Small Changes

I’ve noticed something recently, and wanted to know if any of you had any thoughts on this issue as well.  Sometimes I seem to get stuck in a rut so to speak.  I get used to my routine so much so that I could almost go through my entire day blindfolded.  I know what needs to be done at what time and how it needs to get done.  I also fall into a rut with myself too.  I get up, get dressed, fix hair & makeup in the same way I did the day before, and head off to conquer the world.  Very monotonous.  Can any of you relate so far?

Well, I found out something interesting recently that was a bit of a pleasant surprise.  If I make small changes to myself from time to time, it can affect my mood and overall attitude.  For instance, I decided to get a new hair cut.  I was tired of the same look, so I made myself an appointment and went and did it.  It wasn’t a drastic change, but it was different, and I felt wonderful afterward!  That 4″ that was cut off really made a difference to me.  My head was lighter and I felt my mood lighten too!

Another thing I tried recently is painting my toenails and fingernails.  I am not really a ‘girly-girl’ so this isn’t something that I do often.  I thought about it and decided to go with the color BLUE.  Why not?  Who says I have to conform to the norm and pick a pinkish-reddish shade?  After sporting my blue fingers and toes, I realized that I seemed to be smiling more.  It was as if I had lightened my mood a bit just by adding color to my nails.

I can think of other “small changes” that have also affected my mood… new/different purse, new/different earrings, loss of 5 lbs, new hair color/highlights, and even a new bra!  I think that sometimes I get into too much of a rut.  Now that I know making a small change here and there definitely has a positive influence on my overall attitude, I’m going to try to make small changes more often.  Maybe it just gives me a little ‘boost’ in my self confidence?

So what about you?  What small changes have you made that resulted in a higher self-esteem or more positive outlook?

Sex and Health Benefits!

Anytime I go to login to my email account, I always check out the yahoo articles to see what is new and interesting.  I happened on this article about 7 health benefits of sexual intercourse.    So besides being an intimate bonding time with your spouse, you are getting some wonderful health benefits, too!  Here are some of the health benefits:

1.  Sex = exercise: your burning calories!

2. Sex keeps you looking younger: I would want to see more proof on this one, but if it is true, ladies, could this be our fountain of youth?

3. It’s good for your heart: wanna lower your blood pressure?  want a better chance of not having a heart attack?  sex can help!

4. Sex boosts immunity: immunoglobin A is produced more often which helps your immune system. It would be interesting to see if I get less colds and sinus infections, since immunoglobin a (igA) works with your nose, eyes, ears, digestive tract and vagina to protect those areas from outside foreign substances.

5. It can cure the common headache….kind of: Intimacy and bonding helps you to relax, and oxytocin is released during sex which helps decrease pain.

6. Sex gets the blood pumping: sex increases blood flow which gets oxygen molecules moving through out your body and you feel better.

7. Sex helps you sleep better: oxytocin not only can help decrease pain and increase endorphins, but it relaxes you so you can sleep better.

Do you think any of these hold water?  I think these can offer some of these benefits, but I am not trying it out on my next sinus headache to see if it works!  :)  What other benefits do you think sex has on your physical health?

How often should women have mammograms?

Article of reference is here at the ACOG site.

Every time I turn around, there are new recommendations about mammograms.   Some say not to start them until you are 50…some say not to start until you are in your 40′s, but only every 2-3 years.  Now in a recent article from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist has issued new guidelines for mammography screening.   They are recommending them being offered yearly starting at age 40.

When I was about 38-almost 39, my doctor started me with mammograms.  I didn’t have a history on my maternal side of the family, but my paternal grandmother had it, and it is possible that her mother had it as well.   I was told by my doctor that it was important to have them annually.  Now, I missed one or two myself.  I think I was supposed to have one last year, but my doctor’s office forgot to schedule it with me, and in my busyness, I never got back with them…. but about 2 years ago, I had my first scare… there was a spot on my mammogram film, and I had to have a sonogram done.  It ended up being dense breast tissue and nothing to be concerned about, but I know God and I spent A LOT of time together that day while waiting for my results!  I can’t imagine waiting until I was 50….

I digress…. back to the article.

