All women and men deal with issues regarding sexual health at some point in their lives. Education, guidance, and a few helpful products can change the quality of your life — you don't need to suffer unnecessarily.
The Menstrual Cycle
You average 450 periods in your lifetime. That is 450 opportunities to get in touch with a wellspring of information about our reproductive and general health — if we take the time to understand it.
Unfortunately though, we usually just grumble through the week or so of cramps, mood swings, and headaches, without ever giving it the proper attention.
Although the process of menstruation becomes routine, irregular periods, cycles that become shorter and shorter, or completely lack of a menstrual cycle are all concerns that can point to deeper health issues.
Ah, Menopause. As you near around age 50, natural hormonal changes begin to occur in your body. However the journey from reproductive to non-reproductive life can be quite unpleasant.
The weight gain, lack of libido , night sweats and mood swings are all common and their is a range of severity of symptoms as well, from totally crippling to annoying but manageable.
You very well might feel that menopause is effecting your day to day life and stopping you from achieving your true potential. If that's the case, learning to deal holistically with the hormonal imbalances can dramatically alter your experience.
Hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or menopause often cause vaginal dryness. Other factors, including douching and some medications can also cause vaginal dryness.
The vaginal canal is usually coated is moisture rich membranes that allow smooth pleasurable sexual intercourse and general vaginal comfort. Lack of moisture can be a chronic or acute condition.
Lubricants and moisturizing vaginal suppositories are the easiest and most effective treatments for vaginal dryness.
There is a lot of shame around this topic, but truthfully, it is an incredibly common sexual health issue. If you or your partner is having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, there might be a number of underlying causes.
A loving relationship with lots a patience can resolve many problems, and at times professional guidance can do wonders for your relationship.
For some men, the treatment is rooted in mind-body work, and for other, a few simple products might be enough to turn things around for the better.
Vaginal Tightening, Narrowing or Collapse
If you suffer from tightening, narrowing or scarring of your vaginal canal, you probably often experience painful sex. Discomfort during sex is not only a physical issue, it takes an emotional toll as well.
Treatment to correct vaginal tightness, reverse discomfort and restore the elasticity of the vagina usually includes the use of vaginal dilators. These smooth, cylinder shaped devices made from silicone help you stretch the vaginal muscles in in a relaxed and stress free environment.
If you've been diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosis, Vagina Agenesis, Vaginismus, Post Pelvic Radiotherapy or a number of other conditions and illnesses, vaginal dilators might be your key to a more comfortable sex life.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a sexually transmitted disease for which there is no cure and no vaccine. It ravishes the body, and once someone is infected, they will be dealing with the repercussions for the rest of their lives.
Since the mid 1980s, education about the risks and severity of HIV have been high on the list of basic sex education classes. Although intercourse is the most common way HIV is spread, it can also be contracted from contact with infected blood.
Education, and especially education about the importance of using a condom, has significantly lowered the number of people contracting HIV.
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is a 'silent' infection, meaning there are often no acutely noticeable symptoms at all, so most of time, you won't even know you have it.
The long term effects of leaving Chlamydia untreated are worrying. It can cause damage to the fallopian tubes and uterus, leading to pelvic and uterine pain, and ultimately infertility.
Because symptoms rarely present themselves, annual screening for Chlamydia is recommended for sexually active adults. Mail-in self testing kits, or even better, at home diagnostic test, help you stay on top of your reproductive health.
Genital Herpes is a highly contagious sexually transmitted infection, that, while unsightly and painful, is not actually dangerous.
If you are infected with genital herpes you will usually experience their first outbreak within two weeks of contracting the infection. The outbreaks progresses in cycles, with painful blisters emerging, then popping and slowly clearing up. The herpes then becomes dormant until the next outbreak.
While in the first year of contracting genital herpes, the number of outbreaks usually reaches it's peak. After that, the number of outbreaks declines , but the infection will always be present. Antiviral medications can reduce the number of occurring outbreaks.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)/Genital Warts
Genital Warts are a common symptom of HPV, although both men and women can have HPV without the presence of genital warts. Warts may also be hard to detect because they can be deep within the vaginal canal.
Although HPV is usually harmless, it can lead to cervical cancer. Annual Pap smears is advisable to rule out an cervical abnormalities.
