Wednesday, 30 December 2015

10 New Year Sexolutions

You’ve already got a long list of New Year’s resolutions, but what about your sex life? Resolutions are easy to break because we typically pledge to accomplish changes that aren’t really important to us. Many people resolve to lose weight, but if the extra weight was the real issue, it would be gone by now. Maybe the thing we really want to change is how we feel in and about our body. Having a better sex life means not only making an effort in the bedroom, but also taking care of your sexual health and body confidence.

Look at what's not working for you in your sex life, and commit to making one improvement a month. Spacing out specific commitments around your sexual intentions can help these resolutions stick in the long run. 

Here are 12 resolutions to help improve your bedroom and body confidence.

1. Cuddle More

Snuggling with your sweetie has endless health benefits: It releases oxytocin—the feel-good hormone—increasing overall happiness, reducing stress, and lowering blood pressure. Oxytocin is also the bonding hormone, so cuddling will make you feel closer to your partner. Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to talk to your partner. Cuddling is a way of telling them that you know how they feel. It allows us to feel known by our partner in ways that words can't convey.

2. Stay in bed longer

Even if it’s a quickie, resolve to not run off after. Couples who spend more time being affectionate after sex feel more satisfied with their sex lives.

3. Get Tested

It’s important to know your status for sexually transmitted infections instead of just waiting for symptoms to appear, because some STIs are asymptomatic but can have long-term consequences. Resolve to protect yourself and any partners you may have. To make it happen, discuss your sexual activities honestly with your healthcare provider so you can discuss how often you should be tested and what you should be tested for.

4. Try on a different personality in bed

Sometimes we get stuck being one way in the bedroom and don't know how to branch out.  Choose a personality trait that's different than how you usually are in bed, and give yourself permission to try it on. Do you want to be fierce? Submissive? Dominant? Playful? Silly? Choosing a new personality trait and thinking about how to bring that into the bedroom can bring new life to activities that you've been doing for a long time.

5. Try being celibate

If you're single and feeling a bit tired of dating right now, commit to three months of no dating. But put that time to good use: Schedule time with friends, return to a hobby you’ve abandoned, or try other activities that nurture you. After three months, you'll feel more grounded and ready to date with a fresh perspective.

6. Learn a New Dance

With the plethora of new dance steps coming out every other week ie shoki, azonto, etighi, etc, this should not be a problem. Dancing gives you better physical grace and teaches you to move your body in a sensual way. No one is saying you need to perform a strip tease (unless you want to!), but learning new dance steps will give you more confidence in how you move. 

7. Schedule Kid-free Time

If you have kids then I'm sure you know that private time is almost a mirage. But it’s important for you and your partner to reconnect instead of just being parents. Resolve to get at least an hour of couple time every week

8. Bring Back Our Foreplay (BBOF)

Both men and women want about 20 minutes worth of foreplay—and yet, most report that theirs only lasts about half that time. Another reason to not skip it:  Playing around before getting down can help a man last longer and get his partner revved up. The average man takes anywhere from three to seven minutes to climax, while the average woman requires anywhere from 10 to 20. We call this the arousal gap. Foreplay can fix it. 

Men need to put in the extra effort and women should not feel ashamed that the stimulation is needed. Whether it’s oral sex or manual stimulation, try to withhold from penetration until you’re nearing climax from foreplay.  

9. Share your Fantasies

This one is a lot less common in our culture than in other climes. We tend to be a bit too bashful about things like this. But sharing fantasies are an amazing way to get closer to your partner and bring in new pleasures. Try this: Write down your steamiest scenarios and ask your partner to do the same.

10. Buy Bras that Fit

Does this surprise you? Now ladies, enough of getting bras just because of the brand name and sexy look alone. And don't get me started on the bend down select ones (smh). A huge part of  feeling sexy is being confident in what you are wearing. Make sure you try on a bra before you buy one to be sure it has the perfect fit.

11. Touch New Places

It’s no secret that we have some very specific pleasure points on our bodies, but you might be surprised to know your partner also has particular trigger spots that—when stimulated—will send them over the edge. Whether it’s biting, licking, or barely caressing, find out that secret place and indulge.

12. Try Some Lube

Sometimes it’s the small changes that make big differences. Introducing lube can just add a new dimension to sexual play because it's a different sensation. You can also play with flavored lubes or coconut oil (just don't use with condoms because it may weaken the latex) to make oral sex tastier.

