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Tucson, Arizona: More women opting to ‘rejuvenate’ their vaginas for better sex lives

Anthony K. Freeman 71 Polk Street Tucson, AZ 85701

SINGAPORE — Like many women, business owner Nan Eliana incorporates anti-ageing laser treatments as part of her skincare regimen. These days, however, she no longer limits such cosmetic procedures to her face.

Last month, Ms Eliana, who is in her late 30s, underwent a novel laser procedure to “rejuvenate” her vaginal health.

“My husband and I are hoping to have a fulfilling and healthy sex life for as long as possible.

“Going for a vaginal rejuvenation laser procedure is me doing my bit to ensure it stays good. I certainly do not want to wait till I get menopausal,” said Ms Eliana, whose treatment session took approximately 30 minutes and cost about S$1,200.

Ms Eliana is among a growing number of pre-menopausal women in Singapore opting for such vaginal laser procedures to enhance their sex lives.

Her treatment was carried out using a non-invasive, non-ablative Erbium YAG laser that produces thermal effects in vaginal tissue.

The day procedure works by stimulating collagen (the protein responsible for keeping the skin elastic), which in turn restores elasticity and tightens the vaginal canal, said Dr Ang Huai Yan, an obstetrician and gynaecologist from International Women’s Clinic, which offers these procedures.

TIGHTENING UP AFTER CHILDBIRTH

Last year, a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved laser treatment, targeting women suffering from vaginal atrophy, was made available in Singapore’s clinics and hospitals. The condition is characterised by thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls, and typically occurs after menopause.

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Although these treatments were initially targeted at post-menopausal women, doctors said they are seeing an increasing number of younger patients, many of whom are postpartum mothers eager to turn back the clock to achieve pre-pregnancy vaginal health.

About three in five patients seeing Dr Wendy Teo, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Wendy Women’s Clinic, for vaginal laxity issues are under the age of 50. She has noted a 30 per cent increase in women seeking treatment for female sexual dysfunction in recent years.

Urogynaecologist Christopher Chong, of Chris Chong Women and Urogynae Centre, has seen a five-fold rise in patient numbers seeking medical attention for female sexual dysfunction issues, among them vaginal laxity and atrophy, over the past five years.

“Some of my patients have relationship problems with their husbands while others are bothered by the decrease in sexual pleasure. Some patients tell me they’ve always had this laxity issue since childbirth and were bothered by it, but never found the time to sort it out.

“Now that they are in their 40s and their kids are older, they are finally finding some time to ‘care’ for themselves,” said Dr Teo.

Such vaginal rejuvenation procedures are also gaining traction in Taiwan and certain cities in China, said gynaecologist Jennifer Lee, vice-president of the Asia-Pacific Association of Anti-aging and Health Management, who has noted a similar trend in her clinics based in those areas.

In town last month to give a lecture on the topic, Dr Lee is seeing a growing number of postpartum women seeking vaginal-tightening procedures, although the majority of her patients are in their late 40s and 50s. She has performed approximately 700 vaginal laser procedures since 2012.

For Ms Eliana, the laser treatment has enhanced “sensation all around, which makes sexual contact more pleasurable than before”.

Most importantly, she said, her husband approves of its positive effects.

But not all women are suitable to undergo these treatments. For example, those with severe damage to the vaginal walls and/or pelvic floor may require a reconstructive surgical procedure known as vaginoplasty, said Dr Ang.

Vaginal laser procedures are not suitable for pregnant women, as well as those with a history of wound healing disorders, diabetes and autoimmune diseases, said Dr Teo. Similarly, women with lesions in the vagina such as cancer, growths and ulcers, as well as those experiencing vaginal bleeding or infections, should not undergo these laser treatments, said Dr Chong.

Kegels (pelvic floor exercises), yoga and Pilates may help strengthen the vaginal wall and pelvic floor muscles but these exercises must be maintained over a period of time for one to reap benefits, said Dr Ang.

CHILDBIRTH, AGE, EXTREME DIETING AMONG FACTORS FOR VAGINAL LAXITY

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Common causes of vaginal laxity are childbirth and ageing. Multiple births and trauma to the vaginal canal during childbirth increase the risk, while age can hamper recovery to pre-pregnancy tightness, said Dr Ang.