Gonorrhea is a STD that is common in both men and women. Symptoms include painful urination and abnormal discharges. In women, this is often times misdiagnosed as other less serious vaginal infections.
Screening for Gonorrhea is important because left untreated, it can lead to infertility. It is also important to be screened if you are pregnant, because the disease can be transmitted to your baby during delivery leading to serious complications.
Non-Specific Urethritis is an inflammation of the tube where urine comes out. It is more common in men then women, and symptoms often include pain while urinating or a white discharge from the penis.
Although Non-Specific Urethritis is not serious, it can be a result of more serious sexually transmitted infections.
Pubic Lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in coarse body hair, such as pubic hair. They are yellow-grey and about 2mm long. Because of the bug's crab-like appearance, the lice are often known as crabs.
Syphilis is not as common as other sexually transmitted infections and is easy to cure. But left untreated, can cause very serious health problems including damage to the heart, brain, eyes, other internal organs, bones and nervous system in both men and women.
Pregnant women should be tested for Syphilis because it can cause serious health problems in the baby.
Trichomonas Vaginalis is a tiny parasite which causes an infection. In women the infection can be found in the vagina and the urethra (tube where urine comes out). In men it can be found in the urethra.
Vaginal Thrush can develop in the vagina and on the male and female genitals. It is a very common cause of unusual vaginal discharge – three out of four women will have thrush at some point in their lives, but is much less common in men.
Thrush is often the result of yeast infections.
Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common cause of unusual vaginal discharge which develops when the normal environment of the vagina changes. One in three women will get it at some time. It is not a sexually transmitted infection but can develop after you have had sex.
Scabies is caused by tiny parasitic mites. They are smaller than a pinhead and burrow into the skin and lay eggs. Scabies results in a very itchy and sometimes blistery rash.
Although scabies is not officially a sexually transmitted disease because it can be contracted through any type of skin to skin contact, the most common form of transmission is sexual activity.
A more severe and uncommon form of the condition occurs when there is a large buildup of mites in the skin can effect people with certain illnesses, such as HIV.
Price (Inc. VAT): £29.00
Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs, and can lead to serious fertility problems. Yet is is also one of the hardest STDs to detect, because it presents no surface symptoms.
This Cyclotest Chlamydia test is one of the only genuine home testing kits that allows start-to-finish results in the privacy of your own home. No need to mail samples to a lab, results are displayed within minutes!
- Zero hassle test
- Results with in minutes
- 98.3% accurate
- Avoid delay when trying to conceive by knowing in advance if you have Chlamydia
- For women only; not effective for male testing
Price (Inc. VAT): £16.00
Breastfeeding, menopause, and many other medical and life conditions can cause uncomfortable vaginal dryness and irritation. These extraordinary ovules provides up to three days of long lasting relief. Premeno Duo ovules are easily inserted with no mess or sticky residue.
- Restores moisture levels in the vagina
- Coats the vaginal walls with reconditioning properties
- Helps repair tissue and heals wounds
- Inhibits the growth of candida
- Contains no hormones; may be used after cancer treatments
Price (Inc. VAT): £60.00
Desperate for a treatment that will stop your vaginal pain and allow you to have pleasurable sexual intercourse? Dilators can help restore the vagina after perineal tears, radiotherapy, pelvic surgery, or to combat conditions which can affect the structure of the vagina.
This set of premium 'warm silicon' dilators retain your body heat ensuring a comfortable and safe experience, and are the perfect balance of rigidness and flexibility for optimal ease of use.
Common conditions & issues treatable using dilators include:
- Endometriosis (pelvic pain due to tissue growth outside the uterus)
- Perineal scaring (common after childbirth)
- Vaginismus (unintended constricting of the vaginal muscles)
- Lichen Sclerosis (genital skin sensitivity)
- Vagina Agenesis (underdeveloped vaginal canal)
- Weakling of vagina due to pelvic radiotherapy
- Maintaining Vaginal Integrity After Gender Reassignment Surgery
Price (Inc. VAT): £7.99
Indulgent and transformational lubricants designed for women, by women. Formulated with the highest quality natural ingredients and certified organic by the Soil Association. Provides long lasting and realistic moisture without any chemical residue.
