, , , , , , , , ,

Sex Q & A with Dr. Elna Rudolph

Sex Q & A with Dr. Elna Rudolph

Dr. Elna Rudolph answers a few questions about sex.

My partner wants to try anal sex more often, but I don’t enjoy it. I’m worried that if I don’t do it, he will feel unfulfilled…

There are certain no-no’s when it comes to sex in relationships and they are different for each couple. The one might never want to have sex unless she first had a shower, the other will never allow oral sex, and another will not do it with the lights on. These taboos should be respected by the partner, but it does not mean that they cannot shift when the reasons behind them are explored and some basic information with specific suggestions are given in the form of sex education or formal therapy.

When it comes to anal sex being one of the taboos, there are usually two reasons: Firstly some people have religious or moral issues with it. These can be quite difficult to shift and should sometimes just be respected. The other reason is that it is just too uncomfortable and therefore really not enjoyable. Guys expect that they will be able to just penetrate their partners as easily as it looks in porn. The reality is that most people have to go through a process to get used to being stimulated first around and then in the anus. Start with some light touch and rubbing and then move to inserting a well lubricated little finger and then progressively go larger from there. If you are really committed to it, you could also practice by yourself to get used to what it takes for the anal sphincter to relax. Like any muscle, it has the ability, but it takes time. If you perceive the attempt at penetration to be threatening and you anticipate the pain, the muscle will just go into spasm and make it more difficult and unpleasant.

How many times a week is it normal to masturbate? I’m in a long-term relationship and masturbate at least once a week, but my partner says he never does.

It depends on many things. If there is so-called “desire discrepancy” in a couple (which is the case in most relationships!) the partner with the higher desire is left frustrated if he or she does not masturbate. Masturbating is also a form of self-loving and soothing. You might get something completely different from masturbating than what you get from sex and therefore remain to have a need for it although you are in a very sexually fulfilling relationship. More than five times a week probably becomes excessive (according to international definitions anyway). It is also normal to never masturbate if you are in steady relationship. Whatever works for you.

I found a stash of lesbian porn on my husband’s computer and watched a video out of curiosity. It really got me off. What does this mean? Am I a closet lesbian?

Not necessarily. Up to 80% of women get turned on by some girl-on-girl action! You are a lesbian (if we have to use such a rigid term) if you would like to build a life with another woman. If lesbian porn excites you, you have just expanded your repertoire of excitement and fantasy.

I sometimes feel like my husband and I are more in the best friend zone than sexually connected. What can I do to get the spark back?

Make sure that you create special experiences when it comes to sex. The longer the relationship, the more difficult it is to create more and more exciting sexual experiences and then you get stuck in a rut.

It is however possible to create a special experience in a different way each time. Take time to make love through sensual massages and external stimulation, do the romantic candle lights and special music thing, make regular dates for love making, increase the oxytocin (bonding hormone) between you by looking each other in the eye, hugging and cuddling – all things to make a concerted effort to say: this is a special relationship with an intimate bond, not merely a friendship.

The more you are like friends, the more difficult these things are, but get started sooner rather than later!

How do I get my partner to go down on me more often?

Ask for it! Make sure you have the hair and hygiene under control and buy some special lubes that taste nice to encourage him. Returning the favor also goes a long way in encouraging him! (His favour might not be oral sex, it might be something else he loves that you are not doing frequently – find out what that is).

My guy doesn’t know how to make me climax – while he’s well-endowed, he’s not an expert at making it work. How do I nudge him in the right direction?

Firstly, you have to be honest about the fact that you are not getting there. Make it about you, not him. Tell him that there is only a specific way that works for you to come and you want to show him how to help you to get there. Show him how you do it and let him get involved in taking over more and more of the stimulation each time.

If he is offended by this and does not want to cooperate, think twice about sorting out a budget or raising kids with him!

How do I tell if he has an STI?

Sometimes you see a discharge, sore, blister, bump or wart in your genital area. It might have a bad smell or burn when you urinate. The reality is that most of the times you won’t even know about it. You will have to get tested.

I’ve just woken up from a night of tantric sex, but I’ve broken out in a nasty rash – I think it might be from the latex condoms we used. Are there any others we could try?

You could get latex-free condoms, but they are very difficult to find. Order them off the internet. It can also be due to oils you used for massaging.

I’m really in love with my partner but I struggle to get turned on by him. What should I do?