So there we have it: 12 new year Sexolutions to add to your list.
Let us not forget our girls who are in captivity and could be sexually abused on a daily basis - pray and speak out for their safe return(BBOG).
Have a Merry Christmas and a Love-filled New year!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Excessive Vaginal Wetness: What You Need To Know

I have received many emails about this issue and I think it's about time I wrote about it.
Now some of you may be wondering how too much wetness can be a problem, but if you ask those in this situation they would rather be dry than excessively wet. While vaginal dryness is a more common problem, excessive wetness is a more frustrating problem as there a very few immediate solutions.
It is completely normal for the vagina to be wet when a woman is aroused and the amount of wetness varies from woman to woman. However when wetness becomes an impediment to a pleasurable sexual experience then "Houston we have a problem."
Excessive vaginal wetness is mostly caused by hormone imbalance. Too much estrogen and too little progesterone.
Now that we know what causes excessive vaginal wetness, here are a few do-it-yourself home remedies:
1. Take an antihistamine eg Actifed. These medications not only dry up the sinuses, they also have an all-round dehydration effect.
2. Place ice on the vagina or wash with cold water shortly before intercourse. This causes a "constriction" effect on the walls of the vagina so there is increased tightness and friction.
3. Take an alcoholic drink or two before sex. Alcohol creates a dehydration effect similar to antihistamines. This is not a license to become an alcoholic. In this case, less is more. Too much alcohol defeats the purpose.
There a are a few other ways to reduce the effect of excessive vaginal wetness including adopting certain positions during sex eg doggy, and using progesterone creams. However the above mentioned seem to be more widely and successfully used than others. Not all of them will work for every woman. Try  them all and find out which one works best for you. Good luck.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): Is It In You?

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world with its highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa. Most people who are sexually active will get the virus at one point in their lives. Unfortunately very few studies have been done about this disease in Nigeria. 
There are over 100 types of HPV. Some types may go unnoticed, while others can cause serious health problems including genital warts and cancers.

You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.
Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected making it hard to know when you first became infected.

HPV can cause cervical and other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. 70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide are caused by HPV. In Nigeria, about 67% of invasive cervical cancer is caused by HPV. Recently a well-known former DG of NAFDAC died from cervical cancer. 
HPV can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.
Cancer often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types of HPV that can cause cancers.
There is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems. People with weak immune systems (including individuals with HIV/AIDS) may be less able to fight off HPV and more likely to develop health problems from it. 

Get vaccinated. HPV vaccines are safe and effective. They can protect males and females against diseases (including cancers) caused by HPV when given in the recommended age groups(roughly 9-26yrs). HPV vaccines are given in three shots over six months; it is important to get all three doses.
Get screened for cervical cancer. Routine screening for women aged 21 to 65 years old can prevent cervical cancer.
Use condoms every time you have sex. This can lower your chances of getting HPV. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom - so condoms may not give full protection against getting HPV. 
Be in a mutually monogamous relationship – or have sex only with someone who only has sex with you.

There is no specific treatment for HPV. However, there are treatments for the health problems that HPV can cause. Genital warts can be treated by you or your physician with the right medication. If left untreated, genital warts may go away, stay the same, or grow in size or number. Cervical precancer can also be treated. Women who get routine Pap tests and follow up as needed can identify problems before cancer develops. Prevention is always better than treatment. 

Talk to your healthcare provider about HPV today.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

10 Myths about HIV and AIDS

HIV/AIDs is arguably the most talked about sexually transmitted disease in Nigeria (which, by the way, has the world’s second largest number of people with HIV), however many people still don't know many facts about the disease. Here are some of the myths peddled by ignorant folk followed by the real facts.