Do you realize that while I was researching this article, there were websites that were saying that doctors shouldn’t teach their patients how to do breast self exams?  Are they crazy?  I had a friend DIE of breast cancer.  She found the lump in her MID 20′s by a breast self exam!  How would it be explained to her family if she died without ever knowing she had cancer?   That is just crazy in my opinion.

So what are your thoughts?  Have you had a mammogram?  When will you start if you haven’t?  Do you do breast self exams?   Do you know how?

Male Menopause?

Yeah, you read that title right.  Did you know that there is actually a condition in men that is similar in nature to a woman’s menopause?  Well, it’s not exactly the same, and it does have it’s own name: Andropause.  I do realize that this blog is written by and for women, but we wives also need to be kept in the loop about medical issues that concern (or can concern) our husbands, right?

Andropause is basically the name given to hormone changes in men.  Mostly it involves having a testosterone deficiency.   I have read that around age 30, men’s testosterone levels start decreasing gradually.  By the time a man is in his fifty’s, he most certainly has experienced some of the symptoms that low T levels bring.  According to the Mayo Clinic“By about age 70, the decrease in a man’s testosterone level can be as much as 50 percent.”

So what are the symptoms of Andropause?  Well, although some men can experience a symptom or two when they are younger (20’s-30’s), most men may not notice symptoms until they are nearing 50.

Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):

  • Loss/decrease of libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Irritability/crankiness
  • Night sweats
  • Decrease in energy level
  • Weight gain (particularly in the gut area)
  • Decrease in morning erections
  • Hair loss
  • Sore breasts
  • Shrinking testes

A more in depth look at symptoms can be found here.  It seems that the more doctors investigate the more they are finding that low T levels are about much more than just sexual issues.  Men with low T levels seem to be at a higher risk for certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  These men may also have lower bone density (think Osteoporosis).

Of course other things can cause some of these symptoms, so it’s important to have your husband talk to his doctor if he thinks he may be suffering with low T.  It’s very possible that his doctor may catch something else entirely.  The only sure method of identifying low T is with a blood test.  Yes, there are replacement therapies out there for testosterone, but they are somewhat controversial and risky.  Your husband would definitely need to discuss this with his doctor.

We all know how easy it is to get our husbands to go to the doctor :roll:  so ladies, we need to be observant, diligent, and gentle with this issue.  It isn’t just about a lack of sexual performance anymore.  The health issues should be enough to make us  discuss this together, and possibly with our health care professional.

Is Dark Chocolate an Aphrodisiac?

Late last month, I was having a really bad week.  My hubby was incredibly sweet.  He bought me some flowers to cheer me up and he also bought me…. dark chocolate with caramel in the center.   Ghirardelli chocolate to be exact.   I love dark chocolate.  I love caramel.  I love Ghirardelli.   But the bigger thing….dark chocolate is my aphrodisiac.

I cannot explain what dark chocolate does to me.   I become much more receptive to his kisses.  I become much more interested in his advances.   Sex is so much better.   Is it a placebo?  Or is it for real?

I recently went searching online to see what it is about this dark chocolate that really turns me on (besides the fact that it is chocolate)   It seems as though ingredients in making chocolate increase serotonin levels in the brain.   Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters that increases feelings of pleasure while numbing pain.  Theobromine raises the heart rate while dilating blood vessels.   It has a mood elevating effect.   Phenethylamine stimulates the central nervous system and surges into the brain during orgasm.  This is produced naturally in your body when you are feeling in love.  Chocolate also has a melting point that is very close to our body’s natural temperature and it melts in your mouth very easily.  That in itself is a stimulating experience!  Dark chocolate might also produce a raised level of testosterone in some women, too.

With all of this in mind, my hubby is thrilled that I am doing this article.  He’s also been on the prowl for new forms of chocolate for his lady….to the point he has my son asking, “Dad. why are you buying so much chocolate for Mom?” to which he replies,  “Son, I have my reasons……”  ;-)

Why have my breasts changed?

We had a reader write in and ask the following question:  ” I am wondering if other women have experienced a decrease in breast sensation following the nursing of their children… When my hubby and I first got married, my boobs were very sensitive…. Then the kids came and I nursed them all.   My boobs took a real beating during those times (bad latching, etc) … It has been years since I nursed but my boobs have never returned to the way they were. While I still enjoy having my boobs sucked and played with, the sensation is not nearly as intense as it once was. Is this normal?”

