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Has Covid-19 destroyed your libido?

Loss of libido (sex drive) is a common problem that can affect men and women of any age. It is normal for many people to lose their sex drive after a certain age especially women.

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New Delhi, Aug 11 : Lockdown was a very good time to get close with your partner and spend some quality time together, but that’s not the case with everyone. Let’s be real, 2020 has been a stressful year. The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, and the fact that no one really knows when this might end, has resulted in widespread panic and stress.

Between caring for your family members, home sheltering, social-distancing, work from home and trying not to catch Covid-19 to top it off, sex might be the last thing on your mind.

Loss of libido (sex drive) is a common problem that can affect men and women of any age. It is normal for many people to lose their sex drive after a certain age especially women. Usually it happens when you attain Peri-menopausal age which is 42 onwards. Usually women feel mood swings, vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse during the peri-menopausal phase that is before menopause and after the age of 45 and above which is the ideal age of menopause, levels of the female hormone oestrogen begins to fall, which can affect the libido and result in a lack of interest in sex.

“Loss of libido or low sex drive is actually a woman’s problem, but today men are no further behind. When cortisol is raised for long periods of time, say, during a worldwide pandemic, it impacts everything from digestion, to immune function, to body fat storage, and the ability of your brain to process and react to sexual cues. Stress and no physical activity are one of the reasons for a loss of libido, Dr. Anubha Singh, Gynecologist and IVF Specialist from Shantah IVF Centre tells IANSlife.

Intimacy is not possible when people are around

Intimacy is often a natural result of two separate individuals who desire “a closeness, merging or fusion of themselves”, but for those who share their home with partners, family members or kids; it is bit not possible for them to have intimacy at this time. Like Shefali Arora, (name changed) a teacher said: “Now a days in and out, you’re aware of everyone’s presence in the home and with so few boundaries to delineate us while we eat, sleep, work and navigate the same space all day long, the idea of getting intimate with your partner may no longer be of interest. Also, physical work is more due to non availability of house maids.”

Stress is another reason for lack of libido

The pandemic and related concerns about health, income, work, children and the uncertainty of it all can leave us feeling overtaxed and under-resourced. “You can’t be stressed and have great sex. You need to feel at ease, and safe. There are a lot of obvious reasons why people can’t relax right now” said Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF Expert from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre.

It is obvious that everyone is tense and stressed due to the ongoing pandemic; “when that happens, our body releases the stress hormone, cortisol that can cause us to feel withdrawn, and it might be hard to relax or desire intimacy. Our body will pull resources from anything that’s not essential to our basic life functions. So,even people who typically have a high sex drive may experience a decrease in desire,” explained Dr. Gupta.

Women experiences more loss of libido than men

Women on the other hand suffer the most times the low sex drive. There are N number of reasons for loss of libido among females. “During pregnancy and lactation, it is not only the hormonal changes that can cause lack of libido. It is goaded by tiredness, low self esteem due to weight gain and compounded by psychological factors too. Many a times after pregnancy women feels PPD i.e post partum depression due to tiredness and usually resolves itself in a few months.”

“Due to low sex drive women may suffer secondary infertility too after first pregnancy,” informs Dr. Anubha Singh.

What are the other causes of loss of libido?

  1. Physical issues: Physical issues such as low testosterone as they are responsible for building muscles and bone mass and stimulating sperm production. Decreasing testosterone is a normal part of aging. However, a drastic drop in testosterone can lead to decreased libido
  2. Medications: Certain medications can sometimes reduce libido in men: like medication for high blood pressure medications may prevent ejaculation and erections or any other allergy to certain drugs medication for hyperprolactinaemia, a rare disorder in which the gland at the base of the brain is producing too many hormones; anti-androgenic drugs such as cimetidine, finasteride and cyproterone, which block the effects or reduce the production of testosterone.
  3. Psychological issues which include depression, stress, and problems in your relationship. It’s a serious illness where you may have feelings of extreme sadness that can last for a long time. These feelings are severe enough to interfere with your daily life, including your sex life
  4. Illness: There are many other aspects as well which includes hormonal change in the body, diabetes, injury in the back after delivery, chronic illness like cancer, can reduce your sperm production counts since your body focuses on getting through the day.

These factors are responsible for the loss of libido in women and men. Diminishing levels of sex hormones or age-related health problems are a cause.