Check your hormone levels. Getting turned on is heavily dependent on testosterone. If you are taking an oral contraceptive, it breaks down and block your testosterone and therefore it is difficult to become sexually aroused. Some women just don’t produce enough testosterone. It can be supplemented through the skin, though. Never ever through injections!

My partner is amazing in bed, but he enjoys taking drugs before sex. I sometimes do it with him, but it bothers me that he wants to be high when we’re having sex. How do I tell him?

Be honest about it. tell him that you value the relationship and that you would like to have real intimacy with him and not just a fun, exhilarating experience. Ask him to do it your way every second time.

My partner is always super aroused when we’re in public, and not so much in private. While the thrill of getting caught is sexy, I’m over the riskiness. How do I get him to be as aroused when we’re at home?

It has to do with his sexual arousal template that was probably formed in his brain before the age of nine! He will have to learn that he has a very rigid arousal template and that it can actually be adapted and expanded. He also has to learn that sex is sometimes not that exciting, sometimes it is more special and for the purpose of bonding than for the purpose of that ultimate high. Guys with a rigid arousal template often have problems with real intimacy and if the problem is really severe, it should be addressed in therapy.

I’m very attracted to my partner, but during sex, I get uncomfortable and clamp up. How do I get over this?

That sounds like it could be vaginismus. We are a team of professionals that specialise in helping women deal with this problem. I wish there was a one-liner answer to that one, but unfortunately there isn’t. It’s usually caused by a combination of medical conditions, childhood trauma, religious upbringing with excessive guilt, poor sex education, psychological as well as relationship issues. These all need to be addressed for you to stop clamping up with the man you love.

Help! His penis is too big!

You can use muscle relaxants, better lube, vaginal dilators and even physiotherapy to get over this hurdle! There is also a device from Pure Romance, called Super Stretch Lips, that you can put over his penis to keep a part of it outside of the vagina during intercourse, but it is usually the girth that is the problem. Make sure you have pleeently of foreplay in order for your body to get ready for penetration.

Help! His penis is too small!

Make sure you get satisfied before penetration happens. You can also do kegel exercises and even see a physiotherapist that specialises in the area to help you strengthen your muscles in order to “feel” him better. A device like a We-Vibe also helps to improve the sensation during penetration if you need more than what he ‘has to offer’.

My boyfriend asked me to stick a finger in his bum while we were having sex. At first, I wasn’t keen, but eventually I agreed, and he said he had the most intense orgasm ever. Now he wants to do it all the time. Does this mean he’s gay?

No, not at all! It just means that he has discovered his p-spot. The nerve that supplies sensation this area is the same as the one that supplies your clitoris, so you do the math.

My new boyfriend has marathon-runner stamina in the bedroom. Sex goes on forever. I actually start getting bored and sometimes even chafed. How can I make him come faster?

Ask him to! If he can’t, he has what is called delayed ejaculation. Although it is a difficult condition to treat in sex therapy or sexual medicine, it can be done. Firstly, check if he is not on anti-depressant drugs that may be causing the problem. That can easily be changed to a different type, if it is the case. You can also tell him that you will help him come in another way or he can get himself there (which is usually much quicker) but you are only up for ten minutes of penetration in any one round (the vagina struggles to stay lubricated for longer than that in most women).

I want to do a striptease for my guy but I’m really uncoordinated and I’m worried it’s going to be more comedy than sexy. What’s the best costume to wear that’s easy and sexy to remove?

Probably a man’s shirt, tie and a top hat. Make sure you have the sexy stockings with dispensers and heals that you can still move in to complete the outfit (or at least that is what I’m told by the Carmen Electra Strip Tease DVD that was given by a friend! Not exactly the content covered in a Master’s Degree in Sexual Health!).

I don’t feel pain during sex, but afterwards, I bleed for two to three days, as if I’m having a period. What’s up?

You probably have an infection. See a gynae or doctor who knows something about this as soon as possible! Worst case scenario – it might be a cancer, so don’t wait!

I had my period twice last month. Google says it may be due to stress and my diet. But now I’m feeling some pain below my stomach. What could it be?

Ovarian cysts can cause abnormal bleeding and lower abdominal pain. You need to see a gynae or at least get a pelvic ultrasound done.

What can I do to reduce wetness before and during intercourse?

