Birth Control Access Significant in Addressing Climate Change

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March 30th, 2015

In Pakistan 4.2 million births per each year are unintended. About one-third of married Pakistani women desire access to birth control, according to an organization called the Population Reference Bureau. Yet the growing population there and elsewhere throughout the world is putting more pressure on the earth’s resources and increasing emissions, a very bad scenario when considering climate change. This could lead to a scarcity of food and water along with an increase in extreme weather events. Population growth impacts erosion, deforestation and many other aspects of climate change as well.Experts say more women throughout the world desire access to birth control, and a widespread program could help address their needs and climate change all at once. This would not be forcing women to take birth control but instead extending it to women who desire access to it but have none. Still, both of these concepts, birth control and climate change, remain controversial, stymying the effort to enact a smart, worldwide population control policy.

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Experts say better education, health, more resources and a brighter future come with family planning. But the stigma against its use in some cultures and the denial of climate change by certain ideologies compound the issue, making it harder to gain ground. Even so, an international coalition of experts on contraception, climate change and development are coming together, asking for a worldwide family planning program which is to be dovetailed into the latest version of the UN Sustainable Development Goals coming out this September. An organization called the Population and Sustainability Network says that some developing countries such as Ethiopia are already putting contraception programs in place. So there may be more reception to this in the global south than first thought. The Green Climate Fund could perhaps step in to financially support a worldwide contraception program. The Green Climate Fund plans to distribute $10 billion in donated funds to developing nations in order to help them adapt to climate change and create pathways for sustainable development.

Age-related Penis Changes

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March 30th, 2015

Our bodies change as we age. Some men rage against this but it’s best to learn what they are and how to accommodate them. Certainly, life can be just as satisfying as long as we continue or begin to pursue a healthy lifestyle.  Though we often understand what age-related changes in other parts of the body and other systems mean and how to compensate, we often ignore the sexual and reproductive aspects of aging. Here are some things to understand, consider and watch out for. First, skin color changes are common. Our skin often gets mottled. But the skin on the penis may also change in color. Another thing that may lighten its color is atherosclerosis. This is blood restriction, common in older people. As long as functionality remains the same or similar, there is nothing to worry about. Changes in skin color don’t come on all at once. Instead, these happen gradually over time, beginning after age 40. Make sure to have a regular annual physical and checkups with your doctor.  But otherwise, this is nothing to worry about.

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Something else that often worries men is the penis may shrink just a tad. A centimeter to one and a half centimeters could be lost by the time a man is in his 60’s or 70’s. This occurs due to lack of blood flow and a natural drop in testosterone.  A lot of men gain weight in middle-age and this can make the penis appear smaller as well. Testosterone also makes the nerves of the penis sensitive to the touch. But a drop in testosterone may make it less sensitive. This means it could take longer to reach orgasm. Also, erections tend not to be as firm due to an age-related lack of blood flow.  Some experts suggest having an erection every day, purposely if needed as a kind of exercise. Urinary issues may also arise such as frequent urination, not feeling as though the bladder is completely empty and so on. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing such things. This may be just an enlarged prostate. But it may also be prostate cancer. Lastly, 5% of men over 40 and 15% of those over 70 experience erectile dysfunction. This can be due to a series of different health-related issues such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Be sure to address the issue with your physician.

PE issues

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March 17th, 2015

Most men are mortified when they experience premature ejaculation (PE). But it’s actually quite common. 40% of men experience PE at some point in their lives. Now a dating coach has come up with a simple solution all men can take part in. When you have to pee, hold it for an extra five seconds. That’s right,adding a five second hold can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles in turn can clamp up the urethra and hold back ejaculation, allowing your performance to carry on longer and adding greater satisfaction to your partner’s experience. This is actually a twist on what are called Kegels. These exercises were originally designed to help women recover after having a baby.  But men have pubococcygeus (PC) or pelvic floor muscles too which can stave off ejaculation. If you have ever cut off your urine stream before finishing, you are using these muscles.