Myth #1
There is no need to use a condom during sexual contact if both partners already have HIV.
There are different strains of HIV. If a condom is not used during sexual contact, HIV-infected partners may exchange different types or strains of HIV. This can lead to re-infection, which will make the treatment of HIV infection more difficult. The new HIV strain may become more resistant to the current treatment taken, or cause the current treatment option to be ineffective.
Myth #2
Homosexual men and drug users are more likely to get infected with HIV than other people.
In Nigeria, 80% of all HIV infections occur through heterosexual intercourse. HIV is spread mostly through unprotected sexual contact and does not discriminate against anyone. It is not who you are but your risky behaviors which put you at risk of HIV infection. Regardless of your personality or sexuality, you will be at risk if you don't take protective measures.
Myth #3
Getting HIV/AIDS is a death sentence.
Although HIV/AIDS has no cure, it can be treated. There has been tremendous progress in treatment for HIV over the years. A person living with HIV/AIDS can now continue to live a strong and productive life for many years.
Myth #4
My partner tested negative for HIV. That means it is safe for us to have sex.
An HIV test works by detecting the presence of antibodies in the body that develop when HIV infects the body. But it takes about three weeks for there to be enough antibodies for detection. In addition, to be sure that the individual is completely HIV-free, it is not enough to have one negative HIV test result - the individual would need to take another HIV test at least 3 months after the first one. He or she must also avoid any risky sexual activities in that whole period. If the second test result is negative, the individual is HIV-free and able to have sex without spreading HIV.
Myth #5
An HIV-positive person who receives antiretroviral treatment will not spread the virus.
Antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of HIV in the body. However, HIV remains in the body and can be transmitted to others.
Myth #6
Faithful and loving partners do not spread HIV.
You may think that your partner has been faithful and loving to you, and will not spread the virus. But what if your partner doesn't know that he already has HIV? A person can be HIV-positive for years without symptoms. Besides, how sure are you about your partner's sexual history? Also, HIV can be transmitted through non-sexual activities -- such as blood transfusions and the sharing of injection needles -- regardless of whether he or she has remained faithful. To be safe, use a condom during sex, and get your partner and yourself tested for HIV.
Myth #7
HIV infections can be cured by having sex with a virgin.
There's no cure for HIV/AIDS. However, HIV can be treated and a person who goes on treatment will be able to live a strong and productive life. By having unprotected sex with a virgin or anyone else for that matter, the person with HIV/AIDS can transmit the virus, which is irresponsible.
Myth #8
HIV/AIDS cannot be transmitted during oral sex.
Transmission of HIV occurs when there is an exchange of body fluids (such as semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, blood or pre-ejaculatory fluids), and this is possible during oral sex when there are open wounds. These include cuts, sores or abrasions in the mouth or gums, or infections in the throat or mouth that are inflamed. There may also be abrasions or sores on the penis or vagina. It is best to avoid oral sex if you have any cuts, sores or abrasions, or if you have a sexually transmitted infection. Otherwise, it is advisable to use condoms when engaging in oral sex.
Myth #9
HIV can be spread during contact with saliva, such as through kissing or the sharing of utensils.
HIV may be found in saliva, but it is in too small an amount to infect anyone.
Myth #10
HIV can be spread through non-sexual physical contact such as hugging, handshakes, sharing toilet seats, and from mosquito bites. 
HIV can only be transmitted through an exchange of body fluids. It cannot be spread through physical contact unless you have an open wound which comes into contact with the body fluids (semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, blood or pre-ejaculatory fluids) of an HIV-positive person. Body fluids such as saliva, sweat and tears cannot transmit HIV. Also, as the virus cannot survive in insects, HIV cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Performance Anxiety and How to Overcome It

Many partners who fail to reach a climax during sexual intercourse have no underlying physical problem.  Instead, the problem may be due in part or whole to worrying about not being able to perform.  In such cases you may need a bit of old fashioned reason rather than a Viagra pill! 
So how can worrying about performing sexually actually prevent you from performing?    
The first thing to note is that worrying about not performing sexually only distracts you from sexually interacting with your partner.  Often, when worrisome people have sex, they don't give due attention to the more erotic thoughts and responses that typically accompany successful sexual relating.  So instead of thinking erotically, you may start thinking and ruminating about how awful it would be if you couldn't perform, how this would reflect poorly on your masculinity or femininity, and what your partner might think of you.
Such thinking produces performance anxiety.  Anxiety is a future-oriented emotion in which you catastrophize about the consequences of a possible future event. In the case of sexual performance anxiety the event in question is failure to perform sexually and the perceived catastrophic consequences are loss of self-respect and fear of how you think others, especially your sex partner, would view you.

