Guide Sex knowledge for women and girls; what every woman and girl should know

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That being said, there are definitely ways to make penetrative sex amazing, regardless of size. Want some tips? Check this out. Unlike what you may have heard, masturbation is a healthy and normal form of sexual expression. Yep, you heard that right. It relieves stress and releases positive chemicals into the brain.

Masturbation is a great way to explore your body and discover your pleasure threshold. This is a myth. If you always use a vibrator, then change it up and use your fingers or another toy. Many women are self-conscious about their vaginal canals. The vaginal canal varies in length and when aroused, it can expand exponentially. The vagina is much like a sock being held together by an elastic band.

It can stretch out and then return to a normal size.

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The only thing that makes a vagina droop is time and age. If you want to tighten up your PC muscles for both men and women , read this and then read this. Gigi Engle is a writer, sex educator, and speaker. Follow her on Instagram , Facebook , and Twitter. Why do men store fat differently than women? What factors affect where your body fat sits and stores? We spoke to experts and looked at the studies to…. Collagen is an essential building block for the entire body, from skin to gut, and more.

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It keeps to the basics, so…. In many instances, these relationships are transactional in nature, in that they are non-commercial, non-marital sexual relationships motivated by the implicit assumption that sex will be exchanged for material support or other benefits. This assumption arises from harmful gendered expectations of intimate relationships; namely, that men are responsible for providing material resources and women are responsible for providing sexual and domestic services.

Many of these relationships include shared emotional intimacy, with people referring to themselves as boyfriends, girlfriends or lovers. Growing evidence suggests transactional relationships are likely to involve high-risk sex and low condom use. A longterm study of age-disparate sex and HIV risk for young women took place between and in South Africa. It is estimated that in South Africa a third of sexually active adolescent girls will experience a relationship with a man at least five years older.

The study found a cycle of transmission, whereby high HIV prevalence in young women was driven by sex with older men on average 8. Every year, around 12 million girls are married before the age of Girls who marry as children are more likely to be beaten or threatened by their husbands than girls who marry later, and are more likely to describe their first sexual experience as forced.

As minors, child brides are rarely able to assert their wishes, and are less likely than their peers to be aware of how to protect themselves from HIV and other STIs. The risk of HIV acquisition during vaginal sex has been found to be higher for women than for men in most but not all biological-based studies.

Sex Knowledge for Women and Girls: What Every Woman and Girl Should Know

This high susceptibility can be explained by a number of factors including the ability of HIV to pass through the cells of the vaginal lining and the larger surface area of the vagina. A study published in has provided further insight into the specific biological conditions that increase HIV risk in women. Previously, it was thought that the presence of the lactobacillus bacteria was the biggest factor.

This research provides evidence that microbial diversity is a key factor alongside the concentrations of key bacteria such as lactobacillus.

What Every Girl Should Know (1916), by Margaret Sanger

Understanding the contribution of vaginal bacteria to HIV risk will be a key target of future research. Adolescent girls may be at further increased risk due to the existence of greater proportions of genital mucosa, which are present in an immature cervix. Adolescent girls are also susceptible to relatively high levels of genital inflammation, which may also increase the risk of HIV acquisition.

A study conducted in Tanzania between and found that young women aged 15 to 24 who were married were more likely to get tested than young women who were not. It also found antenatal care to be an important determinant for HIV testing. Women who had received antenatal care were more likely to get tested as compared with young women who had not given birth. Globally, adult women are more likely to be accessing antiretroviral treatment ART than men. Despite this, AIDS-related illness remains the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.

Coverage is higher among pregnant women attending clinics that provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission PMTCT services. Barriers to accessing care that disproportionately affect women include transportation, lack of gender autonomy, stigma, economic constraints, lack of knowledge and gender roles. The same study found the most prevalent barrier to care experienced by women in the study was HIV-related stigma from within their own community.

Various factors can act as barriers to women adhering to ART, including a lack of accurate information about how to use ARVs. Misunderstandings about treatment have been linked to poor adherence and low retainment in care, both of which increase the likelihood of drug resistance and treatment failure. Intimate partner violence, which is fuelled by gender inequality, can also affect adherence. A study based on the experiences of women living with HIV from 17 countries found different types of physical, mental and structural violence perpetrated by family, community members and healthcare professionals meant many were unable to either start or stay on treatment for a wide range of reasons.

In addition, many women in the study had less access to resources than men, leading to practical difficulties in getting to clinics to receive treatment, or in affording the cost of associated services such as blood tests. Participants frequently cited being fired from their jobs or being refused work due to the HIV status as compounding their difficulties in affording the costs associated with accessing and staying on treatment. A lack of youth-friendly HIV treatment, support and care services prevents many adolescent girls and young women from accessing ART. Studies from Southern Africa have shown how loss to follow up a year after enrolling on ART is higher among young people compared to both adults and children.

