Sexual Dysfunction in Young Males and Females & Natural Management
Sexual dysfunction in young males and females is a concern and it is becoming increasingly common these days. While the male and female reproductive systems differ a lot in structure and function, some contributing factors can be shared, like stress and nutritional deficiencies. In female dysfunction the hormones have a great role to play and in males the nutrition has a major role. Sexual dysfunction can be managed with therapeutic yoga, herbal ayurvedic supplements and lifestyle modifications. This article describes male and female sexual dysfunction in detail along with the best yoga practices and herbal supplements to boost drive in both males and females. Lifestyle modifications are mentioned which should be taken seriously. INTRODUCTION Both men and women may face issues in their sex drive but it is less common for women to talk about it. The inability to carry on or enjoy sex in young men and women is known as sexual dysfunction. The sex drive in humans can be understood as occurring in four phases - Desire, Arousal, Orgasm and Resolution. The resolution phase differs in men and women, while the first three are generally similar in all men and women. Sexual dysfunction can affect one or both partners at a time. It may have many factors, and the whole problem can be entirely different for men and women. Factors that contribute to sexual dysfunction can be physical, psychological, or hormonal.
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN YOUNG WOMEN Sexual dysfunction in women can be affected by various things, the most important of which is the phase of their menstrual cycle and the hormones dominant at that time. Sensation of pain during the intercourse, inability to get aroused despite the partner being aroused, inability to reach an orgasm, the lack or loss of the desire to have sex, etc. are major forms of sexual dysfunction in women. Around one third of young women may have sexual dysfunction and they may not even realize it. Sexual dysfunction is common in older adults but for young women the fear of getting pregnant and having to take the responsibility of becoming a new mom is a common factor causing anorgasmia i.e. the inability to get an orgasm. Contributing causes in women can be: Premenstrual or during menstruation or whenever the hormone estrogen is high, sexual desire is less in women. In the initial stages of pregnancy when pregnancy is not even known the drive may have already reduced. Some women may be annoyed by the thought of having sex during the time they are pregnant. Phases of menstrual cycle can have different symptoms in the reproductive organs; such as dryness or lack of natural lubrication in the sex organs can be caused by improperly functioning local glands responsible for lubrication. It can result in painful sex for both partners. Some chronic health conditions can interfere with the sex drive of women, such as thyroid imbalances, ovarian cyst disorders, arthritis, uterine abnormalities such as fibroids or endometriosis, etc. Some acute health conditions such as fever or malaise, nausea or premenstrual symptoms, mood swings, etc. can temporarily interfere with sex drive in women. Perimenopause i.e. the age of early forties to late fifties can have great fluctuations of hormones in women. It impacts sexual function. Nutritional deficiencies can cause problems with blood flow which should be increased for sex to be enjoyed. Women on certain medications such as antidepressants can find it extremely difficult to enjoy sex. Stress, anxiety and tension, both acute and chronic, have great impact on the sex drive. The partner's attitude may be a turn off for many individuals. If an individual has been abused sexually in the past by other or the same partner, their sex drive is affected profoundly and it shall take time, cooperation, care and patience to recover. SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN YOUNG MEN Although older adults find it common to have problems in their sexual function, these days younger males are also having issues with their reproductive health and sexual performance. The most experienced and reported problems with male sexual function are - problems getting or maintaining an erection of the sex organ, not being able to maintain orgasm as long as their partner, not being able to relieve i.e. ejaculate fluid, or reduced desire for sex altogether. The factors that cause these problems can be: Hormonal, i.e. irregularity or reduced secretion of the male sexual hormone, testosterone. Being concerned or nervous about their own sexual performance. Not being comfortable with their partner. Chronic or acute stress, anxiety or tension. Interference of past sexual experiences. Other thoughts, such as family or work related ones interfering during sex. Lack of blood circulation in the sex organs. Problems with the urinary tract. Problems with the prostate gland. Drug abuse has a severe adverse effect on sexual function in males. Expectation for a partner to be sexually frank in a particular way. Damaged nerves from past drug abuse. Damaged nerves and muscles from nutritional deficiency. Long repressed sexual desires. Diabetes. Certain medications such as antidepressants or steroids. Overuse of drugs that are meant to improve sexual performance. Overuse of stimulating material such as pictures or videos HERBAL REMEDIES FOR SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION Certain herbs and food items can have a direct impact on our reproductive mechanisms. The following herbs and food items have a direct or indirect impact on one's sexual performance in both men and women: Saffron: this bright colored strand obtained from saffron flowers is an important and gourmet component in Indian cuisine, and it has great medicinal value. It is a natural aphrodisiac and boosts blood and nerve health. Shilajit: Shilajit is extremely famous for its benefits in improving libido in men, but it is as beneficial for women too. Gokhru (Tribulus terrestris): a plant whose fruits are used in ayurvedic formulations, Gokhru improves sex drive in women as well as men. Ginseng: Ginseng is being used in traditional medicine for improving vitality and rejuvenation. It improves sexual function. Fenugreek: fenugreek is a common ingredient in Indian households but it is a secret of grandmothers that this little seed is very helpful in improving sex drive especially if it has been reduced due to an imbalance in hormones. