinner frame when we are intimate. Certain positions that were uncomfortable for me before are more erotic and passionate now. Sometimes when we are making love he will run his hands over my back and say “Man, you really have lost weight, haven’t you.” I love that I got victory in this area of my life that was pretty much out of control for quite some time.

What I am saying is that because this was important to me, having made the change has had a positive effect on our sex life, but it was just as important that I come to a place of accepting the parts of me that I could not change. I needed to embrace those things in order to walk confidently into my bedroom and be the sexy wife that I am now. God created me with certain physical features that are unchangeable (unless I was to get surgery of some kind to change it.) If I was still annoyed by my breast size and overly irritated by the shape of my nose, I believe that I wouldn’t be as free in all the areas of my life where I have seen freedom come, including my sexuality.

So I have happily found my way through this balancing act of learning to embrace who I am on every level and I feel better about myself than I ever have. Please know that I do not presume that the exact journey I have been on needs to happen for everyone in the same way it did for me. I needed to change the size of my body, but that may not be the thing God calls you to at this time, or at all for that matter. I do think, though, that all women need to come to a place where they love every part of themselves for it is then that we can be confident in who God has made us which will end up blessing everyone around us, including our husbands.

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