Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Football Sized Cancer, Living Within Her

The Football Sized Cancer, Living Within Her.

“I can see my fat every day, so it's always on my mind. Cancer (Ovarian) usually goes undetected a period of time, therefore pushing the immediate concerns further to the back of my mind.”- MUM*

It's utterly astonishing that based on a “Women’s Health Survey” conducted by Jean Hailes Organisation (in 2016) in which 3000 women were studied, most were more worried about their weight, and obesity, then they did show some concern about cancers in general.

In saying that, another study from the same team in 2015 showed that the top 5 worries/concerns voiced by Aussie women included:
1) Healthy Living- Weight, obesity, body image, fatigue, ageing etc
2) Cancer- (mainly Breast and Ovarian Cancers)
3) Mental/Emotional Health- including depression, anxiety, dementia, stress Etc
4) Cardiovascular Health- relating to matters of the heart, high cholesterol, blood pressure
5) Sexual Health- Particularly painful sex.

Could you define what Ovarian Cancer is if asked by somebody who was completely unaware?  

Firstly, what are the ovaries? 

OVARIES: Females have two almond-sized gonads, which are a pair of reproductive glands that secrete hormones, and produce eggs (ova) over a lifetime.

Regularly releasing ova down a corridor from the ovaries, travelling down fallopian tubes, and ultimately implanting in the womb. The desired outcome is fertilisation/or menstruation and happens on average, once a month. If fertilisation occurs (a male's sperm successfully penetrating the implanted ova),  it forms an “embryo”, this is then called a pregnancy.  After a matter of weeks it attains a status of a “foetus”,  and generally, after around 8-9 months time, a  baby will be born. Creating, the  miracle of life!! Women have an “ovary” on each side of their uterus, with the plural form of the pair being:  “ovaries”. 

OVARIAN CANCER:  Can be described as the cancer of the ovaries generally speaking. When the ovaries are subjected to abnormal cell growth,  in either one or both sides, if left unnoticed over time, it evolves into Cancer- specifically one of the most deadliest Cancers for Women. Merely because there are no early detection tests and so remains a “silent killer” until it's too late. 

So, I asked a dear friend of mine to write this one about "ovarian cancer" and the journey she took with her Mum, and here she tells her experience of living, feeling and coping with the story of Ovarian Cancer. 

Lorry's Story:

Body image is a completely different topic so that aside, taking notice of Ovarian Cancer in particular. The reality is that I experienced the effects, both emotionally and physically, although only from second-hand stance, as it was my mum who went through this last year. Regardless, it has made me extremely aware, and consciously thinking of, telling people about, and organising the appropriate checks as regular as required.  The ordeal, (if one can call it anything other than traumatic) was endured by my mother-in-law-to-be (“mum”). I must admit she was an absolute champion throughout the whole journey, though it was very short and she was lucky, it was still experiencing a disease that used to scare the absolute life from me.

It was in November 2015 that the cascade of chaos, fear, and the unknown unravelled. The confirmation of my mum’s “football sized tumour”, which originally, was first assumed to be appendicitis, in which she was admitted to hospital for in the first place. The complete shock when you think a loved one that possibly needing surgery for appendicitis when in actual fact she had Ovarian Cancer! 

Although, after negative appendicitis, it was only an unknown “mass/tumour” of which they were unsure whether was; benign or cancerous. They claimed she was “very lucky to be alive, was a very healthy woman, yet was a very sick lady.”  None of which made much sense.

She had been troubled up to two years earlier, with an ever-growing stomach, that protruded outwards giving her the appearance of a pregnant woman. Pregnant she could not have been, given she was 61 years young and had already transitioned through menopause, many years earlier.

She is an extremely fit and active woman, with absolutely no ill health in sight, especially noting her age and the ever increasing amount of age-related ailments, others her age were suffering. She exercised regularly, never sat down longer than five minutes,  to be more precise.  Was always watching her weight, her diet and her health with the utmost scrutiny. So having her continuously put on weight, only around the midsection, grow increasingly tired with less and less energy, was certainly a concern.