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds that contain healthy oils and dense fatty acids are extremely beneficial for individuals whose sex drive has been adversely affected due to dietary insufficiencies. Milk and Honey: this customary drink that is portrayed in cinema as the magic potion for new married couples actually has medicinal value as well. It is of great importance in ayurvedic remedies to improve libido. BEST YOGA PRACTICES TO BOOST SEXUAL FUNCTION These yoga poses especially target the reproductive systems in males and females. 1. Paschimottanasana Paschimottanasana means 'the pose of stretched back', or it is also called forward seated bend. This asana improves blood circulation in the pelvis and supports hormone secretion. Sit on the mat with legs straight in front of you. Keeping the spine straight, raise and straighten the arms. Inhale while doing so. Lean forward until you can hold or touch your toes. Exhale. Touch your knees with the chin. This is the final position. Stay in the final position for at least 10 seconds. 2. Setubandhasana Setu is the term for a bridge. This pose, known as the bridge pose, is an excellent exercise specially prescribed for all uterine disorders. Lie on your back with arms resting on the sides The palms should rest on the mat. Bend both the knees and bring the heels close to the hips, the heels still resting on the mat. Raise the pelvis off the mat, pushing the mat with the heels and the palms. The line joining the neck and the knees should be straight. This is the final position. Exhale while reaching the final position. Resume normal breathing in the final position. Stay in the final position for upto 20 seconds. This is one round. Practice upto ten rounds. 3. Marjari Asana Popularly known as the cat pose, this pose is a combination of two poses where one's back is hunched up and then dipped down. This exercise not only comforts PCOS symptoms, but also lessens the chances and degree of backache developing during ovulation. Stand on all fours i.e. kneel and place the palms on the floor. Keep the elbows and the knees relaxed but firm. Inhale and drop the back to make it a downward curve. Face should be upright. Exhale and form an upward curve with the back. The face should be down and the chin close to the neck. Repeat each position ten times. Relax the neck and the back. Lift the palms from the mat. This is one round. Perform three rounds. 4. Shashankasana Shashanka means rabbit; hence this pose is 'the pose of the rabbit'. Shashankasana is a relaxation asana as well as a strengthening one. It targets all reproductive organs and stimulates regular hormone secretion. Sit on a mat or your bed by kneeling. The hips should rest on the feet. Inhale while raising your arms straight up. Start bending forward with the arms still extended. Exhale, and keep leaning forward until your face touches the bed/mat. Let the arms rest on the floor/bed. This is the final position. Keep eyes closed and breathe normally in the final position. Stay in this position for upto thirty minutes. 5. Halasana Popularly known as 'The plough pose', the final position of this pose makes you look like a wooden plough. It will bring down blood circulation from the thighs and collect it in the pelvis, and eventually help restore normal ovaries. Lie on your back. Keep arms resting on the sides, palms should rest on the mat. Push the floor with the palms and lift both legs up. Maintain a natural curve of the back while lifting the legs. The knees shouldn't bend. Move the legs further in the same direction until they rest on the mat behind your head. Exhale while doing so. Support the back with the palms. This is the final position. Resume normal breathing in the final position. Stay in the final position for at least 10 seconds. 6. Bhujangasana The pose of the cobra': this pose presses against the reproductive glands in such a way that their secretions are regulated. Lie on your stomach. Let the arms rest on both sides of the body. Bring the hands parallel to your chest, palms facing down. Lift the head up, and bend the spine backwards with the stomach resting on the mat. Support the body with the palms sharing weight. Keep the elbows slightly bent. Inhale while doing so. This is the final position. Stay in the final position for 5-10 seconds. 7. Sarvangasana Sarvangasana means the pose of the whole body. It is especially recommended for all disorders of the pelvic-rectal region. Lie on your back. The arms should be resting on both sides of the body. Exhale fully. Raise both the legs without bending them at the knees. Support the buttocks and the back with your hands. The elbows should be resting on the mat. Align the feet, the knees, the pelvis and the chest in a straight line perpendicular to the earth. This is the final position. Resume normal breathing in the final position. Practice three repetitions. Care should be taken not to strain the neck. LIFESTYLE & DIETARY TIPS FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN Quit smoking. Smoking has adverse effects on the nerves and muscles and their coordination which is extremely important for optimum sexual function. Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol may seem to work in favor of your sexual function at first but in the long run it is very harmful since it damages the sensory nerves. Eat a balanced diet. This way you can prevent nutritional deficiencies. Nutrients are essential for proper development and function of each organ in the body. Practice yoga regularly even if you have no health problems. It is so because yoga will help maintain the state of health and prevent all diseases. Hormones play a key role in sexual function in both males and females. Therefore hormone balance should be maintained via an active lifestyle and balanced diet. Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess weight hampers the natural processes of the body, including hormones and metabolism. Do not consume strong medications usually. The medications make the body dependent on them and also interfere with natural hormone production. You should not shy away from discussing your problems with your partner and / or an expert. CONCLUSION Sexual dysfunction can be really frustrating especially when you are a young adult and have not even started entering late adulthood. Both men and women can face problems in their sex drive. Various factors that affect the sex drive in men and women should be discovered and eliminated. Women as well as men may find it challenging to speak to someone about it. But this is nothing to be embarrassed or hesitant about. You can join personal yoga sessions where your therapist shall evaluate your history in detail and will guide you about the most effective yoga practices and diet. The practices and supplements mentioned here are generally safe and effective for everyone but people with multiple conditions should compulsorily consult an expert before beginning any program.