It may sound a bit strange, but you can just be practical about it and keep a towel handy to remove some of the excess moisture. We also compound a special cream to be applied into the vagina prior to sex to reduce the lubrication. Just also check for an infection. Sometimes the wetness is not lubrication but actually from an infection. Another option is to go onto a low dose estrogen contraceptive. That often causes vaginal dryness which could help in your case.

How do I tighten and strengthen my vaginal muscles?

You can get lots of information about Kegel Exercises on the internet – with different variations and programmes. Many women find it difficult to isolate these muscles and end up squeezing everything but their vaginal muscles. There are physiotherapists who specialise in this area. They will teach you how to do it through biofeedback.

My husband is 63; I’m 31, but he wants sex every day – sometimes twice a day! I can’t keep up. What should I do?

It can be that he just has a very healthy appetite but it can also be that he has a discomfort in his pelvic area that is released through intercourse, something called persistent genital arousal disorder, or it might be that he has an addiction. With professional help, it can be established which one of the three it is. The point however, is that his high desire cannot be your responsibility. You can have sex as many times as you are willing and able to, but the rest of the time, he will have to sort it out himself.

It can also be a hormonal imbalance which can be addressed medically, so get help if you are taking strain.

I lost my brother six months ago, but am still feeling the loss so I have bouts of depression that kill my sex drive to the point where I don’t even want to be touched or kissed, and its taking strain on my marriage. I can’t take anything hormone based as I have a factor 5 laiden disorder. Is there anything I can do or try to help me out my slump?

One the one hand you just have to be patient with yourself and give yourself time to get over this extremely traumatic life experience. It takes time and it is normal to lose your libido when you have depression.

On the other hand, make sure you get professional help. See a psychologist and take an anti-depressant that does not take your libido away. Something that works very well, but only if you are not anxious, is a drug called bupropion. It can actually boost your libido even if you don’t have depression.

My cramps before and during my period are awful! Is there anything I can do to ease them?

You can go onto the pill or have the Mirena inserted. Natural medicine like Premular or Femiscript also helps. Many women find benefit from using Evening Primrose Oil.

My IUD cut my guy during sex. Is something wrong?

Yes, definitely! It is falling out and probably not effective as a contraceptive anymore! Have it removed and replaced immediately. Sometimes when the strings are cut too short, they sting the partner, but if he got a cut, it was from the actual device itself and it should be removed.

My partner and I are both virgins. How can we make our first time really special?

By taking it really slow. Make sure you have covered base one, two and three before you try to have sex. Also make sure he can insert two fingers into your vagina without hurting you. Don’t expect to have orgasms, just enjoy the uncharted waters of really being one for the first time. You can add more movement and stimulation as time goes on.

My friends say they love having their nipples played with. Mine aren’t sensitive so I don’t really enjoy it. Is there something wrong with me?

No, you probably have other areas that get you going, focus on those and make sure you partner knows about them. If they are not very sensitive, normal kissing and sucking might not feel like much to you. Try a bit more pressure that goes towards pain (but not painful) – that could be very intense and pleasurable for women with nipples that are not very sensitive. Vibration also makes a difference.

What does an orgasm feel like?

It is different for every women – some say it feels like sneezing and others like dying! You have to find out for yourself. One thing that all orgasms have in common is a climax (or a few of them) and then a fall. There is a definite point where you can feel that you are experiencing a release. If the release is gradual or the pleasurable sensation just kind of weans off, you did not have an orgasm. You will know if you did.

I keep getting yeast infections, but my guy won’t treat himself at the same time.

Yeast infections love the vaginal pH, they usually don’t survive on a guy’s penis. The fact that you are getting recurrent infections is not due to him not being treated, it is most likely due to you not being sufficiently treated, or it might not a yeast infection but bacterial vaginosis or even an STI. If it is an STI, he will need to be treated as well. Guys get candida only if they have very low immunity like with HIV or diabetes.

Getting rid of yeast infections often require repeated regular dosages of oral anti-fungal medication, restoring the balance of the pH in your vagina and removing triggers for yeast infections like bubble baths and food that is high in sugar.

We often see atypical yeast infections like candida glabrata. You should get a vaginal swab MCS and ask for specific culture and sensitivity for the candida.

 

, , ,

Candidiasis

Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a fungal infection in the body. There are many species of Candida, but the most common species that causes infection is called Candida albicans.

Candida albicans occurs normally in small amounts in the body. An overgrowth of the fungus, Candida albicans is what causes candidiasis. Candidiasis can affect many parts of the body including the mouth, throat, oesophagus (food pipe) and the genitourinary tract (vagina, bladder or penis).