So maybe you think that a man must have an erection, or that a woman must have an orgasm. And maybe you think this despite the obvious biological fact that having an erection or orgasm is not a necessary condition of being a man or woman. If you never had another erection or orgasm again, you still would not shed your gender! 
"Well maybe I'm still a man if I fail to perform, but that's not what I'm supposed to do as a man.  I'm supposed to have an erection; and if I don't have one, then I'm somehow defective, kind of like a clock that doesn't keep time is still a clock."
Now, a little advice might help to take the edge off this popular "natural law" perspective.  You are not like a clock!  A clock does not have free will.  Its ticks and tocks are purely mechanical.  A clock does not have subjectivity; it is not self-conscious.  But you are, and there lies the rub.
Your "malfunction" is not in your mechanical part.  It is not in your penis or your vagina; it is not in a malfunction of your erogenous zone.  It is rather a set of irrational thoughts that are creating performance anxiety which in turn lead to your lack of orgasm.
A major part of your performance anxiety is fear of what others are going to think of you, especially your sex partner, if you fail to perform.  You may fear that your partner will stop seeing you as sexy or as not being a "real man" or "real woman."
As such, you may tell yourself that your worth depends on whether or not you can reach a climax.  "What good am I," you think, "if I can't even have an orgasm."  But you are not identical to an orgasm.  Again, you are not a mere mechanism.  You are a being who can think, reason, act, feel, desire, and sense.  You are a self-determining being, a being who can autonomously decide things.  You therefore also have an inherent value and dignity.  So respect yourself.  Good sex begins with self-respect! 
And anyway, it's not really awful if you don't have an orgasm or you can't have an erection.  It is not on the level of a nuclear meltdown or an earthquake in which thousands of people perish. It is not the equivalent of murder or rape.  It is not like the end of the universe.  As far as bad things go, it really isn't so bad-unless you tell yourself it is.  But that is where your willpower comes into play.  You can make of it what you will!
Finally, you cannot control what others think of you. Is your partner going to be pleased with you?  How well will you compare to others, sexually?  What will he or she think if you can't even reach a climax?  These are thoughts that shouldn't occupy you because you're simply not in a position to control what others think.  On the other hand you can have considerable control over your sexual experience.  You can think erotic thoughts, touch, feel, and sense.  You can attempt to stimulate and imagine that your partner is as intensely stimulated as you are.  Here, your imagination is all the reality that really matters anyway.  At the end of the day, ranking the sex as good, bad, or somewhere in between may not even be a good idea, but it is definitely a very bad idea while in the midst of the sexual encounter itself.  To do so is already to chill off the experience. 
If it turns out that you had foreplay but no climax, this is still not terrible, horrible, or awful.  The enjoyment reaped through the encounter need not afterwards be desecrated by the failure to be orgasmic.  It is what it is-and it can still be pleasant, unless you catastrophize about it and dilute this pleasure with needless anxiety. "Next time hopefully I'll have an orgasm." That would be nice, but you can and should walk away intact if it just doesn't happen. The quest for sexual gratification should not itself be turned into a source of grief.
So what to do about sexual performance anxiety?  Here are, in sum, some things you and your partner can work on: 
Stop defining yourself as an orgasm. You are much more!
Respect your inherent dignity and value as a human being;
Stop worrying about what others are going to think of you;
Focus instead on what you can control - your subjective world of erotic thoughts, fantasies,   sensations, and feelings;
Stop exaggerating how bad it is to not have an orgasm;
Stop rating your sexual experience, especially while you are having it;

Appreciate whatever pleasure you reap!

Culled from:

The Risk of Prostate Cancer in Black Men

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Nigerian men but screening is not a common practice. The true burden of the disease in Nigeria is not known.
All men should be concerned about prostate cancer, particularly as they age. Talk with your doctor about if and when you should be screened based on your family history and other risk factors. If you have one or more risk factors and are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, early screening is especially important.
Black men are at a significantly higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white men. Among black men, 19 percent — nearly one in five — will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and five percent of those will die from this disease. In fact, prostate cancer is the fourth most common reason overall for death in black men.

Prostate Cancer in Black Men: How Much Greater Is the Risk? 
Researchers aren't exactly sure of the reasons why black men are at an increased risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer. Research is under way in an attempt to better understand the causes, but one recent study suggests that there may be a genetic link.
And while black men are already at an increased risk for prostate cancer, their risk increases dramatically if there is a family history of prostate cancer. Black men with an immediate family member who had prostate cancer have a one in three chance of developing the disease. Their risk rises to 83 percent with two immediate family members having the disease, and skyrockets to 97 percent if they have three immediate family members who developed prostate cancer.

The Importance of Early Screening
Early prostate cancer screening is important because by the time that symptoms appear, the cancer is likely in an advanced stage. The earlier the prostate cancer is caught — before symptoms appear — the better the chances for recovery.

Prostate cancer is highly treatable when caught early.  Almost 100 percent of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in its earliest stage will be alive five years later.

Prostate Cancer Screening for Black Men
Regular screening is important for all men at the age when prostate cancer becomes more likely. But for black men, routine prostate cancer screening should start at an even younger age. The American Cancer Society recommends that Black men discuss testing with their doctor at age 45, or at age 40 if they have several close relatives who have had prostate cancer before age 65.
Screening tests can include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and/or a digital rectal exam (DRE). Both tests can be usually be done by your family doctor. A digital rectal exam is a quick and only mildly uncomfortable exam of your prostate. Your doctor will use a lubricated, gloved finger to gently feel the surface of your prostate gland for lumps or other abnormalities.

