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Episode 19: Exploring the Uncharted Territory of Female Sexual Pain

Join us for a compelling episode that delves into a topic often left unspoken: pain during sexual activity in women.

In this enlightening discussion, we have the privilege of hosting a distinguished guest, Johannes Bitzer, the former Chairman and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Hospitals of the University of Basel. With a career spanning decades, Johannes brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the forefront of this conversation.

Our conversation is fascinating as we explore the intersection of biology and psychology, where Johannes has spent years crossing and overlapping these two fields. This unique perspective sheds light on the intricate ways in which our bodies and minds intersect when it comes to sexual health.

From addressing the physiological aspects of female sexual pain to delving into the psychological factors that can contribute to it, we leave no stone unturned.

Tune in as we navigate this essential but often overlooked aspect of women's sexual health. Join us in breaking the silence surrounding female sexual pain and taking steps towards a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling intimate life.

The ISSM Podcast is an initiative of the ISSM Education Committee led by Coby Reisman and including team members Shelly Varod, Sameena Rahman, and Karl Pang.

The Need for a Survey to Measure Sexual Function in Transgender Women Post-Vaginoplasty

The Need for a Survey to Measure Sexual Function in Transgender Women Post-Vaginoplasty

Gender dysphoria is when a person’s gender identity does not match their assigned sex at birth. Some people with gender dysphoria choose to transition to align with their gender identity, which may sometimes include surgery like vaginoplasty (the surgical creation of a neovagina). There are different techniques for this surgery, but it is still not clear how they affect sexual satisfaction.

Who are the best candidates for penile implant surgery?

In the past, penile implant surgery was the last treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction. However, this is no longer the case. In our latest #AskISSM, an expert in the field of sexual health explains when a penile implant surgery may be best. 

What Is “Normal” When It Comes to the Vulva?

What Is “Normal” When It Comes to the Vulva?

The vulva is the name for the outer female genitalia, including the labia majora (outermost folds of skin), labia minora (inner folds of skin), clitoris, and vaginal opening.

People with vulvas may wonder what is “normal” down there. The truth is, there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to the vulva. Like many aspects of the human body, the vulva can vary widely from person to person.

Nevertheless, the following are some popular questions that vulva owners may have about their genitalia.

Is it normal to have dangly, puffy, very big, or very small labia?

The size and shape of the labia majora and labia minora can vary significantly among individuals. Some people have larger or more prominent labia, while others have smaller or less noticeable labia. Some may find that their labia minora hang down further than their labia majora, and some may find just the opposite. Furthermore, the labia minora may not be perfectly symmetrical, and this is entirely normal and should not be a cause for concern unless it is causing physical or emotional discomfort.

What is the normal color of the vulva?

The color of the vulva can also vary. It may be pink, brown, reddish, or other shades. It is normal for the color of the vulva to differ among different people.

What is the clitoral hood, and how can I tell if mine is normal?

The clitoral hood is the fold of skin that covers and protects the clitoris and, like the other aspects of the vulva, it can vary in size and appearance. Some individuals may have a more noticeable clitoral hood, while others may have a less evident one.

What should my hair look like down there?

The presence and amount of pubic hair will be different for every person. Some may find that they have sparse or no pubic hair, while others may have a thicker growth. Hair color and texture can also vary.

It's crucial to understand that there is no one “normal” appearance for the vulva. What is most important is that the vulva is healthy, free from discomfort or pain, and functions as it should. If you have concerns about the appearance or health of your vulva, or if you experience any unusual symptoms such as itching, pain, or unusual discharge, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional who specializes in women’s sexual health or gynecology. They can provide guidance, perform examinations if necessary, and address any concerns you may have.


The Possible Effects of COVID-19 on Men’s Reproductive Health

The Possible Effects of COVID-19 on Men’s Reproductive Health

COVID-19, an illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2, has been a major health challenge worldwide. Despite efforts like vaccines, the virus continues to spread, and experts believe it will move from an epidemic to an endemic phase (meaning a long-lasting, regularly occurring disease in society).

How is Varicocele Treated?

How is Varicocele Treated?

Varicocele is an enlargement of veins in the scrotum, which is the bag of skin that holds the testicles. This condition is similar to varicose veins that usually occur in the legs, ankles, and feet.

Episode 18: What is Desire Discrepancy?

Join us as we delve into the "Desire Discrepancy" topic with renowned clinical psychologist, and sexuologist Marieke Dewitte, interviewed by our ISSM Podcast host Shelly Varod.  Listen now and enhance your understanding of this important aspect of sexual well-being.

This ISSM Podcast is a production of the ISSM Podcast Team with Cobi Reisman, Shelly Varod, Sameena Rahman and Karl Pang.

Mindfulness May Help Lower Sexual Distress in Older Women With Low Libido

Mindfulness May Help Lower Sexual Distress in Older Women With Low Libido

Low libido is a common sexual health complaint among women, and it may become even more common as women age. Midlife and older women may experience low libido due to changes in their hormone levels, menopause symptoms, changes in their relationships, changes in their self-perception with regard to aging and sexuality, and/or an increase in sleep problems, depression, or anxiety.

Is there any safe treatment to increase penis size?

Penile size restoration may be possible, but is typically reserved for a specific subset of patients. In this video from the International Society for Sexual Medicine, an expert in the field of sexual medicine answers: is there any safe treatment to increase penis size?

What Is Ovulation?

What Is Ovulation?

Ovulation is the phase of the menstrual cycle in which one of the ovaries releases a mature egg (or ovum) into the fallopian tube so that it is available to be fertilized by sperm. It usually occurs around day 14 of the menstrual cycle, or two weeks before the start of the menstrual period, assuming a 28-day menstrual cycle.

Rates of Erectile Dysfunction, Depression, and Anxiety in Men with Functional Anorectal Pain

Rates of Erectile Dysfunction, Depression, and Anxiety in Men with Functional Anorectal Pain

Functional anorectal pain (FARP) is a condition in which people feel pain in their anus or lower rectum. An estimated 2-5% of people have chronic anal pain, and 8% experience sudden rectal pain. However, many people with FARP don’t tell doctors about it, so the actual number might be higher.

In Memoriam Klaus Peter Juenemann

In Memoriam Klaus Peter Juenemann

With heavy hearts, ISSM remembers the loss of a renowned expert and colleague in the field of Sexual Medicine, Klaus Peter Juenemann, who sadly passed away from a sudden heart attack on August 29, 2023. We hold his contributions dear and send our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues during this challenging time.

Klaus Peter wasn't just a pioneer in Sexual Medicine; he was a passionate professional who pushed the boundaries of knowledge. He made significant research contributions during the early years in the eighties of the last century when he was working together with Tom Lue in San Francisco investigating the effects of papaverine and phentolamine in animals and was also the lead investigator for the prospective (papaverine/phentolamine) self-injection trial in Germany during the 1980s.

His key publication at this time was: Juenemann KP, Alken P. Pharmacotherapy of erectile dysfunction: a review. Int J Impotence Res 1989; 1: 71-93

His legacy, from groundbreaking research to advances in urology and incontinence therapy, will continue to inspire us.


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