It is extremely common amongst people from all walks of life.

Vaginal infection

A vaginal infection with Candida albicans is sometimes referred to as “thrush” or a “yeast infection”

It is very common: 3 out of every 4 women will have this infection at least once (if not more) in their lifetime! It is normal to have some Candida present in the vaginal canal, however an overgrowth of Candida can cause a symptomatic yeast infection.

So how does the infection occur?

The normal vaginal canal requires a very carefully regulated pH and the presence of healthy bacteria. The presence of “good” bacteria helps to keep the growth of Candida under control. Many factors can cause the Candida to “overgrow” and cause an infection. These factors include antibiotics, stress, fragranced toiletries and steroid use amongst many others. Many woman “douche” the vagina, and this can contribute to thrush. As it removes the healthy bacteria from the vagina and changes the pH within the vagina.

What are the symptoms?

Thrush can cause itching of the vulva, vaginal discharge (thick white discharge – “cottage cheese”), burning/pain on urination and burning/pain during sex.

What are the treatment options?

Some treatments are available over-the-counter (without prescription). These are usually vaginal creams and tablets which are placed into the vagina. Your doctor may also prescribe a tablet (usually Fluconazole) which is an “anti-fungal” and works against the Candida albicans.

Penile Infection

Candida can also affect the penis. It usually affects the head of the penis, and causes redness, burning/pain during urination/sex, and a rash. It can occur because of an overgrowth of bacteria or from direct contact with a partner with a thrush infection. It can be treated in the same way (creams which are applied or with tablets to drink).

What can be done to prevent Candida infection?

Avoid using perfumed and fragranced soaps in and around the genitals. Avoid vaginal douche: this does not help clean out the infection, it only makes it worse. Your doctor can suggest a probiotic to use to help replace the “good bacteria” in the vagina. Use condoms to prevent the spread of infection and partner re-infection.

IMPORTANT: Although thrush can be spread via sex, it is NOT a sexually transmitted infection. Meaning, that it can occur without sexual intercourse.

Although thrush can be treated with over-the-counter medications, it is advised that you consult your doctor so that they can make sure it is not another type of infection/illness.

, , , ,

The Complications of Untreated Chlamydia

The Complications of Untreated Chlamydia

By Rebekah Kendal.

We take a closer look at the complications that men and women might experience as a result of untreated chlamydia.

Because at least half of the people with chlamydia don’t experience any symptoms, it is possible to have the infection without realising it.  According to Dr Elna Rudolph, a medical doctor and sexologist from My Sexual Health, it is possible to develop complications over time if the infection goes untreated, particularly if you get infected repeatedly.

Complications in women

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): “The most serious complication is PID,” says Rudolph, “where the infection goes into the fallopian tubes and around the ovaries and other areas in the pelvis.”
  • Infertility: PID can cause scarring and obstruction in the fallopian tubes, which can result in infertility. It can also increase your risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
  • Bartholin’s cyst: Untreated chlamydia can cause the glands that produce lubricating mucus during sex, Bartholin’s glands, to become blocked, resulting in a cyst. An abscess may form if the cyst becomes infected.
  • Increased risk of STIs: “If you have untreated chlamydia, you are actually at much higher risk of contracting other infections such as gonorrhoea and HIV,” explains Rudolph.
  • Infection in newborns: Chlamydia can be passed from a mother to her child during delivery. According to Rudolph, this usually results in an eye infection, which can be treated with an antibiotic ointment.

Complications in men

  • Epididymitis and prostatitis: “Chlamydia can cause infections of the epididymis, the sperm pipe next to the testicles, or an infection in the prostate that can cause pain during intercourse, fever and chills,” says Rudolph.
  • Urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra (urine tube) is most commonly caused by chlamydia. Symptoms of urethritis include a cloudy white discharge from the tip of the penis and pain or burning during urination.
  • Reiter Syndrome: “Occasionally chlamydia is associated with a condition called Reiter Syndrome where there is a reaction to the infection, which affects the whole body,” says Rudolph. “This can cause joint swelling, and can affect the eyes and urethra.”

Shared complications

If chlamydia is contracted during oral or anal sex, it can result in complications that can affect both men and women. “You can get a sore throat, painful swallowing, coughing and fever,” explains Rudolph. “In the anus, it usually causes a discharge and can cause bleeding and painful sex.”