In addition to recognizing the need for early screening, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. These symptoms can include urinating in the middle of the night, needing to urinate more frequently, and feeling like the bladder doesn't completely empty. Blood in the urine may also be a sign of prostate cancer.
It is important for men to talk to their doctor about diagnostic testing for prostate cancer if they are experiencing any of these symptoms. They also need to have a discussion with their doctor about the benefits and limitations of screening for early prostate cancer detection. Not ignoring symptoms and being aware that finding the disease and treating it early has very good outcomes are two things to keep in mind.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Five Steps of a Breast Self-Exam

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here's what you should look for:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:

  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

    Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

    Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

    Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.

    Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

    Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.

    Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.


About Breast Cancer

I have wanted to write about breast cancer in Nigeria for some time. But there is hardly enough information about it online and even in the hospitals. It seems breast cancer is not getting the attention it requires. Breast cancer is notoriously virulent in black women; Nigeria has the world's largest number of black women. The article below is culled from the World Health Organization website. Quite lengthy but worth a read:

In developing countries, the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not survive because their cancer is detected too late. Motunrayo Bello reports on the challenges of dealing with breast cancer in Nigeria.
Like many Nigerians, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu believed breast cancer was a “white woman’s disease”, something that could never happen to her. So when she felt a lump in her breast in 1997, she reacted as many of her countrywomen might have done: “I chose to keep it all to myself. I was hoping I could wish it all away.”
Several weeks later, however, she was inspired to seek treatment after seeing a documentary on Carol Baldwin, an American woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy more than 20 years ago, and who has since become a leading campaigner and fundraiser for breast cancer research.
“I realized that I had to confront it,” says Anyanwu-Akeredolu. “I had to talk to someone, and I said to myself, ‘if what I felt just a few weeks ago turns out to be cancer, I will recover as this woman did’.”
Anyanwu-Akeredolu tells with pride how she received her full treatment, including a mastectomy and radiation therapy, at the University College Hospital in Ibadan. “Several Nigerian survivors tell stories of how they travelled to developed countries for treatment. But not many people have the luxury of this choice. The Nigerian health system is all they have. We have the health professionals with the skill and willingness to deliver better health care but they are constrained by the lack of infrastructure and an enabling environment.”
The desire to share her story prompted her to found the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, an organization that galvanizes action against breast cancer through public education, patient support, advocacy and research. “I was determined to speak out. Just as I needed to hear from someone who had recovered from breast cancer, I wanted to be that person other women could feel reassured by, the one to tell them that if I could recover here in Nigeria, so could they.”
Felicia Knaul, director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, Secretariat of the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries, also believes women with cancer need more role models, or ‘champions’ as she calls them. “Having seen a champion who continues to live with the disease is very important for women with cancer,” she says. “Survival rates are improving. With earlier detection and treatment, evidence from around the world demonstrates tremendous hope for survival and for many years of healthy life.”
Just as Anyanwu-Akeredolu did, Knaul decided to help others deal with the disease after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 41 in a clinic in Cuernavaca, Mexico and then receiving almost all of her treatment locally. Soon after her diagnosis, she founded Cáncer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho, a programme that promotes research, advocacy, awareness and early detection in Latin America. 

Anyanwu-Akeredolu and Knaul’s support groups are important for promoting awareness of breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries, where illiteracy, religious beliefs and health, gender and social inequities often prevent women from having access to services and information, particularly on the importance of seeking treatment early if cancer is detected. Further, Knaul says, the advocacy power of breast cancer can be harnessed to promote broader efforts to empower women and to promote women’s health in general.
Knaul said stigma and discrimination also severely hamper women’s decisions and ability to seek medical advice if they find a breast lump. Women often struggle to “come out” publicly about their breast cancer for fear of being abandoned by their partners or of losing their jobs.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women, with an estimated 1.38 million cases diagnosed worldwide in 2008. It is also the most frequently reported cause of death from cancer in women in both developed and developing countries. Breast cancer survival rates vary greatly worldwide, ranging from 80% or more in North America, Sweden and Japan to around 60% in middle-income countries and less than 40% in low-income countries. The low survival rates in less-developed countries are mainly due to late diagnosis of the majority of cases.
Breast cancer prevention is not simply about educating and empowering women; equipping health workers with the appropriate skills and attitudes is also crucial. “In developing countries, many women arrive with late-stage tumours that could have been detected at the primary-care level. But we have not trained primary-care nurses and physicians to recognize the symptoms that could be related to cancer, to undertake clinical breast examination or to review family history of breast cancer. They have been trained to believe that these aren’t the major killers of poor people, so they shouldn’t be looking out for them, and they aren’t.”
Early detection does not necessarily depend on expensive diagnostic equipment. In countries that don’t have widely available mammography technology for mass screening, routine clinical examination performed by well-trained community health workers, nurses and physicians can help diagnose more cases earlier. The International Agency for Research on Cancer is currently undertaking a trial involving 120 000 women to evaluate the role of an intervention 'package' that includes awareness and clinical breast examination in reducing breast cancer mortality, in collaboration with the Regional Cancer Centre in Trivandrum, India. 
Detection is just the first step. The next step is to make sure the patient receives the results of appropriate tests and is guided to treatment. “Many women won’t come forward because they don’t want to go through the surgery and the stigma if they think they are going to die anyway,” says Knaul.

