Barriers To Having An Orgasm -

Body Image Problems Around Menstruation

Menstruation

Do you recall the first time you menstruated? Depending on how much information you received in advance (and afterwards) you will have experienced a variety of emotions ranging from sheer terror to pride to pleasure and even delight - and anything in between.

However, terms like "on the rag" or "the curse" can give women a very negative view of a perfectly normal and natural process, and leave a residue of shame around female sexuality.

And since most women do not discover the pleasure of masturbation before they have their first period, the first bleeding cycle is the first real connection most women have with their own female sexuality.

It is not surprising that this can lead to a woman's sense of her sexuality being muddled up with a lot of shame and guilt.

The Monthly Cycle: Changes and Feelings

The start of the menstrual blood flow every twenty-eight to thirty-six days marks the first day of a new cycle. The two key things that happen in the cycle are ovulation and menstruation.

The key factor is a change in estrogen level, which gradually increases from day one of the cycle, stimulating the growth of the egg in the ovary. The egg is released during ovulation about fourteen days later, more or less mid-cycle, and it then goes along the fallopian tube on its journey to the uterus.

You may feel different for two or three days around ovulation; for one thing, some women feel more interested in sex around this time.

Changes in your hormone levels can cause emotional highs and lows as well as bodily changes: both the quantity and texture of your vaginal fluids may change during your cycle.

You may also find your breasts are more sensitive and change size, that you gain weight, and have headaches in the three to five days before menstruation.

A variety of symptoms collectively known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may appear in the days before the menstrual flow; these include mood changes, fatigue, irritability, and restlessness.

A woman's cycles may be irregular during her adolescence and middle age. This is quite normal, as hormone levels rise and fall dramatically during adolescence and menopause.

Even between these times, the regularity and length of the menstrual cycle can be affected by many things, including obesity, anorexia, breast-feeding, regular sexual activity with men, emotional problems and stress and serious illness or disease.

You may find that you have greater sexual desire at a certain point of your cycle - the pattern is different in different women. Some women do not notice any difference in their sexual desire, sexual interest, or sexual activity through their cycle.

Some are more sexual at mid-cycle (around ovulation); some are more sexual just before menstruation; other just after menstruation. There is no one natural pattern.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Before the menstrual flow begins, many women feel irritable, depressed, tired and experience water retention and/or weight gain of between one and five pounds).

Other women feel dizzy, tense, anxious, indecisive, have bloating, headaches and a variety of other symptoms. The intensity of the complaints varies considerably between women.

But oddly enough, the exact cause of PMS remains unknown, though it is likely to be hormone-related. You can try and deal with it in a variety of ways:

Nutrition

A change of diet may help if you have swollen and sore breasts, weight gain, bloating, or migraine headaches. Wholesome foods like fruits, nuts and plain yogurt are good, while high carbohydrate and high salt foods contribute to water retention. Drinking water helps, while caffeine-filled drinks increase fluid retention. Chocolate contains caffeine and can aggravate or initiate migraine headaches.

Alcohol

If you suffer from PMS, a glass of wine or beer per day in the premenstrual days is a good idea. Not only does it have lots of carbohydrates, it is a depressant as well!

Exercise and relaxation

One thing that everyone agrees on is the need to keep fit and healthy. Apart from the benefits of exercise on the body, regular exercise can improve your mood and keep your spirits high! A great plan is to enjoy twenty to thirty minutes of aerobic exercise several times a week..

And relaxation is important, too: so make an effort to have relaxation time, even if you feel selfish doing so! You are not perfect, and you're certainly not superwoman, so don't take on too much, learn to say "no", and find the time to relax.

Drugs

No drugs alleviate all PMS symptoms in all women. But Vitamin B1, (pyridoxine), taken three to four days prior to menstrual flow, helps some women. Taking the contraceptive pill certainly helps. And some women have found relief with ibuprofen.

Menstrual pain

Menstrual cramps can be debilitating, especially during the first thirty-six hours of the menstrual flow. For up to a third of women, the pain is so great that it stops their usual activities. For these women, cramping in the lower abdomen, backache, nausea, headache, faintness, dizziness, and waves of hot or cold sensations are all too familiar.

Primary menstrual pain is due to contractions of the uterus. Secondary menstrual pain is caused by fibroid growths, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, or other disorders.

Menstrual cramps appear to be the result of strong uterine contractions caused by prostaglandins. One of the most successful treatment methods for minor menstrual cramps is aspirin, which has some anti-prostaglandin effects. Women with more severe cramps often find that ibuprofen is helpful.

Maybe most interestingly, some women get relief from menstrual pain when they enjoy an orgasm.

The next step on the road to reaching orgasm during sex

Advice for men on how to stop premature ejaculation can be found here, giving information on excellent treatments and superb strategies to control the timing of your orgasm and enable you to last longer in bed.

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