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  • Writer's pictureDarrick Payne

Intimate Wellness - a Primer

So what exactly does Intimate Wellness mean? Well, it actually encompasses a variety of things that all contribute to your intimate relationships. I will describe some of these aspects in further detail, and mention some things that can be used to help treat these issues and create strong intimacy with your partner.

First is the physical aspect. For men, there are a few things that can interfere with sexual intimacy. Common problems include erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation, stamina issues, poor sperm function or low sperm counts. ED can commonly stem from two different areas, either a blood blow issue related to poor circulation (both clogged arteries and diminished or atrophied blood vessels) or low testosterone levels. Luckily, these can both be addressed. Blood flow issues can be transiently treated by medications (think Cialis and Viagra, among others), although this is only a temporary fix, and may not even work at some point. Conversely, treatments that unclog arteries and promote blood vessel growth may offer a longer lasting cure (such as shockwave therapy). Low testosterone is often a reason for poor sperm function, although other lifestyle issues may contribute as well (smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, etc.). Testosterone can be replaced, with other possible positive effects in addition. And low testosterone might be part of the problem when it comes to stamina, although lifestyle changes can help improve this dramatically for some men (such as a regular exercise routine, better sleep, and a healthy diet).

For women, physical issues include such things as anorgasmia (the inability to have orgasms), pain with intercourse, and the lack of lubrication and/or sensation. Again, some of this may be related to atrophy of blood vessels and thus poor circulation (treatable with shockwave therapy) or low hormone levels such as estrogen and testosterone (treatable with hormone replacement therapy).

Certain medications can also lead to libido and sexual function issues, so that is something worth exploring as well. Changing to another med may be helpful, or trying to lower dosage or even weaning off might be necessary if it is possible.

Mental and emotional issues may also be part of the problem for both men and women, as these more psychological factors can have far-reaching effects on our intimacy, or lack thereof. Poor communication is a leading cause of relationship issues, including sexual relations and lack of sexual interest. In addition, stress is a powerful inhibitor - this can be stress of the relationship itself, or other family, work, financial, or health stress. Performance anxiety or a lack of confidence can both be problems for men suffering from ED. Other psychological issues such as PTSD or Betrayal Trauma can lead to intimacy dysfunction. These aspects can all be treated, although the treatment tends to involve emotional and psychological work, or even counseling or psychiatric care for some. I have a number of recommendations and ideas to help boost libido and promote true intimacy.

So how do you feel about your level of Intimate Wellness? Are there things you find unsatisfactory in your relationship? Do you suffer from any of the things I mentioned? If so, reach out and let's discuss. Maybe there are some easy recommendations that could help you quickly. Maybe we need to look at your hormone levels and discuss your lifestyle habits. And maybe there are some medications or procedures that could help in both the short and long-term. Regardless, just know that there is help available!

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