Young women face specific difficulties in adhering to treatment. Family planning is one of the most important prevention of mother-to-child transmission PMTCT measures. Reducing the number of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV would reduce the number of children born with HIV. Pregnant women living with HIV are also at greater risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications than women who are not living with HIV.

Sexual and reproductive health

Various studies suggest that, despite improvements in coverage of family planning, women living with HIV are more likely than other women to have experienced unintended pregnancy. Despite this, programmes to help women living with HIV avoid unwanted pregnancies remain inadequate.

This creates a situation whereby more than million women experience unmet contraceptive needs each year, leading to approximately 80 million unintended pregnancies. In a study linking HIV with family planning services in Mumbai, India, two hospitals were involved, one of which integrated HIV and family planning services, while the other offered standard HIV services. At each site, HIV-positive women who did not intend to get pregnant in the next year and were eligible to use dual methods, were enrolled in the study.

Sex Knowledge for Women and Girls

In the intervention group, there was three times more acceptance of, and continued use of, dual protection methods along with increases in condom use and less unplanned pregnancies than in the control group. Integrating health services so that they cover maternal and child health as well as HIV and SRH services have been shown to produce better health outcomes for pregnant women. Tomorrow family planning, the following day for HIV, that way it becomes expensive.

It has also increased the number of women attending antenatal care and giving birth in health facilities. The number of infant HIV infections has also reduced. As part of the Integra Initiative, studies were conducted in Kenya and eSwatini to assess the barriers to accessing SRH services for couples. It found that, among men who used health facilities for SRH services, only a few reported positive experiences. Many highlighted a lack of privacy and confidentiality as barriers, while some also reported unavailable staff, a lack of staff motivation and long waiting times as problematic.

Having to take time off work was also a common barrier for working men. The few men who described positive experiences with healthcare providers at facilities reported friendliness and lack of invasive questioning. Many men perceived questioning from staff as embarrassing, especially if the provider was a young female.

The study also found that men strongly preferred traditional healers, particularly for sexually transmitted infections.

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This was due to the fact that many traditional healers are male, and they were perceived as offering greater privacy, were more easily accessible and did not carry out physical examinations. Traditional healers also offer flexible or delayed payment schemes, which incentivised men to consult healers when they needed.

Ensuring women and girls have access to HIV prevention services is critical. This is particularly important for adolescent girls and young women in high prevalence settings.


Many in age-disparate or transactional relationships are unaware that their partner could be engaging in multiple sexual partnerships. Addressing poverty has been shown to reduce high-risk sexual behaviour, particularly among young women in low- and middle-income countries, and thereby prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.

For adolescent girls, several randomised control trials in Africa found school attendance and safer sexual health to be directly incentivised by a cash transfer scheme, which had a positive effect on HIV outcomes. A study in South Africa found a cash transfer support programme which included social support led to a reduction in multiple and concurrent partners, and other HIV-risk behaviours among both young women and men.

If girls are able to access CSE before becoming sexually active they are more likely to make informed decisions about their sexuality and approach relationships with more self-confidence. CSE not only plays an important role in preventing negative SRH outcomes, but also offers a platform to discuss gender inequality and human rights and to promote respectful, non-violent relationships.

An evidence review involving 64 studies from six continents found both male and female students that received sex education at school had significantly better HIV knowledge and were more likely to use condoms as a result. They were also more likely to delay the age of sexual debut than students who lacked such education. Risk-reduction education and counselling includes specific messages about equitable decision-making with partners, and violence against women and its links to HIV. It also supports women to negotiate safer sex in unequal power relationships and provides referrals to support services.

A number of successful interventions that address gender and intimate partner violence as part of wider empowerment programmes for woman include SASA! HIV testing and counselling, PMTCT and treatment services can provide opportunities for the issue of violence towards women to be addressed.

As a result, WHO recommends identifying women based on signs and symptoms of intimate partner violence rather than universal screening. Laws and policies that promote gender equality create an environment that increases the likelihood of success and sustainability of efforts to reduce violence against women and their vulnerability to HIV. To better address the impact of HIV on women, particularly on young women and adolescent girls, approaches are needed that consciously adopt the perspectives of women in all their diversity.

As recommended by WHO, programmes need to better integrate SRH and HIV services and adopt a woman-centred approach, underpinned by two guiding principles: human rights and gender equality. Better strategies are needed across health systems to improve the accessibility, acceptability, affordability, uptake, equitable coverage, quality, effectiveness and efficiency of services, particularly for adolescent girls.