In an ideal world, the action between the sheets will be a magical experience. The reality is that it doesn’t always work out like that.
Lots of people experience issues and in some cases, it impacts them their entire life.
The health subscription brand EveAdam in the UK has found the 10 most common issues people have in the bedrooms in the UK and the US.
The study involved analyzing thread on Reddit and searches made on Google for bedroom issues. They found that erectile dysfunction has on average 286,000 searches a month.
Here are the top 10 most common sex issues… and how to combat them:
- Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is extremely common and it affects about half of the men aged between 40-70-year olds.
It can be symptoms of underlining medical conditions such as diabetes, high and low blood pressure which leads to a risk of heart disease,
Dr. Sarah Jarvis, says: “It’s also vital to remember that excess alcohol is an extremely common cause of ED.
“In recent years, several tablets have been developed to treat ED – Viagra is perhaps the best known but there are several others, which work for different lengths of time.
“They’re effective for about 4 in 5 men and are now available from many pharmacists, as well as on prescription.
“It’s really important not to be tempted by cheap email offers of ‘miracle cure’ tablets for ED – they’re often counterfeit, which means they may not work and can even be dangerous.”
Most women will use contraception at some point in their life. There are numerous types, which may or may not include hormones.
Dr. Jarvis said: “If your current contraception isn’t suiting you, it’s important to speak to your doctor or family planning clinic.
“For instance, if you’re taking the contraceptive pill, it may be possible to change you to a different one which suits you better.
“Or you may prefer a long-acting form of contraception such as the copper coil, a hormone-releasing coil or an implant, which you don’t need to remember to take every day or use every time you have sex.”
- Vaginal dryness
As a woman ages and goes through the menopause vaginal dryness becomes much more common this is because of the levels of the female hormone estrogen drop.
Dr. Jarvis said: “If this is your main problem, a topical form of HRT, such as pessaries, gel or a vaginal ring, can often solve the problem.
“Several non-hormonal vaginal moisturizers are also available from the pharmacist.
“However, vaginal dryness can also arise because of a lack of arousal or anxiety – if you think this might be the case, speak to your doctor.”
- Premature ejaculation
Premature ejaculation is more common than people think and it isn’t due to a serious underlying medical condition.
Dr. Jarvis said: “One of the most common causes is anxiety and it’s more common in younger men.
“Sometimes just relaxing and taking your time about sex is enough to solve the problem.
“Otherwise, there are creams and tablets available on prescription.”
Being unable to conceive is traumatic and the stress added to wanting to conceive will have a negative impact on both parties. Lots of women worry about conceiving, but often there is no cause for concern.
Some couples can take several months to conceive, but six in seven will conceive within a year of trying and more than nine in 10 conceive within two years.
Dr. Jarvis said: “If you have been having regular sex for at least a year, you and your partner should visit your doctor together.
“Your doctor can arrange some tests to see if an early referral to a specialist clinic is needed.
“If these tests are normal, your doctor won’t usually be able to refer you until you have been trying for at least two years.
“However, if you’re not having periods or have very irregular periods, or if the woman in the couple is over 36, you may be referred sooner.
“There are a variety of treatments depending on whether a cause (such as low sperm count or blocked fallopian tubes) is found.
“Being overweight, drinking too much alcohol, being physically inactive and smoking can all reduce your risk of conceiving.
“Getting into good physical shape may increase your chances of getting pregnant and can certainly help you to have a healthy pregnancy.”
- Pressure to conceive
Having pressured applied to conceive will have a detrimental effect on both partners, those well-meaning comments of “your turn next” when a couple has been trying are unwelcome and thoughtless.
Nobody else should have any say in when you start trying for a baby.
Dr. Jarvis said: “If you feel friends or members of your family are trying to put pressure on you, speak to your partner and get their support for both of you to have a gentle chat with those people.
“If you’re feeling the pressure yourself – for instance, if you’re trying to get pregnant and it’s not happening – the best thing you can do is remember that most people don’t get pregnant straight away.
“Many couples take several months to get pregnant and women who get pregnant the first time they try are the exception.
“Take steps to get yourself in good physical shape – stopping alcohol and smoking, exercising regularly, losing weight if you’re overweight, taking a daily folic acid supplement. And then enjoy trying!”
- Performance anxiety
If you are anxious and worried about how you are between the sheets this will impact how it is.
It can be a vicious cycle; you want it to go well but you’re nervous so you have a drink or 10 and then it all goes downhill from there.
Dr. Jarvis said: “The best way to reduce performance anxiety is to relax and take things slowly, although this can be easier said than done.
“You may think that alcohol will help ‘loosen you up’ but actually, it can often have a negative impact on your ability to perform.
“If you’re worried about performing with your partner, talk to him/her about it he/she may be relieved, as they may believe you were avoiding sex because you’d gone off them.
“Set the tone with a romantic date, away from distractions and stresses, and take things slowly.
“If this doesn’t work, you may find it helpful to ban sex for a few weeks but still cuddle and be close – this takes the pressure off the need to get an erection, which may mean you’re more likely to achieve one.
“If it’s having a significant impact on your life, speak to your doctor – sometimes counseling can help.”
- Low libido
This can happen to men and women and there are a vast amount of reasons for it.
It could be hormonal, for example, low levels of testosterone in men and low libido is common for post-menopausal women.
“Relationship problems are a common cause – you may not feel like sex with your partner but fancy other people,” says Dr. Jarvis.
“If you’re a man, continuing to get early morning erections can be a sign that there’s a psychological cause.
“Or it can be a symptom of depression.
“If it’s bothering you, speak to your doctor – the treatment will depend on the cause.”
- Body image issues
This has always been around, but with the increase in social media and body shaming, it is on the increase.
Dr. Jarvis said: “Taking some time off social media is sometimes all that is needed.
“However, it’s important to remember that poor body image is closely linked to eating disorders and to be aware of the warning symptoms.
“Poor body image is also closely linked to depression – it can be a symptom or a cause of depression.
“If it’s affecting your life, speak to your doctor – counseling may help you to identify what’s causing your body image issues and help you to become more realistic and realize you’re beautiful just as you are.”
- Weak pelvic floor
Women in the UK and US have weakness in their pelvic floor, they find that urine leaks when they sneeze, cough, laugh, run, in some cases even when walking fast.
The main cause is childbirth, constipation as this adds pressure to the bladder, the same as being overweight can.
“For most women, regular pelvic floor exercises can make a major difference, and can sometimes solve the problem completely,” says Dr. Jarvis.
“You’ll need to learn how to do them properly, and to do them regularly for several weeks before you notice a significant improvement.”