But never did any of us consider something, the likes of Cancer!
The testing and vigorous questioning, examining (which hurt, she would often say) were cause enough to hate this dreaded and incurable disease. One I knew nothing about, nor engaged much thought in, mainly because not one of my family members had ever gone through such a thing.

It's one of those things that we unconsciously justify as: ‘Because you can't see it happening, it's not there/happening’.

After scans and a multitude of tests, the confirmed results came back that she had a mass (or tumour) the size of a football covering her ovary, ultimately restricting room in her body. It was pushing on organs, squashing her stomach and bladder making it difficult for her to breathe, and needing to toilet frequently. It was found that the size of the mass was  20cm X 20cm! She was urgently booked in for surgery. The surgery that would aim to deduct all of the huge mass. They would totally remove her ovaries,  womb, basically all her reproductive organs, and everything that had previously produced and housed  four successful pregnancies (now adult children).

After which she felt like “they had ripped her femininity/womanhood out, and she was no longer a woman”. This would irrevocably change the way she felt as a woman and an individual, until she learned it was better to be alive than to keep the deadly mass inside her, especially as that the ovaries, uterus etc. will never be used again, anyway. Still, a hard lesson to learn from. 

Two lessons that I have taken from this:

1) Never take your family for granted. Spend time with family & friends, don't hold grudges. Re-connect, forgive and forget, build bridges with family members or dear friends before it's too late!
It's a lot easier to live through an uncomfortable reunion than to endure regret, for the rest of your life. Cherish the ones you love, loved, and even hate. It's never too late to start; appreciating, and forgiving the ones you call/called your “family and friends”.

2) Get all the appropriate health checks at the recommended times in life. Don't put your health on the back burner, on the “to-do list”- Y’know, the one that never gets done?  Live for YOUR future. Keep tabs on your; health, diet, and most importantly, your body! Because no one else knows your body better than you do! If something is not right, don't justify it as ‘probably nothing’, that probably nothing could very well be your fall from grace.

The following facts, statistics, links to sites, and other interesting information should be learnt, viewed, remembered  and most importantly, implemented!

Please be advised this is not an exclusive list, nor is it a substitute for proper medical advice, should you be concerned  about any symptoms you are currently experiencing, please go see your doctor ASAP!

Only 20 percent of women are actually having sexual health checks, which is far too low particularly when doctors were telling us that "fertility is another issue in women", researcher Dr Mandy Deeks said.

Only 45% of women who are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer (out of 1500 each year) will survive. With no early detecting, it's really important you know the symptoms and you know your body well! 

The Ovarian Cancer Australia website is a WEALTH of fantastic information, resources, studies, community forums, buying merchandise,  and a central plane to identify anything you need in relation to Ovarian Cancer. Head to: 
Also, check out this Ovarian Symptom Diary! 

  • There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer, so all women need to be aware of the symptoms. The Pap smear doesn’t detect ovarian cancer; it detects cervical cancer.
  • The most commonly reported symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
  • Abdominal or pelvic (lower tummy) pain
  • Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating
  • Needing to urinate often or urgently
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount
Additional symptoms
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Bleeding after menopause or in-between periods 
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Lower back pain
  • Indigestion or nausea
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Pain during sex or bleeding after sex
If you want to know more and be in touch with me:

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sexual Aversion (Disorder)

Despite sexual intercourse being a very natural process, some of us actually have a phobia of this! Attempting to engage in sexual intercourse, regardless of whether it is done with a stranger or a loved one, can be a highly distressing personal experience, which can, of course, be a very quick way of damaging or ending any relationship or contact. Sexual aversion can be one of the most difficult sexually related conditions to treat or manage, as it is usually the result of a trauma from earlier in life, therefore is most often a psychological matter. Seeing as life has us navigate our way through countless situations, the original cause can be forgotten or muted, making diagnosis difficult. Although symptoms such as stress, anxiety and depression can play a large role and can be difficult to diagnose, once diagnosed, finding the root cause of these symptoms can lead to greater understanding, and potentially, treatment of the sexual aversion. Additionally, it is important to note that sexual aversion may be a permanent condition that is always present, or it may be situational (only occurs with a specific person or partner), which can also lead to having sex with strangers if unable to have sex with a loved one.

