Are female orgasms a ‘bonus’?

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October 25th, 2011

What do female orgasms and male nipples have in common? It’s a question that is helping inform research into the purpose of female orgasm (other than simply as a form of pleasure).

Investigators want to know whether the female orgasm is an “adaptation” or “byproduct” of evolution. In other words, does the female orgasm, like the male orgasm, have its own evolutionary raison d’etre and contribute directly to reproductive success? Or is it just an awesome bonus? Make that totally awesome.

This question of whether the female orgasm is an adaptation or a byproduct came to the fore in 2005 with the publication of “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” in which Indiana University professor Elisabeth Lloyd rigorously examined 21 theories that sought to promote the female orgasm as an adaptation and, ultimately, found all of them lacking. (more…)

5 questions to ask before having penis surgery

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October 12th, 2011

If you’re a woman contemplating surgery on your female parts, you’ll find plenty of ladies chatting and blogging away about their experiences, often on websites adorned with pink ribbons.

But if you’re a man considering male surgery there’s not so much out there. There’s no ribbon for, say, penis surgery, and comparatively few men trading stories and sharing advice.

“Women are much more engaged with their health,” says Dr. Dennis Pessis, president-elect of the American Urological Association. “It’s gotten better in the past 15 years, but still, men don’t always seek out the best treatments for themselves.” (more…)

Sex after the menopause

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October 4th, 2011

The menopause is the time when a woman’s periods stop. In the UK, this usually happens between the ages of 47 and 53.

In 2004, two Scottish scientists developed an ovary-ultrasound test which predicts when you will reach your ‘change.of life’. However, it is not available on the NHS. It’s now possible to obtain this Wallace-Kelsey test privately; the current cost is about £250.

In the years leading up to the menopause, the level of oestrogen (an important female sex hormone) starts to fall. (more…)

What Happens to a Woman’s Fertility After 40?

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October 4th, 2011

Infertility is one of those common yet deeply personal issues that many women still don’t feel comfortable talking about — which may explain why some of us seem a bit confused about how getting older affects our ability to achieve a healthy pregnancy.

A recent article in The New York Times discusses the phenomenon of 40-something women who think they’re fertile, simply because they look youthful and healthy.

The takeaway, according to Dr. Jamie Grifo, Program Director at NYU Fertility Center, is that women need to learn the facts about fertility and aging. (more…)