*Yes Water-based is now recommended by the NHS in the UK for pelvic recovery use.
- Water-Based formula serves a dual purpose of moisturizer and lubricant. Contains soothing aloe vera. Vegan.
- Oil-Based formula provides a luxurious firm glide, ideal for intimate and body massage. With almond, oil, shea butter and cocoa butter. Vegan.
- Yes Baby gives you the freedom to indulge while you are trying to conceive. Most lubricants harm sperm mobility and alter vaginal PH. Yes Baby matches and supports an optimal sperm friendly environment
Price (Inc. VAT): £9.55
Feel refreshed and secure with Pjur Med CLEAN products. The alcohol-free formula is anti-fungal and antibacterial, perfect for using directly on both intimate skin and barrier contraceptive products.
Choose Pjur Med CLEAN Spray in a 100 ml bottle or a package of 25 convenient fleece wipes. Both products are made with the same superior quality cleaning formula.
- Quickly and effectively clean intimate areas and barrier contraceptive products
- Perfume Free
- Perfectly formulated to maintain ideal vaginal PH
- Alcohol Free
- Perfume Free
Price (Inc. VAT): £7.99
GLYDE vegan condoms are strong, reliable, super smooth, and constructed with a high-tech 'double dipping' technology. Even better, they are ethically produced, with a special emphasis on Fair Trade and work conditions on the Malaysian rubber plantations. GLYDE condoms do not contain nonoxynol-9 spermicide, talc, or chemical based flavorings. They are compatible with ContraGel spermicide alternative and YES water-based organic lubricants.
- Exceeds global requirements for strength
- Certified ethical & vegan by the Vegan Society
- Four sizes ensure a perfect fit
- Non-GMO Fair Trade rubber
- Paraben-free, talc-free, spermicide-free, casein-free
- Double washed to eliminate latex odor
- Flavorings made from organic extracts
- FDA and CE approved
Price (Inc. VAT): £2.50
These soft cleansing wipes are designed for women to use as part of their daily intimate hygiene, especially during menstruation and as an extra convenience when traveling. They are infused with the certified organic essential oils of chamomile, calendula and French rose as well other natural plant extracts.
- 100% Organic Cotton
- Certified By The Vegan Society
- No Animal Testing
- Chlorine, Alcohol, And Detergents Free
- Infused With Organic Essential Oils
- #1 Ranking By The Ethical Company Organisation
Price (Inc. VAT): £27.99
Replace toxic tampons with a body-friendly and green solution for your menstrual care needs. The FemmyCycle menstrual cup features a unique 'No-Spill' design to make insertion and removal totally secure, so you feel fresh and protected all day long. This high capacity cup is perfect for heavy flow or overnight use.
- Three tailored sizes to suit every body
- Smarter design resulting in larger capacity
- Minimal ridges and holes for easier cleaning
- Medical grade silicone
- Vegan - no animal by-products
- Designed by top gynaecologists
Price (Inc. VAT): £12.50
Intimate Sponges are a wondrous, premium intimate product unlike any other. A jewel of nature that was identified in ancient times for its astonishing absorbency, sea sponges have resurfaced as a natural alternative to typical chemical-laden, synthetic feminine products.
Intimate sea sponges get their astonishing absorbency from millions of naturally occurring pours and canals. Sponges are durable, naturally mold and fungus resistant, and can be used for months before showing any sign of wear. These intimate Sponges are a generous 6.5-7.5 cm. The soft sponge can be trimmed to fit the needs of each individual.
- Moisten with water and Intimate Sponges become soft, silky, and totally non-abrasive
- Conveniently reusable; cost saving
- Highest quality premium Mediterranean sea sponge.
- Harvesting processes supports marine ecosystem
- 100% biodegradable
- Large sponges = better value
- Bleached and unbleached versions available
Price (Inc. VAT): £22.50
Ovulation indicates when you are most likely to get pregnant, and with this ovulation predictor kit, you can confirm exactly when you are about to ovulate. Infinitely useful if you are trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy. Avoid false negatives with this high quality, 99% accurate product.
- Detects LH Hormone, a clear indicator that ovulation is about to occur
- 99% accurate
- Durable, hygienic plastic holder
- Over a weeks worth of tests ensures you won't miss your ovulation date