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Sexual Health 101 – Need-to-Know Facts about Protection and Birth Control

UNAMID Visits Darfur Area Caught in Crosshairs of Warring Factions
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Image by United Nations Photo
A woman in Abu Nashab Salama, North Darfur, Sudan. Officers from the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and World Health Organization (WHO), went on a one-day mission to Abu Nashab Salama, an area with some 2000 inhabitants that has seen several clashes between warring factions.
Photo ID 428104. 07/02/2010. Abu Nashab Salama, Sudan. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/

Many guys take a don’t ask don’t tell approach to contraception and birth control, and — apart from the good old condom — probably wouldn’t be able to identify other types of birth control if they were looking right at them. Whether a guy is a novice in terms of sexual health or just needs a quick refresher on the different options, here is an overview of the most common types of contraception available. Every guy needs to be educated so he knows best how to protect his sexual health and the health of his penis.

Barrier Methods:
This category of contraception does just what it says; creates a barrier to prevent sperm entering the uterus. Unlike hormonal methods, these have no lasting effects and must be put in place every time.

* Condoms: The most common barrier method, a condom fits snugly over the penis and collects sperm. These are 99% effective in protecting against pregnancy and – equally importantly – any sexual infections when used properly.

* Female condoms: Similar to male condoms, female condoms are inserted into the vagina. They are single use and should be disposed of after sex. Male and female condoms should never be used together as they may slip, tear and render each other in effective.

* Diaphragms: A flexible latex or rubber cup that the woman inserts into the vagina before sex to block sperm from entering the uterus. A woman must be fitted for a diaphragm by her doctor, and it must remain in place for several hours after sex.

* Cervical caps: A smaller and more rigid version of a diaphragm that is inserted into the vagina before sex; also remains in place for several hours post-action.

* Contraceptive sponges: A small, foam sponge that is spermicide-filled. It is inserted into the vagina, and both blocks the sperm from entering the uterus and kills sperm cells on contact.

* Spermicides: Available in foam, jelly, cream or suppository forms; they are inserted into the vagina just prior to sex. They are often used in conjunction with diaphragms, cervical caps and condoms, but can also be used alone.

Hormonal contraception:

Hormonal contraception methods stop or regulate female ovulation to prevent pregnancy. They are administered to the body in multiple ways and must be prescribed by a physician.

* Oral contraceptives; AKA, the pill: Women taking oral contraceptives must take one pill every day at the same time in order to prevent pregnancy.

* Contraceptive patches: Hormones are administered via a plastic patch that is placed on the woman’s skin. She replaces the patch each week for 3 weeks and goes patch free the 4th week.

* Contraceptive shots: An injection of hormones is given to the woman every three months to help control her fertility and prevent pregnancy.

* Implanted birth control: A small, flexible plastic rod is surgically implanted into the arm of the woman by a doctor. The rod releases the perfect amount of hormones into the body; it can stay implanted for up to 5 years.

* Emergency Contraception – “The Morning-After Pill”: Taken the morning after sex when it is suspected that other birth control methods have failed – or were not used at all – it may be successful in preventing pregnancy, depending on where a woman is at in her fertility cycle.

* Vaginal Rings: A flexible ring is inserted into the woman’s vagina where it releases a constant of dose hormones for three weeks time before being removed and discarded.

Other Types:

* Intrauterine Devices: An IUD is a small device implanted in the uterus by a doctor. It prevents the fertilization and implantation of an egg and can be left in place for years.

* Sterilization: The only surefire way to prevent pregnancy without consistent use of contraception is via sterilization. This is accomplished either through a male vasectomy, in which the sperm are permanently prevented from leaving the body; a tubal ligation in females, in which the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked; or a sterilization implant which blocks the fallopian tubes.

Whatever method of contraception a couple decides to use, it is important for both parties to be aware of the risks, side effects and -most importantly – the effectiveness of the method. Most contraceptives do not offer protection from both pregnancy and sexual infections. To protect his own sexual health, a man should always wear a condom to prevent infection with additional birth control methods used as desired. A daily penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) is another important way for a man to take charge of his sexual health regimen. Selecting a cream full of vitamins and minerals can improve the health and appearance of the penis while improving blood flow and circulation to the area.