Treatment

“PID and testis infections can be treated with antibiotic treatment and occasionally surgery if abscesses have formed. The infertility can sometimes be reversed, but only with very specialised surgery of the fallopian tubes,” counsels Rudolph. “The Reiter Syndrome is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and resolves by itself over time.”

For more information and other sex-related queries, visit www.mysexualhealth.co.za.

, , , , ,

Eager Beaver

Eager Beaver

By Nichi Hodgson, Originally published in Women’s Health Magazine, 2015. Edited by Dr. Elna Rudolph.

Things we love about vaginas: they have more names than Snoop Dogg. People have written poems, songs and plays about them, and in our overexposed, overtly sexualized world, vaginas still hold the power to appall, enthrall and excite. Oh, and give birth. But it turns out we still have a few tricks to learn…

Oral sex how-to (for him)

A guide you might want to subtly leave on his bedside table…

  1. “While you’re kissing, press a thigh between her legs,” says sex expert Midori, author of Wild Side Sex (like Madonna, she only needs one name). “Now, grind in, moving up and down. It’s the washing-machine-on-spin-cycle principle – the overall vibration has a greater effect than just using a finger or two.” Noted.
  2. “Next, start to nibble through her skirt as a teasing prelude – she should soon start grinding on your face. But before her panties come off completely, try breathing and licking her through them. It’ll make for a truly explosive touchdown when your tongue finally makes direct contact with her clitoris.”
  3. Now to master your technique. “If you want to practice clitoral stimulation, put a Tic Tac in a sandwich bag. Learn to suck the mint between your lips without using your teeth, then keep it there, while using your tongue to tease it.” Well, that’s something they never mentioned in the advert.

Question Time…

Things you never learnt during high school sex ed…

Q. Can my Rabbit give me an STI?

A. If you’ve had one before, yes, you can get it again from your vibrator, says sex educator Kate McCombs. “Toys made from porous material can harbor infections. Choose silicone, glass or stainless steel and clean them in soap and hot water.” Non-electric silicone ones can even go in the dishwasher. Just watch out who unloads it.

Q. Can his cold sore give me genital herpes?

A. In a nutshell: yes. According to Dr Natalie Hinchcliffe, “The HSV 1 type (usually the oral kind) can be passed to your genitals, even if lesions aren’t present.” Cold sores on your cooch? Not ideal. Dr. Elna Rudolph adds that “the notion that HSV1 is an oral infection and HSV2 is a genital infection is no longer true.  You can get “cold sores” on your genitals and genital herpes in your mouth and on your lips.  If he has ever had a fever blister, he can give you genital herpes! The chance is slim, but not zero.  In SA 80% of people have HSV1 in their mouths – it leaves a very small minority that can safely have oral sex!”

Q. Could I become vibrator-dependent?

A. Afraid so, says sex therapist Sarah Berry. “Too much vibrator use can desensitise you. If you’re struggling to orgasm with a partner, cut out the toys until you get used to manual stimulation again.” Turn off to get turned on. “If your brain gets used to reaching orgasm in a specific way, without variations, it becomes learned behavior and deviating from that becomes difficult”, says Rudolph.  “Make sure you love yourself in many different ways to keep your clitoris (and brain!) sensitive to all kinds of stimulation.”

Q. Is it possible to grow a vagina?

A. Actually, yes. US scientists have pioneered a way to lab-grow a vagina from a woman’s own cells. It can then be implanted into her body. The process takes just six weeks and the vagina even has full sexual function. But what do they do with the old one?

Three things your vajayjay would veto

Treat your vagina with kindness and it will return the favour.

1. Smoking

The risk of cervical cancer is about double in smokers,” says Hinchcliffe. “Smoking also puts you at greater risk of certain STIs, including trichomonas – you know, the one that gives you a horrible, foul-smelling discharge.” Stub it out for the sake of your vag. Rudolph adds: “It is much more difficult for your body to fight off the damage cause by HPV infection if you smoke.  Women who already have abnormal pap smears have a much higher chance of it getting worse and worse, even up to the point of cervix cancer, if they smoke.  Some infections like the foul-smelling Trichomonas is also more common in smokers.”

