Transgender individuals, or people whose gender identity does not align with the sex that they were assigned at birth, may choose to transition through gender-affirming hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgery (GAS), or both. A recent survey of 27,715 transgender participants in the United States indicated that 25% of the respondents had undergone at least one GAS such as chest surgery (breast augmentation or mastectomy) or genital surgery (phalloplasty or vaginoplasty).
Vaginismus is a sexual pain disorder characterized by involuntary vaginal spasms that can make vaginal penetration difficult and painful. Although it was defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) as a distinct condition, the 5th edition (DSM-5) combines vaginismus and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) into one condition known as genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder (GPPPD).
Bladder health is an important component of one’s overall well-being, and one that may have ramifications for a person’s sexual health. There are several ailments that can affect the bladder, ranging from acute (short-term) infections to chronic (long-term) conditions. Though these conditions can occur in both men and women, they are more common in women because of the anatomy of their urethra: it is shorter compared to the male urethra and it is located closer to the anus. Other risk factors include pregnancy, childbirth, and hormonal changes due to menopause.
Pornography has become widely available in recent years with the advent of free online porn streaming sites. Its increased availability has sparked debate as to whether or not viewing pornography has an impact on a person’s sex life/sexual health. While some suggest that frequent pornography use may have a detrimental effect on a person’s relationships, sexual satisfaction, and even mental health (possibly contributing to depression), the research thus far has been limited in scope and often contradictory.
A condom is a thin tube that is worn around the penis (external condom) or a pouch that is inserted into the vagina or anus (internal condom) before engaging in penetrative sexual activity to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and as a means of birth control. Some people also use condoms for oral sex.
For many men who experience erectile difficulties after undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, erectile aids (EAs) such as oral medications (PDE5i), vacuum erection devices (VED), and intra-cavernosal injections (ICI) offer a means of achieving an erection post treatment. However, even though the majority of prostate cancer patients experience erectile difficulties for months, years, or indefinitely after treatment, some choose never to use EAs, and some who use EAs ultimately end up abandoning them.
Women who survive rectal cancer may experience sexual difficulties or dysfunction during and after treatment. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and rectal surgery can impact urinary, bowel, and sexual function. According to previous studies, 60% of women report an increase in vaginal dryness and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) after rectal cancer treatment. There is also a high incidence of reduced sexual desire and decline in frequency of sexual activity for rectal cancer survivors.
A personal lubricant (or “lube”) is a liquid or gel that individuals can apply to the vulva, vagina, penis, and/or anus before or during sexual activity to make the area more slippery and facilitate easier penetration.
Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder/Genito-Pelvic Dysesthesia (PGAD/GPD) is a condition characterized by persistent, unwanted, and intrusive feelings of genital arousal that are not related to sexual desire. Symptoms may include lubrication, tingling, throbbing, and swelling of the genitals, and/or the feeling of being on the verge of orgasm. These sensations might be constant, or they may come and go, lasting for hours to days at a time.
Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that is characterized by hyperactivity, restlessness, impulsive actions, and trouble paying attention. It is a disorder that can interfere with a person’s day-to-day life, affecting relationships, work, self-esteem, and other important life components.
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world. While it can affect both men and women, it occurs more frequently in women. It is the third leading cause of death in Iran, causing an average age of death in one’s 40s or 50s, but early detection and treatment can increase the survival rate of breast cancer patients.