Even if you didn’t trust your feelings, study after study is here to ratify that sex is one of the best activities you can indulge in. Defending your body against viruses, it keeps your immune system humming. It lowers systolic blood pressure, and because it makes you spend five calories per minute, it’s considered a great cardio exercise.
But too much of a good thing can be bad, remember? Sometimes, bedroom action can turn into a disaster.
Mumbai’s top gynaecs and andrologists outline the top 5 sex hazards, and how to handle them.
Penile fractures: This one’s not funny, although it sounds incredulous. It’s possible for men to `break’ their penis, and that’s odd considering the organ carries no bones. The injury is referred to as penile fracture and occurs when an erect penis is abruptly bent. You’ll know when it happens because you will hear a crackle of a sound before experiencing excruciating pain and swelling followed by blue bruising in the area. If the urethra is torn too, you will notice bleeding in the urinary tract.
This causes a tear in the tunica albuginea membrane which envelopes the core of the organ -the area responsible for the erection. During an erection, blood floods into the penis, and a tear means that it can seep into surrounding tissue. Is there a way to prevent it? Be smart while indulging in an aggressive romp because the injury can occur at any time if the penis is thrust against a hard surface, including the perineum -the area between the anus and the vulva in women.
You needn’t try every variation in the Kamasutra, Dr Rupin Shah, consultant andrologist and microsurgeon at Lilavati & Bhatia Hospitals, suggests on a lighter note. “If it seems too weird, chances are you won’t be able to execute it. Let it be,” he suggests. Immediate care usually ranges from cold compresses to anti-inflammatory medication but usually, it’s surgery that it finally needed. There is a 100 per cent chance of recovery, he claims, as long as the patient seeks immediate medical help.Delay can mean a permanent slight curvature and weakness. It’s not before two months that you can plan a round of bedroom action again, though.
Vaginal tears: This is not uncommon among sexually active women. These are not cuts in the way one would imagine. They are essentially lacerations that may not be serious but are a cause of discomfort because they can be painful. Burning, irritation, discomfort and itching are the usual signs.Frequent sex and lack of lubrication are chief reasons. Sexologists can’t stress the importance of foreplay enough, not only to up the quality of sexual experience but also because it’s a handy tool to prevent injury. Vaginal dryness, sometimes caused by lack of foreplay, is a common cause for vaginal cuts and tears. Stress and hormonal changes can also be responsible for the lack of lubrication, but ladies, this one is easily fixed, say gynaecologists.
Insist on foreplay before intercourse. There’s no other more effective way to lubricate yourself and enjoy the act. Else, opt for a lubricant available at the chemist. Try and avoid those that are derivatives of sugar since they could cause yeast reactions in some women, as can flavoured ones. Try a patch test -take a tiny bit and try it on one side of the labia. If it burns or irritates, don’t use it. If your partner is adventurous, try new positions. The woman-ontop is usually one that keeps vaginal tears to a minimum. The easiest trick? Drink loads of water.It’s a natural way to lubricate. If you are dehydrated, it’s going to make matters worse.
Frenelum bleeding: Dr Shah says this is the most common injury Indian men sustain, especially if they are having intercourse for the first time. “It’s often seen among just-married men. And they are horrified to see bleeding in the middle of sex,” he says. A tight frenulum (the tissue that connects the penis with the foreskin) or tight foreskin is the culprit.Tightness leads to splitting during aggressive intercourse. Shah advises men to check for tight foreskin. If you are unable to pull it back freely and without pain, consult your urologist.
Urinary tract infections: “It’s as common as a cold and cough these days,” says gynaecologist Dr Sheetal Sabherwal. Sex is one of the most common reasons for UTIs among women. This is because during intercourse, bacteria from the genital area and anus easily travel into the urethra, bladder or kidneys causing frequent and painful urination, lower back pain, and abdominal pain. Hygiene is key, stresses Sabherwal. It’s a good idea to wash up before and after sex but you needn’t use strong soap.
“Water is good enough. Gently dab the area dry with toilet paper after a loo run. Soap will only increase dryness,” she adds. A works-anytime-trick — always pee before and after intercourse. “A full bladder distends closer to the vagina and causes more irritation during the act,” she says. It also clears the urethra of bacteria and relieves bladder pressure. Wash your hands before and after sex, and tank up on fluids. It’s a great way to help flush out bacteria by diluting your urine. Some of Sabherwal’s patients have complained of allergy to the latex, lubricant or spermicidal in condoms. “I tell them to change the brand or try other methods of contraception,” she says.