2. Douching

“Your vagina actually cleans itself, so there’s no need to douche it with anything,” explains Hinchcliffe. “In fact, bacterial vaginosis is significantly more common among women who douche, as is general irritability in the area. Your vagina is not meant to smell like a rose, so stop trying to make it.” But if you insist, for gynae’s sake put down the lemon verbena soap on a roap and use a specially formulated wash with the right pH balance. FEMAGENE products won’t upset your beaver’s balance, BUT only if you use it externally.  Never ever use any soap inside your vagina and definitely don’t squirt anything into your vagina. It kills all the good stuff and makes your situation worse in the long run. Bacterial Vaginosis, a condition where one or more of the natural bacteria in your vagina overgrows and cause a smelly discharge, is much more common in women who douche or try to wash inside their vaginas.

3. Penetration-only orgasms

Too many of us still prioritise the hole as the goal – to our sexual detriment. A study by neuroendocrinologist Dr Kim Wallen found that seven percent of women can climax from penetrative sex alone. What’s more, he calculated the “C-V ratio” to show it’s the distance between your clitoris and vagina that likely determines your ability to have a hole-in-one orgasm. The perfect pump-to-pleasure measurement was found to be 2.5cm. If yours is longer than that, don’t let him think it’s only his magic wand that counts.

For when your hoo-haa isn’t feeling hunky dory…

Find out when your lady garden needs some love…

> Symptom: Burnt skin thanks to a bad bikini wax

Unless the skin is blistered, this doesn’t require medical attention. Just treat as you would any other burnL run under cold water, apply cream such as E45, avoid intercourse until healed and, most importantly, get yourself a new beautician, pronto!

> Symptom: Discharge after intercourse

As long as there’s no strange colour or sudden change in consistency, it’s normal. Discharge increases with sexual arousal and the amount varies from woman to woman. And if a guy ejaculates inside you, expect to leak.

> Symptom: Soreness or irritation after exercise

A dragging sensation could indicate vaginal prolapse. Cycling is one of the worst culprits for beaver-bruising, as a study in the BMJ found female cyclists were at particular risk of infections and swelling. Saddle and handlebar positions are important – German scientists found sitting with your upper body at a 30-degree angle to the bike frame can reduce blood flow to your vagina by up to 70 percent. Stand up on your pedals every 10 minutes to avoid this.

> Symptom: Pain during and after sex

One in five women experience pain during intercourse.  There can be various reasons for this from serious gynaecological conditions to hormonal imbalances, infections to muscles spasms and nerve abnormalities.  These need to be excluded and then managed by an experienced multi-disciplinary team that can also address the psychological aspects of suffering from painful intercourse.  Treatment might involve using vaginal dilators, physiotherapy and various creams as well as sorting out any infections and gynae problems.

> Symptom: Bleeding between periods

This warrants some form of medical investigation, as it can be caused by infection, cervical cancer or ectropion (also known as cervical erosion). Ectropion is a normal response to hormones and usually occurs in women of reproductive age, especially those using hormonal contraception. It can be scary, but as long as your smear tests are normal, it’s unlikely to be a long-term worry.

> Symptom: Pain at the top of your pubic bone

Generally means pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an ovarian cyst or endometriosis. PID symptoms include fever, unusual discharge and bleeding between periods. Cysts cause acute pain on one side, but often go away by themselves. Painful sex, severe period pain and pain going for a number two could be endometriosis, which can be eased with oral or hormonal contraceptives.

 

,

FEMAGENE FACT FILE: THRUSH AND HOW TO AVOID IT

FEMAGENE FACT FILE: THRUSH AND HOW TO AVOID IT

Published by Femagene.

If you’ve ever been on anti-biotics, been overly stressed, or had been using the wrong intimate hygiene products then you may have also experienced a fungal infection of the vagina, or Thrush – as it’s commonly known. The symptoms include itching, burning in the vaginal area, white, lumpy discharge, soreness and even a rash.

Dr Elna Rudolph, medical doctor, sexologist and Femagene sexual health expert says this type of infection is relatively common in women. “Candida is a fungal infection in the body. There are many species of Candida, but the most common one is called Candida Albicans and it usually occurs normally in small amounts in the body.  When it overgrows, it causes the infection called candidiasis and can affect many parts of the body including the mouth, throat, oesophagus (food pipe) and the vagina, bladder or penis.” says Dr Rudolph.

There are many factors that can cause the Candida to overgrow and cause an infection. These factors include antibiotics, stress, fragranced toiletries and steroid use amongst many others.