“When certain technologies are not available, it is important to give patients other options, such as recommending mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy if radiation therapy is not available and surgery is feasible. Ethically we have to offer the best possibility of survival for each woman given the environment and reality that she is living.”
Knaul believes that much more can be done at the primary level and that hospitals may not always be the best places to treat cancer patients in developing countries, particularly when long-term chemotherapy schedules may require women to travel far from home and their families. “Bringing the treatment closer to the patient, such as offering chemotherapy in local clinics, could be a better option. Here’s an opportunity to identify, in a scientific, evidence-based manner, more appropriate technologies for delivering much of this care.”
Olufemi Taiwo, the director of disease control at the Ministry of Health in Lagos State, said the state government was committed to reducing cancer incidence rates, especially the incidence of breast cancer, the most common malignancy affecting women of child-bearing age in Nigeria.
Since 2006, the ministry has run an awareness programme to educate women on breast self-examination that has involved building strong partnerships with religious and community leaders. “We are now getting into the schools, markets, churches and mosques, holding more health talks, distributing letters and information leaflets. There is still so much ground to cover,” she says.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu says the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria has developed a wellness programme named Breakfast Aerobics to promote a healthy lifestyle through exercise, a balanced diet and information about breast self-examination.
According to Taiwo, many women did not seek medical advice because they believed the treatment would be too costly. “We see women accepting the disease, living with it until the case worsens. But we have made efforts to reduce this burden by designating six general hospitals around the state where lumpectomy is done free of charge.” At the University College Hospital, Ibadan, free screening and treatment advice is offered to poorer women. Since 2010, needy out-patients visiting this hospital for treatment have had free accommodation at the Hope Lodge run by the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria. “This is a giant step towards reducing the burden that rests heavily on the shoulders of family members,” says Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
Taiwo said the ministry was collaborating with health experts to develop a comprehensive cancer control policy for the state and try to improve its weak cancer data collection. She said Nigeria’s recently launched universal coverage insurance would cover cancer treatment, but the details “were still being worked out”.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu believes a more coordinated approach is needed to tackle Nigeria’s high cancer morbidity and mortality. “We now have many nongovernmental organizations working in isolation and causing duplication across the sector. I strongly believe we could achieve so much more if we were all to come together to fill the gaps and contribute comprehensively with government in formulating effective policies.”
Awareness programmes are showing signs of success, with more women being screened and treated for breast cancer. “We are now regularly inundated at cancer hospitals across the state with referrals from screening programmes in the communities,” says a doctor in the oncology unit at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

What is needed now are funds and commitment to improving treatment for women once they are diagnosed, she says. The lack of access to diagnostic and radiography equipment, particularly for rural women, is a serious problem. “The mammography machine here in the oncology unit doesn’t even work at present, nor are we able to do radiotherapy for now so we have to refer patients to other hospitals,” she says. “With a population of almost 160 million people, a few functioning mammogram machines are just not enough!”

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

7 Things Women Hate In Bed

Let me start by apologising for the long break. I won't make any excuses, but it was due to unforeseen circumstances. Now back to business: very recently we talked about mistakes women make in bed. So maybe it's time to turn the tables. What are the things men do in bed that make their partners cringe? Leggo!

1- Asking for permission
If you've been with a woman for long enough to know her body language and emotions, nothing quite ruins the mood like a formal request to proceed. You don't need a legal team to draw up a waiver: A good lover knows how to let her know he's in the mood and turn her on without resorting to robotic requests. Something as simple as an intense look or a certain touch is a much better way of going about it. That being said, consent is paramount for a trusting and passionate encounter.

