Stop Hormonal Birth Control and Improve Your Sex Life

photo courtesy of popsugar.com

photo courtesy of popsugar.com

There are two types of hormonal birth control pills.  One type contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, and one contains progestin only.  Both introduce synthetic hormones into your body in order to stop you from releasing an egg, make your uterus an inhospitable environment for a fertilized egg, and thicken your cervical mucus in an attempt to prevent sperm from reaching your uterus. Continue reading

Date Night At Home

photo courtesy of  seattletravelmom.wordpress.com

photo courtesy of seattletravelmom.wordpress.com

We all know how important quality alone time with your partner is for keeping the spark alive.  However, putting it into practice can be difficult.  Your careers, children, and other responsibilities and obligations can often get in the way of your ability to just go out to dinner and spend some time together.  However, you shouldn’t despair when you can’t get away.  Instead, try these ideas for date night at home after your children have gone to bed. Continue reading

Simple Ways to Keep Your Relationship Strong

photo courtesy of makeyourlifemagical.com

photo courtesy of makeyourlifemagical.com

A strong and long-lasting relationship is a goal for many.  However, keeping your relationship on solid ground does not simply just happen.  Relationships need care and maintenance to sustain themselves.  Below are some items you should keep in mind on a daily basis to nurture your relationship with your partner.

  • You’ve heard people say that the best romantic relationships have a foundation in friendship, and it is absolutely true.  A good friendship contains all of the ingredients that form the basis for true intimacy- trust, vulnerability, and confidence that you will see each other through difficult times.  Speaking of difficult times, remember that it is normal for any relationship to have ups and downs, and an ongoing commitment to work through them is what will keep you together.
  • When you do fight, fight fair.  A commonly asked question in the couples counseling world is, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” When you argue, it should be about resolving the issue, and not about who “wins.”  Be sure to always speak to your partner with love and respect.  Do not approach an issue in an accusatory manner or dredge up old arguments.  Really listen to your partner and try to see things from their point of view.
  • While it is important to do your own thing, understand togetherness is crucial as well.  Maintain a balance that will provide you with a base of shared experiences while keeping the individuality that made you attractive to each other in the first place.
  • Maintain your physical intimacy.  Another phrase often heard in couples counseling is, “Sex is 10% of a good relationship, but 90% of a bad one.”  Sex is something special that only the two of you can share, and it is critical to maintaining your emotional connection.

Ditch Hormonal Birth Control and Have Better Orgasms

photo courtesy of health.com

photo courtesy of health.com

Hormonal birth control comes in two varieties: 1) the minipill, which is progestin only, and 2) combination pills, which contain estrogen and progestin.  These synthetic hormones mix with your body’s natural hormones and act to fool your body into thinking it is pregnant.  If your body believes it is pregnant, it will not release an egg each month, and thus there is no egg to be fertilized to create an actual pregnancy.  The issue here is that the result of chemically altering your body’s natural hormones is a decrease in sexual urges and responses, putting a damper on your ability to orgasm.

In a 2011 study conducted at Indiana University, research scientists at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion examined the sex lives of 1,101 women, half of which were using hormonal forms of birth control (patch, shot, ring, or pill) and half of which used condoms, the rhythm method, or other natural forms of birth control.  They discovered that while both groups had the same level of intimacy, women using hormonal birth control reported lower levels of arousal, lubrication, frequency of sex, and number of orgasms.

Hormonal forms of birth control increase the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in a woman’s body to four times its normal levels.  When SHGB increases, free testosterone, which helps power your sex drive, decreases.  Unfortunately, stopping the use of hormonal birth control does not fix this issue immediately.  In fact, studies have shown that even six months after stopping, SHBG levels remain at twice the normal levels.  For some women, the levels remain twice as high as normal for one year or more.  If you are concerned that your sex life is being impacted by your use of hormonal birth control, it is important to speak to your doctor immediately.

Feel Extra Connected this Valentine’s Day

photo courtesy via mariashriver.com

photo courtesy via mariashriver.com

Valentine’s Day is a holiday loaded with emotional expectation, and chances are not all of your Valentine’s Days have turned out exactly like the fairy-tale that you wanted.  However, you can strengthen your emotional and physical relationship with your partner on a daily basis with some simple actions guaranteed to keep the spark in your relationship ignited every day of the year.  Read on for suggestions.

  • Always ask your partner about their day.  Couples who share their daily events with each other, both good and bad, are rewarded with increased feelings of intimacy and connection.
  • Embrace inside jokes just between the two of you.  Psychologists have found that when couples share a laugh over the same thing, each feels validated by the other.
  • Make time for your partner’s friends and family members.  Research has shown that the more a couple’s friends and family intermingle, the happier their relationship.
  • Keep sex a priority.  Both physical and emotional intimacy are critical to a successful relationship.
  • Make sure you are really listening to your partner, and not just waiting for your turn to talk.  A study conducted by Harvard University researchers has discovered that the more empathy and affection a couple expresses to each other, the more likely they are to stay together.
  • Don’t let fights define you.  Understand that when you are as close to an individual as you are to your partner, it is natural to become irritated with them at times.  That being said, if you are going to argue, it is important to fight fairly.  Never resort to yelling or name-calling.  More importantly, try to frame your statements in a non-accusatory manner, and focus on moving forward as a couple, rather than just expressing how you feel individually.  Try using statements that start with the words we, us, or our.

