Monday, February 7, 2011

Sex-less in the city

By Eveline Gan, TODAY | Posted: 18 January 2011

SINGAPORE : With all the recent attention-grabbing headlines on nudity and public displays of affection, it would seem that Singaporeans are becoming more open about sex.

However, this is not the case for some couples whom gynaecologist Dr Yong Tze Tein sees at her clinic.

A senior consultant at the Singapore General Hospital's department of obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr Yong has seen her fair share of married couples who have sexual dysfunction and problems consummating.

In the past two to three years, she has seen 12 such cases - a figure which represents only the tip of an iceberg, since most people are too embarrassed to come forward and admit their problem.

A majority of the couples Dr Yong sees are in their 30s and have been married for a few years. They end up being referred to her when they are unable to successfully conceive.

According to Dr Yong, the sexual dysfunction issues she has seen are varied. For instance, there was a female patient with an anatomical problem - her hymen was so thick that it was impossible for sexual penetration to occur - and surgery was required to fix that.

Sex - What's that?

Interestingly, Dr Yong also sees couples who are clueless about the "birds and the bees".

"We've seen couples who try to have sexual intercourse but do not succeed, so the women end up not having any actual penetration. They are either not very sure what to do or have misconceptions about how sex is like," said Dr Yong, who recommended that both husband and wife see her at the same time for treatment.

Occasionally, the problems are more deep-seated and require a multi-disciplinary approach, with the help of an urologist and psychologist.

Sexual dysfunction becomes a challenge to treat when there are psychological problems or if either spouse is not open to treatment.

Take Jessie and Mark (not their real names) for instance. They have been married for several years but have not consummated their marriage.

While Jessie was eager to get professional help, Mark was embarrassed and unwilling to open up about his sexual problems.

"You could sense the wife's frustration and the husband's avoidance towards the issue. He made excuses like how he found sex very ticklish. He was always absent during consultations. I told his wife it was not possible for me to treat them when one party is always not around. You need two willing people to make sex happen!" said Dr Yong.

Mark's reaction is not uncommon. According to Dr Yong, men find it harder to talk about their sexual problems.

Left untreated, sexual dysfunction can become a chronic issue, making it harder to treat. Dr Yong advised couples to seek help early if they encounter problems.

Touching Base

While it is impossible to say how much sex is healthy, Dr Yong recommended couples to "touch base" at least once a week.

"Who are we to say that it's not right for a married couple to not have sex? But making love demands some form of trust and shedding of inhibition. If there's no sex in a marriage, then the couple wouldn't have truly experienced that level of intimacy," she said.

- TODAY/il

Taken from; source article is below:
Sexless in the city

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