While for some of us, sexual aversion can potentially be a convenient excuse over the course of a night out (am I right?), It can cripple the sexual and social lives of many. While both males and females over the course of their lifetimes experience increases and decreases in sexual activity and desire, if it is caused by a fear of sexual contact or rejection of the urge itself (or similar symptoms), then perhaps a more serious issue is present. Rejection is a very real concern for those of us afflicted. Even a cheeky friend telling you to “just get over it”, can be a crippling sentence when unable to speak about the issue for fear of…. rejection.

With the rise/acceptance/acknowledgement of psychological and/or sexual therapy, an acceptance of one’s self and experiences can minimise and potentially cure the sexual aversion present within a person. As with most sexually related conditions, the main problem is recognising that there is a problem to be fixed and pushing past the ego to seek out help. Imagine being able to have sex without consequences (every adolescent’s wet dream in a sentence right there)! Thankfully, that situation can be a reality for those who experience sexual aversion. Through recognition, understanding and acceptance, the way can be paved for shame-free, guilt-free and fear-free sex!

If you want to know more and be in touch with me:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Erectile Dysfunction

For men, nothing can instil dread more effectively than the thought of not being able to ‘do it’. Psychologically, it can be damaging to the ego, beginning a cycle of perceived ‘sexual inadequacy’, and I have had friends discuss with me how unsuccessful sexual encounters can lower your self-esteem enough to essentially ensure that the event will occur again ad nauseam. Many are the stories of unsuccessful sexual liaisons, in large part due to the phenomenon of erectile dysfunction, and how physically frustrating these experiences can be, being unable to relieve sexual tension in the way that mother nature intended. The frustration can understandably undermine any relationship, as we all know that sexual intercourse is a very human experience, and in some respects, is a validation of intimacy between partners. Without this sexual ‘glue’, relationships can flutter and fail, taking serious integrity and understanding of the issue (from both sides) to ensure an ongoing partnership.

Fortunately, although being a very real problem that can affect large numbers of males, it is definitely treatable. From simply needing more rest, or being prescribed medication, to simply cutting back on the cigarettes and/or alcohol, there are a number of methods that have been proven effective in ameliorating the effects of ‘limpness’. One often undiscussed cause is surprisingly common in modern society, and that is ‘death grip’, otherwise known as, being a wanker. Seriously. There is a vast difference between the feeling of one’s own hand on one’s own shaft, to the feeling of another’s parts on said shaft. With enough use, one can become desensitised to the feeling of actual sex, which is generally a softer and more sensitive experience, compared to the often rough and completely bludgeoning experience of a quick polish!

Often, there is one barrier that obstructs males from addressing the issue: pride. After all, what self-respecting alpha male is going to admit to another (presumably) self-respecting alpha male that he can’t perform his expected function as a man, let alone a female doctor who may ridicule or humiliate said man for his perceived lack of manliness? The answer is none, even though it should not be an issue. However, as human beings (especially prideful males), our ego can get in the way of admitting that something is wrong or beyond our control to treat or fix ourselves. As we are often told, though, we can’t handle everything by ourselves, and medical practitioners are more than equipped (insert knowing look/dirty wink) to diagnose and suggest treatment for the issue!

If you want to know more, be in touch with me at Ariana Sexology.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI)

Most people have heard of someone ‘waking up with the claps’, referring to gonorrhoea. Most people have also heard of ‘the gift that keeps on giving’, referring to herpes. When the term ‘crabs’ is used to describe pubic lice, someone chuckles or laughs (to be fair, imagining miniature crabs in your pants can be amusing). Perhaps it is the seriousness of these conditions that cause us to treat them as jokes and things that you have to be really unfortunate to contract. Alternatively, perhaps we should all learn to take ‘safe sex’ a little more seriously. But, where is the fun in that, you say?

Safe sex, when it comes down to it, is simple hygiene. Wiping your hand on your sweaty, bacteria-ridden forehead, and then wiping it on someone else’s face is considered extremely unhygienic, and can quite realistically lead to a rash or infection (even a punch in the face from the other person if unlucky). So why on earth would we consider taking some of our most bacteria-laden body parts (our genitals) and sharing them with each other? Because, it’s fun. Obviously (I tend to think so anyway!).