Visit www.man1health.com for more information about treating common penis health problems, including soreness, redness and loss of penis sensation. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men’s health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.

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Penis Health – What a Woman Should Know About Her Man’s Business

Olga Spessiva in Swan Lake costume, 1934 / photographer Sydney Fox Studio, 3rd Floor, 88 King St, Sydney
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Image by State Library of New South Wales collection
For the sad life story of Olga Spessivtzeva (billed Spessiva for phonic simplicity or maybe to make the name more the same length as "Pavlova" who had toured six years before on her Australian tour); and the part Australia played in her life, see the Valerie Lawson article: The life of Olga Spessivtseva: spies, delusions and the comfort of dolls ( dancelines.com.au/research/the-life-of-olga-spessivtseva-… )

Note on the name: Spessivtzeva has signed the photogrpah "Olga Spessiva"

Format: Photograph

Find more detailed information about this photograph: acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=442191

Search for more great images in the State Library’s collections: acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/SimpleSearch.aspx

From the collection of the State Library of New South Wales www.sl.nsw.gov.au

Penis health is technically a man’s issue, but as most women know, men do not always stay on top of their personal health issues the way they should. Therefore, it’s beneficial for a woman to know a little about male organ health, if for no other reason than to know whether to worry when her guy says he has a sore penis. Proper penis care can become a team effort between a man and his partner. That not only ensures that his member will be in optimal health, but it can provide a bonding experience for the man and woman as well.

It’s not always ready for action.
Men like to make out that they are so sex-obsessed that their penises will spring to attention at the drop of a hat. While it’s true that men like sex (a lot!), it’s also true that sometimes the penis doesn’t always jump to an erect state at the slightest stimulation. This is not usually a comment on how alluring a woman is; it may mean that the man is tired, stressed, uncomfortable, not feeling in the best of health, sad, or preoccupied with other thoughts at the moment. In some instances, it can mean that there is a physical cause, such as anemia or diabetes. Sometimes, medications that a man is taking can also cause erectile issues.

Firmness can vary.
The firmness of a man’s erection can vary significantly from one time to the next. If a woman is used to a man having a very firm erection, she should not worry if it is not always as engorged; however, a woman should take note if loss of firmness – or, as above, lack of readiness for sexual activity – continues for an extended period of time. This could mean there is a physical issue that a doctor may need to look into.

Penis odor is common.
The pubic bush causes the crotch to be warm, a situation which is worsened by the penis being kept hidden behind two layers of clothing. Sweat accumulates easily, and even men who wash thoroughly and regularly may find that they carry a certain aroma with them more than they would like.

Penis skin is sensitive.
As many women have noticed, the skin on the penis is very thin, especially in men who have been circumcised and lack the protective foreskin layer. This by itself makes the penis skin sensitive to chemicals, so that many soaps and detergents can cause a skin issue to flare up. Skin rashes, pimples, and spots are common on the penis and the surrounding area.

Some blemishes are not unusual.
There are several common penis blemishes that many women (and men) think must be harmful but are in fact harmless. Hirsuties coronae glandis, more commonly called Pearly Penile Papules or PPP, are very common. PPP is a row (or rows) of small, raised bumps that typically form a ring around the bottom of the glans penis. Fordyce spots are small sebaceous glands that look like tiny little white or red dots.

Slight bends are okay.
Some penises are straight as a ruler, but most have some bit of curvature to them. Unless the bending is extreme (called Peyronie’s disease), it is fine; however, sometimes bending occurs because of a build-up of scar tissue, which can have a negative effect on penis sensitivity and function.

One thing men need to do to maintain penis health is to daily use a superior penis nutrient cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). A cream with vitamin A can help to address unwanted penis odor, while one with a high-end emollient (think Shea butter) is excellent for damaged penis skin. And if impaired sensitivity is an issue, a cream with acetyl L carnitine, which is neuroprotective, should definitely be used. The best help a woman may be able to give her man is to make sure he uses a quality cream regularly.

Visit www.man1health.com for more information about treating common penis health problems, including soreness, redness and loss of penis sensation. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men’s health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.

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