I can only write from my own experience, and I am hoping others who have had similar difficulties or maybe no difficulties at all, will chime in as well.

Before my first pregnancy,  I like to think that I had pretty sensitive breasts.  I don’t think I ever got orgasmic with breast play, but I really enjoyed my husband’s mouth on my breasts during foreplay.  Five months after we got married, I got pregnant with my firstborn.  With the newness of all the pregnancy changes and things going on with my body, I remember still being okay with breast play.

The thing that is different that this reader is that I had major problems breastfeeding once the baby was born.   He was hungry all the time, and my breasts were not producing much milk at all.  Come to find out later that my Mom was the same way.  Thinking there was something wrong with me and I HAD to be doing something wrong, I went to breast pumps.   Trying to pump in between was SUPPOSED to help stimulate more milk.   Even my baby’s cries didn’t ever cause any of the things I had read about in all the books.   I squeezed my breasts trying to get every little bit I could out.  I was frustrated.  I pumped and I pumped and I pumped….after a month, I gave up.  I had no support and I was in tears.

Seven years later with my second, I decided I was going to try again.   Again, I didn’t produce much, but I had a better support group of friends to encourage me along and try to get me to relax more.  I still pumped in between feedings, but I still wasn’t producing.   I *should* have tried Fenugreek, I see that now to try to help, but at the time, I didn’t know much about it and didn’t want to take something I wasn’t sure about being safe and all.   Again, I pumped and I pumped and I pumped.   I really think I did some damage to the nerves in my breasts and nipples from trying so hard.  This time, I lasted 4 months before I gave up.

I have to say now that I really abused my breasts.   I don’t have nearly the sensation in my nipples anymore that I used to have.   I much rather prefer to have caresses around my entire breast than nipple stimulation at times.   My nipples just aren’t the same.   There is only so much suckling on my nipples that I can tolerate anymore.   Like I said, I really think I did nerve damage trying to breastfeed my children.

I know that this isn’t typical and probably isn’t the norm, but in my situation, breastfeeding did change the sensations in my nipples.   It is my hopes that some of you can offer your stories and maybe even could offer suggestions that would help myself and this reader as well.

Q&A: Sex Toys Cause Yeast Infections?

“Hi, is it possible for a toy to cause a yeast infection?”

If you are a woman and have never had a yeast infection, consider yourself lucky.  Most women will experience a yeast infection at least once in her life, and some unfortunate women are prone to them. :(

The vagina is generally acidic enough to prevent the overgrowth of Candida or yeast.  Once that yeast starts overproducing, the itching, burning, and discharge begin.  There are several things that can interrupt the normal PH in the vagina, causing yeast infections, including antibiotics, alcohol, sugary foods, douches, feminine deodorant spray, frequent sex, perfumed tampons, wiping improperly after a bowel movement, and wearing tight, damp clothing.  Oh, and yes, your sex toys can cause yeast infections as well.

Porous toys that are made out of plastic, jelly, or latex, are very hard to keep clean.  Always read the packaging materials that come with your toys.  They should explain how to sanitize them properly.  It is extremely important that you not only clean your toys after each use, but that you also completely dry them before putting them up.  This will prevent bacteria from growing on them.  As an added precaution, it helps to put a condom over toys used for insertion (especially porous ones).  Then throw the condom away after each use and wash and dry the toy afterward.

Take a few minutes to read this article on the causes of yeast infections.  It’s very informative and seems to cover a lot of ground.  Also know that although you don’t hear about it very often, men do get yeast infections too. It is very possible for a wife to give her yeast infection to her husband and not know it because most of the time the man has no visible symptoms.  Then after the wife gets treated and cured… they have sex again and guess what?  Yes, the wife can become reinfected from her husband.

Make it a point to keep your toys properly sanitized after each and every use, and hopefully you won’t have to deal with recurring yeast infections caused by tainted toys.

Q&A: Male ‘Enhancements’

“I was wondering if you have any information on male enhancements such as penis enlargement patches and pills. My husband would like to have a larger penis to be able to satisfy me better. These websites claim to enlarge the penis by as much as 3 inches within the first couple of months and they claim to give permanent results. I have never heard of these patches and such till now and was wondering if there are any reviews on them or people who have used them and have been successful?”