“In my practice, I notice that some forms of sexual dysfunction reported by mothers one year after childbirth include laxity, insufficient lubrication, abnormal sensation and even incontinence during intercourse,” she said.

Poor lifestyle habits may worsen vaginal health. Said Dr Lee: “I am seeing an increasing number of women in China, some of them only in their 20s or 30s, with severe vaginal loosening that is likely caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits. Over-dieting, chronic lack of sleep and exercise as well as excessive weight can prematurely age one’s vagina.”

While vaginal laxity “is not a disease, it can severely impact one’s quality of sex life”, and she urged affected women to seek medical help.

A diminished sense of sexual satisfaction can lead to a lower self-esteem and a drop in sexual intimacy, said Dr Ang.

Dr Teo said sensory input is an important factor in sexual arousal and pleasure.

“During sex, the contact between the male and female genitalia activates nerve-endings, which then fire off pleasure signals to the brain. The more lax the vagina, the less contact between the two, leading to decreased sexual pleasure,” said Dr Teo.

Besides sexual intimacy issues, women who suffer from vaginal laxity also tend to have a weak pelvic floor, which can lead to medical problems like pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, said Dr Chong.

According to Dr Lee, about 70 per cent of all women experience some form of stress urinary incontinence (a form of incontinence where urine leakage occurs upon straining such as coughing, sneezing and brisk walking) after childbirth, which may be countered with vaginal laser therapy.

But Dr Chong said the benefits of certain types of vaginal laser treatments that are marketed for urinary incontinence remain a “controversial and internationally debated” topic.

He added that patients should also be aware that treatment alone may not address faltering sexual relationships if there are other underlying issues such as family problems and stress.

“It is important to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of the couple. Ultimately, sex is a couple thing; you can’t just always depend on the woman,” he said.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: How America Interrupted Wilhelm Reich's Orgasmic Utopia

Donald L. Haffey 4627 Wakefield Street Philadelphia, PA 19108

In July of 1947, Dr. Wilhelm Reich—a brilliant but controversial psychoanalyst who had once been Freud’s most promising student, who had enraged the Nazis and the Stalinists as well as the psychoanalytic, medical, and scientific communities, who had survived two World Wars and fled to New York—was dying in a prison cell in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania, accused by the government of being a medical fraud engaged in a “sex racket.”

That “racket” would one day be called the “sexual revolution.” But it was still 1947 in America—an America not even ready for psychoanalysis, still a nascent science that Harper’s and the New Republic had categorized, right alongside Reich’s theories, as being no better than astrology. (Reich, Harper’s had decided, was the leader of a “new cult of sex and anarchy.”)

If the American public wasn’t ready for Dr. Freud, then how much less prepared would they be for Dr. Reich—a man who, at his Orgonon institute near Rangely, Maine, was researching the energetic force of the orgasm itself?

Reich had taken Freud’s theories far. Too far, according to the FDA. Starting with Freud’s connection of sexual repression to neurosis, Reich had theorized that it was the physical inability to surrender to orgasm that underlay neurosis, and eventually turned people to fascism and authoritarianism. Reich migrated from Freud’s simple talking cure to what he called character analysis, a therapy designed to help his patients overcome the physical and respiratory blocks that prevented them from experiencing pleasure. Finally—and most dangerously—he claimed that the orgasm was an expression of orgone, the joy-filled force of life itself. With phone-booth-size devices called "orgone accumulators" he could harness this force to cure neurosis, disease, and even affect the weather and help crops grow.

For these lines of inquiry, the FDA demanded Reich appear in court to defend himself in 1954. He refused, stating that claims of scientific truth should be settled by experiment, not in court. The court responded by issuing an injunction against the sale or transportation of his devices across state lines, and proceeded to systematically burn his books and journals. Not only Reich’s writing, but any written material that contained the word “orgone” was fair game for destruction. (Paranoid and embattled, Reich would refuse offers of help from the ACLU, believing it to be filled with communist subversives.) FDA agents also began destroying his devices and laboratory with axes—but that wasn’t all. The FDA would carry their persecution of the Austrian psychoanalyst much, much further.