2- Predictability
If you've been together for a while, this can definitely be a problem. Part of the reason why things were so hot between you and her when you first got together was because you didn't know what to expect. If you want to maintain a similar level of excitement months or even years down the road, you have to keep it fresh.
Don't be afraid to try new things that you'll both enjoy; never let it get to a point where she can anticipate your every move. For instance, if you usually spend five minutes on foreplay, spend 15 minutes next time and tease her mercilessly. She won't know what hit her. And soon, neither will you.

3- Mechanical sex
Most women will agree that sex without passion is quite dull; no woman wants to be treated like a blow-up doll. I'm not saying that every sexual encounter has to be mind-blowing, it's just that you should never ignore the fact that, no matter how cool she is, she's still a woman who would like nothing more than to be treated as such. So be the lover of her dreams and make love to her at least once in a while. If you never go the extra mile, she just might find someone who does...

4- Not going the extra mile
Although many women — as well as men — feel that they must be content with whatever sexual act they engage in with their partners, the truth is that they will eventually tire of a bare-bones routine. So, if you want to prevent her from tiring of you, you must put in a little extra effort every once in a while.
You guessed it: That means romance. The fact that most women don't even expect this at this point in the devolution of dating is to your great advantage because if you are romantic every once in a while, she'll wonder what distant planet you hail from and be all over you.
For instance, leave her love notes describing what you'd like her to do to you, what you'd like to do to her, and what she should slip into (or out of) while she anxiously awaits your return. Cook a romantic dinner for two, play some mood music and seduce her. Write her a poem and make her melt. Make it about pleasing her next time and not only will she not be bored, she may just do anything to please you in return.

5- Same location
If your woman has memorized the cracks in your bedroom ceiling, you're in trouble. But don't worry, a simple change of location can fix this situation. Take it to the shower, the kitchen table, your car, a secluded beach — the possibilities are endless. Use your imagination and try not to get caught.

6- Too vocal or not vocal enough
Excessive grunting or repeating certain words can be just as tiresome as making no noise at all. So, try to find a comfortable medium that lets her know you're enjoying yourself without letting the whole neighborhood know as well. The right choice of words can also be a turn-on for many women.
Telling her that what she's doing feels amazing, that she looks hot, what you'd like to do to her, or have her do to you will go a long way in preventing the boredom from setting in.

7- Never experimenting
If you've been with a woman for a while, and want to keep each other turned on, you had better try some new positions, spill your fantasies, engage in role playing, and anything else that will serve to spice things up, or you risk breaking up out of sheer bedroom boredom.

Pour yourselves a glass of wine or two, talk about what turns you on, and you may just end up fulfilling these fantasies sooner than you think.

Now that is a lot of information up there. The key is don't stress yourself up about it. Chances are your woman doesn't have unreasonable expectations. Detect the problem areas and work on resolving them one step at a time. Good luck!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Demon of Sexual Assault

This topic has been weighing heavily on my mind, but only now have I had the time to write about it.
Most often when people hear the words "sexual assault" they think of rape. One might automatically picture a stranger jumping out of the bushes to rape a woman walking home from work late at night. 
While it is true that rape by a stranger is a form of sexual assault, it is vital to include the wide range of unwanted sexual contacts that many people experience in our definition of these words. Sexual assault can include child sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, fondling, and sexual harassment. There is a range of nonconsensual sexual acts that create a continuum in which each form of sexual assault is linked to the others by their root causes, as well as by the effects they have on individuals and communities. While sexual assault can take many forms, it is important to remember that the loss of power and control that a victim of sexual assault experiences is a common thread. 
Child sexual abuse can be defined as any situation in which an adult or another child threatens, forces or manipulates a child into sexual activity. Many times the offender doesn't need to use physical force with the victim. Instead, they take advantage of their own position of trust and authority. Child sexual abuse can include exposing a child to pornography, fondling the sexual parts of a child's body, making a child engage in sexual activity with others, and sexually penetrating a child, orally, anally or vaginally with the penis, hand or any object. Incest is intercourse or touching of sexual parts between an adult family member and a child or between siblings. Incest is very common and little-talked-about in our environment. It can occur between nuclear(eg father and daughter) or extended(uncle and niece) family members.
Rape is any sexual intercourse with a person without his or her consent. It is an act of violence that uses sex as a weapon. There are many different types of rape that are important to distinguish as well. Stranger rape happens when the victim does not know his or her offender. Many people believe that this type of rape only happens to women who dress a certain way, walk alone at night, or hang out in the wrong places. The reality of stranger rape is that it happens during the day and at night, to people from all different walks of life, and in lots of different places. 
Acquaintance rape describes a rape in which the victim and the perpetrator are known to each other. The perpetrator might be a partner, coworker, best friend or neighbor. Did you know that this is the most common type of rape? 84 percent of rapes happen among people who know one another. Most of the time a person is raped by someone they know, trust, or love. 
Date rape is a specific kind of acquaintance rape, referring to a rape that occurs between two people who are dating partners. Often times the victim is emotionally manipulated or coerced into having sex with his or her partner. Marital rape, one of the least talked about forms of sexual assault, is rape between spouses. Because of personal and societal barriers to reporting marital rape, its prevalence is probably higher than we are aware. 
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment often manifests itself in subtle ways, such as sexually suggestive comments, unwanted touching, risqué jokes, or blatant demand for sexual contact. In most cases, these actions take place within work or educational settings where both the offender and the victim are required to be in close contact. 
There are many types of sexual assault. It is important to understand the differences between them, as well as how they are linked together. Unfortunately, because of the silence that surrounds sexual assault, there have been many myths created over time to help explain why it happens and who it happens to. We often hear things like "only women can be raped", "a husband can't rape his wife", "she asked for it by wearing that short/tight dress", and "that child must be lying - his father is a good man." We know that these things are not true. Both women and men can be sexually assaulted. Rape can occur within a marriage. A victim never asks to be raped and is never to blame for behavior of the perpetrator. People who sexually assault are often people who go to church, have good jobs, and are well liked by their community. 