Let me just say right from the get go that I have never heard of any of these “enhancements” actually working.  They are basically rip-offs.  I had a girlfriend to ask me about this same topic years ago and we even went to a GNC and asked the guys behind the counter about it.  They told us upfront that those silly commercials that claim to give you up to three more inches are bogus.  They did say, however, that there are pills that increase blood flow to the penis, therefore helping it maintain a firmer erection.  Of course this is true of Viagra, Cialis and other drugs.  But a man can no more grow a couple extra inches of penis than he can add a few inches of leg.

I have to wonder why your husband thinks that he isn’t enough for you.  You say he wants to be able to satisfy you better, but how do you feel about that?  There is a huge misconception out there that a longer/larger penis will equal a more satisfied wife.  What a crazy thing to think!  Woman to woman let me tell you that adding a couple of inches is not what will satisfy you.  The main nerve endings that give us sexual pleasure are found in the clitoris and labia, and then a couple inches inside around the g-spot.  After that there really aren’t many nerve endings deep inside the vagina.

If you truly are unsatisfied in your marriage bed, then you can start to rectify the situation by communicating to your husband the things that you need from him.  He needs you to tell him what you like and what feels good to you.  Think about trying some new sexual techniques or toys with each other or trying some new positions.   And if you are already satisfied, then girl you need to tell him so!  Reassure and affirm him!  Don’t allow him to continue to worry about his size and wonder about enhancement pills!

Save your money.  Don’t buy into ridiculous gimmicks that do nothing more than to perpetuate the lie that “bigger is better.”

Other Related Articles:  Does Size Matter?

Matter of Taste?

I am newly married and would like to allow my husband to perform oral sex on me (He’s been wanting it for a while now)…;)
I have some uncomfortable odors down there. So, what oils, edible things can I put on me down there so that he can eat me up?
I have thought of honey (real local honey), to put down there, but I am not sure about the health side of it.
What do you suggest I put inside of me so he can “ENJOY” tasting me?

 

 

Has he stated that your odors are bothersome or are you the one who is primarily concerned about it?  Most men do not mind a woman’s scent or taste.  Certain pheromones that have a big impact on the opposite sex are found in this area.  A strong foul scent could be a sign for some sort of infection.  Your husband would probably not be too eager to perform oral sex if this were the case.

 

If you still feel more comfortable putting something edible down there I would not recommend honey.  Anything with sugar can throw your natural ph balance off causing a yeast infection.  If you are using latex and are planning on engaging in intercourse after oral, you should stay away from oils.  Oil can break latex down so in this instance, condoms would not be reliable. 

 

Some sites offer special scented and flavored lubes that are sugar free, such as “ID Flavored Lubricant” from Book 22 or “Sex Tart Lubes” from Pure Bed. I suggest you simply take a shower before so that you can put your mind at ease about any discouraging scents.  If your husband does in fact have an issue with your smell or taste then you could look into the flavored lubes but let him decide for himself.  Here is an article pertaining to cunnilingus, Pleasing Your Wife.  It is more about techniques but we also talk about extra precautions you can take if you have a bothersome scent.  Like I said earlier, let your husband decide for himself.  I doubt you will need to take those extra precautions.  Just sit back and enjoy!!

Keeping Those Glorious Breast Healthy

This is not going to be one of our hotter articles but it is just as important.  October is ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ and one of the more important things you can do for yourself is to regularly do a self examination on your breast.  Get to know them and make note on what feels normal and what does not.  If you do happen to find a lump in one breast, then check the other one.  If that breast is lumpy as well then it may just be the way your breasts are normally but I would still mention it to a doctor to be safe.  Some symptoms are lumps that enlarge over time, inverted nipple, nipple discharge, nipple rash, cyst, or breast pain.  These self exams are more efficient if they are done when you are not experiencing premenstrual symptoms.  Here is a site that explains how a self examination is done, click here.  Please be diligent about mammograms as well.  If you are 40 years old or older or have a family history of breast cancer then you should be having them done.

 I have a couple of women who I am very close with, one is a survivor and the other is presently getting treated for breast cancer.  Both of them thought that this would ever happen to them and it made me realize how much I took being healthy for granted.  Please, take four minutes out of your day and get to know your breasts.  Catching these signs early is so very important!!

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