What was it about this man and his theories that invoked the wrath of nearly every political and scientific faction of his time? What was it about the “sexual revolution” that earned Wilhelm Reich a 789-page FBI file? What provoked a systematic campaign of attacks hardly suggestive of a sane and rational America that had just won the war against the book-burning Nazis—and more reminiscent of the Inquisition, the incineration of Giordiano Bruno, or the ending of Frankenstein, in which angry villagers with torches and pitchforks burn down the mad scientist’s castle?

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Chicago, Illinois: Penis size is on the increase – do you measure up?

John N. Foster 2772 University Drive Chicago, IL 60605

Last year, 15,521 brave soldiers stripped for researchers to measure their length and girth – but this year things had changed.

Scientists at London’s King’s College has teamed up with SKYN’s condoms to measure mahoods.

They came in at a distinctly average 5.16, but now the inches are stacking up.

After a new survey by the condom makers, it seems odd that the inches are increasing.

What really explains the 18-34 year olds jump?

The Millennials came in, on average, 0.94 inches longer than a year ago.

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It doesn’t take a scientist to work out why the average all of a sudden is 6.1 inches.

The new results come after more than 3,000 men submitted their data through an anonymous online form.

And shockingly they came in larger than when KCL researchers measured thousands of penises.

I’m sure we’re all surprised by the fact that men are a little bit more generous with the measuring tapes but it is, unfortunately, true.

One person who won’t be needing to measure up is Roberto Esquivel Cabrera who has the world’s biggest penis.

The 54-year-old measures an impressive 19 inches.

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Vernon Hills, Illinois: More WA men seeking penis surgery to increase size

William J. Woods 3127 Lowland Drive Vernon Hills, IL 60061

INCREASING numbers of WA men are seeking to enlarge their manhood with surgery, with doctors warning of risks to their sexual and psychological wellbeing.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr Jayson Oates, who runs a cosmetic surgery clinic in Subiaco, and clinical psychologist registrar Dr Gemma Sharp have teamed up to improve patient safety.

Dr Oates said WA men travelled interstate and overseas where penile augmentation was popular, particularly in South Korea and Mexico.

He said while men risked disfiguration and function loss from invasive surgical phalloplasty, there were safer non-surgical alternatives including an injectable procedure which increased the girth of men’s appendages.

“Size is an important issue for many men and is considered to symbolise masculinity and sexual prowess,” he said.

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“Men commonly believe that ‘bigger is better’. So when men feel inadequate, it can have a major negative impact on their self-esteem and sexual functioning. It comes as no surprise that men are increasingly seeking procedures, and non-surgical enhancement.”

At his Calibre Clinic in Subiaco, Dr Oates has performed more than 100 male enlargement procedures on men as young as 22 and as old as 68 with a non-surgical technique he pioneered to increase size without surgery, using dermal fillers usually used for the face.

Dr Oates said the “calibre” procedure can be performed during a one hour in-clinic session and last up to 24 months.

He is now collaborating with Dr Sharp to research penile augmentation. She noted most men who requested penile augmentation had a penis in the normal size range, but were unhappy with its size.

The doctors hope for better understanding of motivations for cosmetic genital surgery.

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Chantilly, Virginia: Meet the Guys Obsessed With the Smell of Vagina

Michael I. Kelly 3943 Daffodil Lane Chantilly, VA 20151

While getting eaten out is hailed as the pinnacle of female pleasure, if you’re a woman who’s insecure about smells, it can be hard to enjoy and relax without bathing first. While there’s nothing wrong with hot showers and good hygiene, the vagina, a self-cleansing organ, really doesn’t need to be filled with suds to function healthily. The common fear that your vagina smells "bad" is rooted in sexist, old-fashioned culture rather than fact. “Any body part can have a bad odor if there is an infection or if the individual practices poor hygiene,” says Dr. Michael Aaron, an NYC-based sex therapist and author of the upcoming book Modern Sexuality. “But nothing about vagina makes it intrinsically smelly except for ignorant assumptions of sex negative people.”

Rest assured, any man worth your time won’t mock your scent. Beyond understanding that the smell of vagina is normal, many guys are incredibly turned on by the scent.

“Lots of men enjoy the smell of a vagina, particularly when the woman is aroused and lubricated,” explains Dr. Aaron. “People release pheromones, a unique scent that may often be sexually stimulating.”

To learn more about what’s so stimulating about the scent of pussy, Cosmopolitan.com spoke to five men who can’t get enough.

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