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Experts say once you can locate and isolate these muscles, you can work them out just as you would any other muscle group. Merely tighten them for three to five seconds and then relax. In fact, you can do it in the car on your ride to work, in the office, anywhere and no one will be the wiser. In a YouTube video, Kinrys says one should aim for 30 to 50 reps per day. Start with between one and 20 and work your way up to 50. After five seconds it’s a breeze, you can move on to a seven second hold time, and then keep working your way up as the muscles gain strength. According to the International Society of Sexual Medicine PE is considered a performance that lasts under a minute. Many men have extra sensitive nerve endings in the penis as the source of the issue. Stress or anxiety can cause or exacerbate the problem too. Last year, a study out of Italy determined that such exercises increased a man’s performance significantly. Participants lasted four times longer on average. It’s important to make sure no physical or psychological issues are causing this condition. Be sure to visit your doctor if it is a persistent problem. For more information, see Kinrys’s video here: youtube.com.

How Come There’s no Male Contraceptive Pill Yet?

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March 17th, 2015

Once the female birth control pill hit the market, the Sexual Revolution was in full swing. Since that time, scientists have been trying to develop a male counterpart to “the pill” without success. But why? How come there’s no male contraceptive pill yet? It has to do with the complexity of the male reproductive system. You can use low-levels of hormones to trick a woman’s body into thinking she is pregnant, and thus inhibit ovulation. But there is no equivalent to stopping a man’s body from producing sperm.  Some studies have tried a hormonal approach but were halted due to a high rate of side effects. Another problem is that sperm production occurs on a 90-day cycle. That means that if you stop a man’s sperm production today, he would still be fertile for another three months. Researchers are now looking at the problem from other angles, such as making sperm unable to swim or obstructing fertilization.

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Pharmaceutical companies are also a stumbling block. They are afraid of taking on liability. If a man takes such a birth control pill and it fails to work or he experiences side effects, he may sue. So scientists are hemmed in trying to develop a male birth control alternative that has few side effects, yet is effective. Some women are also wary as to whether their man will take a pill each day unwaveringly. Men are interested in such a form of contraception, at least in the U.S. One survey showed that 50% of men would take a male birth control pill if it were on the market today.  Researcher Michael O’ Rand at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is working on a method that alters the protein Eppin which in turn interferes with how the sperm swim. If they can’t reach the egg fertilization cannot occur. An Indonesian team is working with an herbal remedy called Genda​russa, which also inhibits fertilization. This was discovered from a tribe in Papua New Guinea who make tea out of the herb as a method of birth control. The last method is Vasalgel. This is a polymer injected into each vas deferens tubule in order to block sperm from entering the semen. This chemical vasectomy is reversible and the closest one to FDA approval, which is still years away.

What to Do after You’ve Had Unprotected Sex

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March 17th, 2015

When it comes to unprotected sex, it’s easy to judge others. But most of us aren’t perfect. In fact, few people have not had some type of scare whether it is forgetting to use protection, a condom breakage or slippage, or some other situation. The first thing to do is to remain calm. Panicking is not going to help. Consider whether or not you have any symptoms. For men a discharge, pain when urinating and any sores or rashes in and around the genital area should be seen by a doctor. For women painful urination, a discharge, sores, itching and unexpected bleeding are symptoms that could indicate an infection. If your partner has symptoms and you don’t, get tested anyway. Chances are you have it too but aren’t showing symptoms yet. Remember that no matter where a woman is in her cycle, unprotected sex always has the risk of pregnancy. The rhythm method does not protect against it. For those who are concerned, emergency contraception is available at many clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies.

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Preparation is a good way to avoid this from happening in the future. Be sure to select condoms that fit. It is not as many believe one-size-fits-all. For those who incorporate sex toys or engage in oral sex, these too can spread sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Wash toys before and after using them with a gentle, hypoallergenic soap and warm water. For oral sex, use a dental dam. Don’t think just because you don’t have symptoms that you don’t have an STI. Half of men and 70-80% of women with chlamydia don’t experience any kind of symptoms. Many other STIs such as HIV and herpes can hide in the body for years, even decades without the person knowing they have it. After unprotected sex, get tested. It generally takes between two weeks and three months after exposure for an STI to show up on a diagnostic test. There’s no excuse for not protecting yourself. Everyone slips up now and then. It isn’t the end of the world. But be prepared, be vigilant and safeguard yourself against unwanted pregnancy and STIs.