Dr Rudolph says that there are a couple of ways that you might avoid contracting a yeast infection including:

  • Avoid bubble baths, fragranced lubes and soaps
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, avoiding too much sugar and carbohydrates
  • Take a supplement that includes lactobacillus specifically in the vagina
  • Avoid trousers that are too tight
  • Select natural fabrics like cotton when choosing underwear
  • Avoid sitting in very hot baths for too long
  • Avoid douching completely
  • Select feminine products that are fragrance free and sensitive.

According to Dr Rudolph the Femagene range has been designed specifically for women and their intimate areas and variants can be selected based on the specific requirements of each individual woman. Options to choose from range from fragrance free, pH balanced, specific plant extracts (such as Cajuputy essential leaf oil, Cleomilk® and Defensil®) mild surfactant based and paraben free options.

For more information on Femagene, visit www.femagene.co.za

,

LADIES! A COUPLE OF TIPS TO KEEP YOUR VAJAYJAY IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER!

LADIES! A COUPLE OF TIPS TO KEEP YOUR VAJAYJAY IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER!

Press release for Femagene. By Dr. Elna Rudolph.

As little girls, we’re all taught the basics – ‘Don’t fiddle around down there!’ and ‘make sure you wipe in the right direction!’ Clearly, these reminders are important to stop dirt getting into the wrong places and the spread of infection. As we get older, there are a few more tips for keeping our intimate areas healthy and happy.

Medical doctor, sexologist and Femagene sexual health expert, Dr Elna Rudolph offers a few handy hints:

  1. Your vagina produces discharge. It’s normal for a woman to have up to a tablespoon of discharge in a day. What isn’t normal is any itchiness in your vaginal area – this could be candida and should be treated.  If you think you have thrush, you can buy an anti-fungal treatment over the counter and if you do not respond to the treatment, you will have to see a doctor.
  2. Your vagina has a musky odour – this is normal. As women, we often try to mask any scent arising from our intimate areas. However, an unpleasant odour is not normal and should be referred to a doctor.
  3. Your vagina is self-cleaning. Don’t be tempted to douche. Douching is unnecessary and negatively affects the sensitive pH balance in the vagina.
  4. Your vagina is sensitive. Treat it with care. Opt for products that are gentle and designed specifically for women. A product like Femagene Intimate Hygiene soap helps to restore and maintain the correct pH in the
  5. Your vagina needs attention. You should have a speculum examination and pap smear at least every second year in your 20s and every three years in your 30s and beyond provided that everything has always been normal. If you have had abnormal cells on your pap smear, you will need an annual check-up at least.

For more information visit www.femagene.co.za

, , ,

Die noodsaaklikheid van seksopvoeding en jou ‘tween’

Deur Dr. Elna Rudolph, gepubliseer in Intiem Tydskrif, Maart 2015.

Jou tween is op daardie ongemaklike stadium – nóg kind nóg tiener. ‘n Inbetweener, of kortweg, ‘n tween. Die vrae raak al hoe meer. Hulle selfbeeld word vanuit alle rigtings gesqueeze en uitmekaar getrek. En julle as ouers moet seker maak sy of hy weet genoeg…

Lees die volledige artikel hier.

 

STI (STD) Research at My Sexual Health

We are super excited about the new STI (STD) research project My Sexual Health is involved in through the University of Pretoria at our branches – in Johannesburg (Bryanston) and Pretoria (Silver Lakes).  Dr. Elna Rudolph, Dr. Jireh Serfontein and Dr. Jeanne Aspeling are all involved in this research study on Sexually Transmitted Infections.

We are doing a study to see how many women have an infection called trichomoniasis and then we are also looking for the other infections that go with it, like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Candida, Mycoplasma, Bacterial Vaginosis, Ureaplasma Urealyticum.

The tests we are doing are worth around R5000 and it done for free! You just pay for the consultation.

Usually during research, the patient do not get the results of the investigation, but we have negotiated with the University of Pretoria and the results will be available for us to give feedback and the appropriate STI (STD) treatment to the patients.

For this study, we are only going to do about 200 samples, so if you are interested in being on and STI (STD) study, please contact our offices at 086 7272 950 to arrange an appointment.

 

, ,

Candida or Thrush

Candida or Thrush

Published by Femagene.

Dr. Elna Rudolph shares everything you need to know about candida and how to prevent and treat it.

, ,

Why and what to expect from annual check-ups

Why and what to expect from annual check-ups

Published by Femagene.

Dr. Elna Rudolph shares the importance of going for annual check-ups.