With that said, it is very unhygienic, and there lays the root cause of contracting an STI. While advances in the field of medicine are commonplace, there are still STI’s that are untreatable, and those that are treatable can cost a lot of money to cure or treat. A set of statistics from 2008 in the U.S.A. stated that 110 million Americans carry STI’s. That is a staggering amount of disease potentially running rampant when the preventative measures are rather simple and are generally taught to everyone at a young age (especially in the western world). Those preventative measures are surprisingly simple when summarized: Wash your hands, wash your genitals, and wear a condom. If everyone who has sex follows these basic steps beforehand, the chances of contracting or spreading an STI is significantly reduced.

It is extremely important to be aware that even though you may have had unprotected sex, and there are no immediate signs, you may still have contracted an STI. Often, the symptoms don’t show for many months, possibly even years. Within these sorts of time spans, the number of people who have come into contact with your infected genitalia, may in turn have had unprotected sex with others, spreading the STI further. An innocent romp can potentially create many casualties, some of these fatal. The message is clear: wear a condom. Wear a condom. Wear a condom!

If you want to know more and be in touch with me:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sexual Identity vs. Sexual Orientation

Everyone, regardless of gender, has a sexual identity: an understanding of yourself in regards to who you are sexually or romantically attracted to. Often, this gets confused with sexual orientation: the physical proof of who you are attracted to romantically or sexually. Often, these two terms can mean the same thing!

Confusing? For a lot of people, it can be! Think of it this way: 

A person is heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual (asexuality still being a debated term). If a male tells another person and/or believes that he is a heterosexual (attracted to the opposite sex), that is his sexual identity. However, after identifying as heterosexual, if that same male is in fact physically or romantically attracted to other men (homosexual), his sexual orientation is different to his sexual identity.

After that brief clearing up of facts, I must say…. why split hairs? Does it really matter if we can actually explain the difference between these terms? Will it change or help to develop either one if we understand what they mean? Honestly, I doubt it. I am sure that there are definitely organizations and medical practitioners out there who would happily debate back and forth on the issue, but I am also sure that the majority of people, with full understanding of these terms, are still going to go out and get their erections over the same people!

Over the years, I have discussed these things with friends and acquaintances that fall under all of the different sexual identity or orientation brackets, and even though we can all logically and rationally discuss… ultimately, no one cares. I know that when I am out and about, enjoying nightlife and being a sociable human being, and I see someone that I am attracted to, the last thing I am worrying about is whether or not I am lying to myself or fighting my own bodily urges (I never fight my urges, and neither should you!) Why (potentially) create extra problems and sources of stress for ourselves? Why not instead…. Just have sex and be happy?

In short: sexual identity is the end result of you determining who you believe makes your wang wobble or your cookie crumble, and sexual orientation is which gender/s your naughty bits respond to!

If you want to know more, be in touch with me at Ariana Sexology.
Sexual Identity vs. Sexual Orientation

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ejaculate More, Have Less Prostate Cancer Risk

Good news guys, you can now decrease your chance of prostate cancer by simply ejaculating more and of course more regularly! that is the whole message of this post! I was reading this article that was emailed to me a while ago, from earlier 2016, about a study published in journal of European Urology.

This was a huge research derived from a prospective study that provides the strongest evidence to date of a beneficial role of ejaculation in prevention of prostate cancer. Above thirty thousand men were studied over 18-year with follow-up assessment and evaluation. After a massive and complex statistical analysis, the results are suggesting that relative risk of prostate cancer are reduced in men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month than in those who ejaculated four to seven times a month!

I know this seems quite hard and farfetched, still the final message of the study was, more pronounced risk reduction in high-frequency ejaculators than in lower-frequency ejaculators. So, start having more sex, masturbate a lot and do what you think is appropriate to do achieve those life saving ejaculations.

Book an appointment with me to discover how you can have a happier and healthier sexual life, no matter what age group you are, single or with a partner: 

ReferenceJennifer R. Rider, et al. Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up. European Urology, March 2016