The WHO states that healthy sexual function is a human right, but sex is the opposite of football – everybody does it but nobody talks about it. Look around you in the media and it is everywhere, but apart from the occasional snigger most people don’t talk about this area of their own lives and most certainly not when problems arise.

There is also the problem of extreme misinformation out there – and studies show this is not only amongst our youth!
Having trained in male and female sexual medicine, I have been having many conversations with people about this often unspoken area of their lives and I have found that people don’t talk to their healthcare professionals about problems in this domain due to discomfort and a lack of belief that there is anything that can be done. This leads to a massive area of treatment that has been neglected by both the medical profession and patients with issues.

Don’t ask, don’t tell has become the name of the game.

It is known that if the sexual relationship is good it adds 20% value, but when bad it can drain 60%. Research shows that couples can go through a hiatus for years after post partum trauma due to pain, fear and lack of sleep. Also, general health issues like depression, diabetes, heart disease and obesity can add a real dampener to sexual function due to fear, hormonal changes, pain and other issues related this area.
As a physiotherapist I have learnt that there is a plethora of unspoken issues out there that are being left untreated. So many physical problems can add to dysfunction in this area – scarring, tight muscles and pain around the hips, groin and thighs, back pain, neck pain, headaches, bladder and bowel problems to name the tip of the iceberg. Then those issues related specifically to the genital areas like vulvodynia, dispareunia, menopausal problems, and endometriosis and in men erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s disease to name a few. But most people will go for years before they will seek help, if ever.

As we know stress is also a major player in sexual performance and creates havoc with our cortisol, testosterone and estrogens levels leading to, not only a lack of arousal and desire, but also problems with performance. Many drugs prescribed for stress and depression leave 70% of patients anorgasmic.

Many of these, and so much more, are not only treatable with physiotherapy and/or acupuncture, but there is also a wealth of information and professionals I can connect you with and lifestyle advice and suggestions I can give you that are practical and easy to implement. Specific treatment with an improvement in sexual health as the goal can include anything from postural realignment and pelvic floor exercises to breathing techniques that aid relaxation.

Just a simple change in lifestyle or a creative adjustment in positioning can make the world of difference to this vital part of life and bring back the spark many people give up as gone for good.

So, take a deep breath and take the first step to improve your health and happiness.


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