Common Effects of Sexual Assault 

Victims of sexual assault often experience a number of common effects. These may include: 
  • Flashbacks 
  • Nightmares 
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep 
  • Anger and rage 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Hypervigilence 
  • Anxiety and panic 
  • Self-blame, guilt, and shame 
  • Emotional numbing 
  • Physical symptoms and health problems 

What to Do if Someone You Know is Sexually Assaulted  

  • Believe them. A person has very little to gain by making up a story about sexual assault. 
  • Listen to them. A victim of sexual assault needs someone who will listen to what they have to say without blame or judgment. 
  • Do not tell them what to do. A person who has been sexually assaulted has had every ounce of power and control stripped from them. They only way they are going to gain that power back is by making decisions for themselves. 
  • Give them information, provide them options, but don't tell them what to do. A good place to start is a sexual assault Center. In Nigeria we have the Partnership for Justice which has handled many cases of sexual assault. There are many other organisations who are waiting to help victims of sexual abuse as much as they will let them.  There is also new legislation that can lock away sexual offenders for a long time.
    If you are a victim of sexual abuse, you are not alone and YOU CAN GET HELP. Speak up and make a difference.

Monday, 20 April 2015

What Is Sexual Addiction?

Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.
For some sex addicts, behavior does not progress beyond compulsive masturbation or the extensive use of pornography or phone or computer sex services. For others, addiction can involve illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls(yes, that too), child molestation or rape.
Sex addicts do not necessarily become sex offenders. Moreover, not all sex offenders are sex addicts. Roughly 55 percent of convicted sex offenders can be considered sex addicts. 
About 71 percent of child molesters are sex addicts. For many, their problems are so severe that imprisonment is the only way to ensure society’s safety against them. 
Society has accepted that sex offenders act not for sexual gratification, but rather out of a disturbed need for power, dominance, control or revenge, or a perverted expression of anger. More recently, however, an awareness of brain changes and brain reward associated with sexual behavior has led us to understand that there are also powerful sexual drives that motivate sex offenses. 
Sexual addiction has been more recently defined as engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others. In other words, a sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, shattered relationships or even arrest. 
Increasing sexual provocation in our society has spawned an increase in the number of individuals engaging in a variety of unusual or illicit sexual practices, such as phone sex, high class prostitution(runs) and computer pornography. 
The same compulsive behavior that characterizes other addictions also is typical of sex addiction. But these other addictions, including drug, alcohol and gambling dependency, involve substances or activities with no necessary relationship to our survival. For example, we can live normal and happy lives without ever gambling, taking illicit drugs or drinking alcohol. Even the most genetically vulnerable person will function well without ever being exposed to, or provoked by, these addictive activities. 
Sexual activity is different. Like eating, having sex is necessary for human survival. Although some people are celibate — some not by choice, while others choose celibacy for cultural or religious reasons — healthy humans have a strong desire for sex. In fact, lack of interest or low interest in sex can indicate a medical problem or psychiatric illness.