Pros and Cons of Natural Family Planning (Part 3- Final)

photo courtesy of acoupleofcatholics.com

photo courtesy of acoupleofcatholics.com

“Natural family planning” is any method of fertility management that uses natural methods to determine the time of the month when a woman is most fertile.  These methods help a woman to learn and recognize the changes to her body around her fertile time, and make decisions about having sex in accordance with if she is trying to postpone or achieve pregnancy.  As with any birth control method, there are things about it that you may feel are advantages or disadvantages to you personally.  Below are some things about natural family planning methods to keep in mind. Continue reading

The Pill Can Kill Your Sex Drive

birth control pills and your sex driveApproximately thirty percent of all women in the United States suffer from a diminished sex drive, and many studies link this to the use of hormonal birth control.  A woman’s libido is largely driven by the testosterone produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands.  When testosterone is released into the bloodstream, it either remains free or binds with a protein known as serum hormone binding globulin (SHBG).  The testosterone that binds with SHBG becomes inactive, and therefore does nothing to increase libido.  When you consider the fact that hormonal birth control raises the level of SHBG in your blood, the link becomes clear. Continue reading

Quality Time with Your Significant Other

photo credit to www.rockinmarriage.com

photo credit to www.rockinmarriage.com

Time is a commodity we never seem to have enough of.  Taking care of your children, holding down a job, and juggling chores and social obligations are enough to keep you so busy that you forget to spend alone time with your significant other.  While taking time out for your partner can sometimes feel like just one more thing you need to do, it is important to realize the value of this time in nurturing your relationship and keeping it strong.  The relaxing and fun moments you have with your partner are critical to surviving the occasional bumps in the road you experience as a couple.  Below are some suggestions for ways to take time out for your significant other.

  • Create an Intimate Night in– With some planning, you can create a night in as enjoyable as one you could have out on the town.  Once you have put the kids to bed early, change into your best outfit and open a bottle of wine.  Then, make your partner’s favorite meal (or order in) and dine by candlelight to set a romantic mood.  Afterward, you can watch a movie both of you have been wanting to see while cuddling on the couch.
  • Work Out Together– Working out always seems to go more quickly when you have someone with you, and what better person than your partner?  Many gyms offer childcare services, which will give you both time to play racquetball, run on the treadmill, or lift weights.  As a bonus, breaking a sweat together just may put your mind on bedroom activities for later on in the day.
  • Take a Vacation– There is no better way to spend quality time with someone than when you are away from the rush of your everyday lives.  Family vacations that offer some options for child care, such as cruises and ski resorts, are highly recommended for some additional alone time.

 

Source: http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/relationships/quality-time-00100000076983/page4.html

Tips for Intensifying Your Love Life

photo courtesy of  hideawayinn.com

photo courtesy of hideawayinn.com

One of the wonderful things about pleasure is that it is boundless.  No matter how wonderful your sex life is, there will always be room for it to be even better!  Below are some very simple ideas that can intensify your sexual pleasure.

  • Boost your own sexual confidence.  To have the best sex life, you need to be truly comfortable with yourself, which will allow you to be free and uninhibited.  You can increase your self-confidence by purchasing a new nighty, dancing naked in front of a mirror, or experimenting with new toy; just do things that make you feel sexy.
  • Don’t ignore the importance of foreplay.  Sometimes the best part of sex can be the anticipation of it beforehand.  Start in the morning by giving your partner a hot kiss and a bit of groping before you head out the door.  Greet them with more stroking when they get home. To cap it off, light some candles and reward your mate with a long, gentle massage as a prelude to the main event.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things.  If you feel like you sex life hasn’t had enough variety lately, investigate some new positions.  A quick internet search will yield, quite literally, hundreds of new positions you can try.  Additionally, think about trying a new location.  Something as simple as seducing your partner on the sofa rather than the bed can add some spice to your session.
  • Take care of yourself.  It’s important for you to take care of yourself so that you have the proper energy and stamina for a healthy sex life.  This starts with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and the proper amount of sleep.  If you need motivation to exercise, consider this: Research shows that people who exercise regularly experience increased blood flow through their entire bodies, including their genital area, which can mean more intense orgasms.

Advantages of Married Sex

photo courtesy of moms.popsugar.com

photo courtesy of moms.popsugar.com

If you are engaged to be married, it’s not uncommon for people to make annoying comments about where your sex life is headed.  There is a pervasive myth that once you get married, sex becomes boring, or even nonexistent.  But it doesn’t have to be this way!  In fact, being married lends a certain freedom to your sex life that you may not have felt before.  Consider the following:

  • If you have ever felt uncomfortable initiating sex, you can kiss that goodbye, secure in the knowledge your partner certainly would not marry someone they did not find sexually attractive.
  • By the time you get married, you know your partner has seen you both at your most beautiful and at your worst, and they love you anyway.  It can be very freeing to know that you can have sex without worrying about looking perfect.
  • If you were uncertain about sharing your fantasies, curiosities, and desires before, you can feel more confident doing so now, knowing your partner isn’t going anywhere.  So give that dirty talk a try, and if it doesn’t work out, there is no need to feel self-conscious.  Similarly, if there is something your partner wants to try that you just aren’t into, you can feel more comfortable saying no.  You now have plenty of time for the two of you to figure out what works for you both.
  • If you weren’t already living together, getting married gives you a lot more access to each other than you had before.  This can mean more morning sex, more opportunities for quickies, and more time to flirt with each other throughout the day to make your evening sex that much hotter.
  • You’ve had plenty of time to get to know each other’s hot spots, and now you can try to find new ones.

 

Source: http://living.msn.com/love-relationships/love-sex/25-reasons-why-married-sex-is-better-1#1