Treatment:

“Unfortunately there is no simple pill that women or men can just have to forget about their problems and get back to their normal sex life. The treatment therefore depends on identifying the problem and treating that first. If the patient suffers any medical disorder such as diabetes or blood pressure it should be treated first. If the cause is medication, it would need to be changed,” said Dr. Shweta Goswami, Gynecologist and IVF Specialist from Cloudnine and Jaypee Hospital, Noida.

“There are other reasons as well like endometriosis which causes painful intercourse and leads to low sex drive. This condition can be diagnosed and treated by laparoscopy or GnRH analogue therapy. In such as case dietary modifications and an exercise regime would help but only after consulting your doctor,” added Dr. Shweta Goswami.

You can also take steps to boost your libido on your own. The following have the potential to increase your libido:

  • Live a healthier lifestyle
  • Get enough sleep
  • Practice stress management
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Go for Testosterone replacement therapy (ask your doctor first)
  • Counseling

Entertainment

Suhana Khan shares screenshots by trolls commenting on her skin tone

Suhana is very much active on her Instagram page and often shares her photos flaunting her impeccable makeup skills and incredible fashion sense.

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Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan addressed the trolls who have been commenting on her post about her skin tone. The star kid posted a beautiful photo of herself and then a series of comments she has been receiving from Instagram users calling her ‘kaali’. Before that, Suhana posted a note which read as “For all the people who don’t speak Hindi, I just thought I’d give a bit of context. The word for the colour black in Hindi is ‘Kaala’. The word ‘kaali’ is used to describe a female who is dark-skinned. And it almost never has positive connotations.”

The 20-year-old started by writing, “There’s a lot going on right now and this is one of the issues we need to fix!! this isn’t just about me, it’s about every young girl/boy who has grown up feeling inferior for absolutely no reason. Here are just a few of the comments made about my appearance. I’ve been told I’m ugly because of my skin tone, by full-grown men and women, since I was 12 years old.”

Suhana further wrote, “Other than the fact that these are actual adults, what’s sad is that we are all Indian, which automatically makes us brown – yes we come in different shades but no matter how much you try to distance yourself from the melanin, you just can’t. Hating on your own people just means that you are painfully insecure.”

Suhana is very much active on her Instagram page and often shares her photos flaunting her impeccable makeup skills and incredible fashion sense.

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India

Provide Ration To Sex Workers Without Identity Proof: SC Directs States

The bench, citing the points raised in the application, said the court is concerned that sex workers can’t access dry ration, cash transfers and other facilities due to lack of identity proof.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the state governments to provide dry ration to all sex workers, who have been identified by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and district legal authorities, without asking for ration card or any other identification proof.

A bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Ajay Rastogi took into account the hardships faced by the sex workers, who have been rendered almost destitute due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The bench said that none of state governments have taken adversarial stand to its direction, and asked the authorities concerned to inform it within four weeks about the implementation of its order and also the number of sex workers who have benefited from its direction.

The remarks from the bench came during the hearing of an application moved by the NGO Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee seeking relief for over nine lakh female and transgender sex workers across the country.

The NGO had moved the apex court citing the hardships faced by the sex workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The top court also asked the Centre to inform it within four weeks if there is a possibility to provide financial aid to the sex workers.

The bench, citing the points raised in the application, said the court is concerned that sex workers can’t access dry ration, cash transfers and other facilities due to lack of identity proof.

Additional Solicitor General R.S. Suri contended before the bench that the Centre has no objection if amenities are provided by the states without insisting on identity proof. The counsels for Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal informed the bench that they have already taken steps in this direction.

The amicus curiae in the matter, senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, suggested that the court should monitor the implementation of its order.

Another amicus curiae in the matter said that sex workers should be permitted to open bank accounts without identity proof, which will help them in receiving benefits rolled out either by the Centre or the states.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for the applicants, contended that there are gaps in the process of identification of sex workers. To which, the bench replied, “We are concerned at present with providing dry ration to sex workers for their survival.”

The court will hear the matter again in the last week of October.

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Fashion

Changing footwear trends in India

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New Delhi, Sep 27 : Covid-19 has changed consumer buying patterns across segments, ranging from FMCG, personal care, apparel to footwear. The change has also led manufacturers to take innovative strategies and widen certain product portfolio ranges to attract consumers and gain a competitive edge.

According to recent reports, the Indian footwear market is growing at a CAGR of 4.5 percent in India; however, owing to the current pandemic, 2020 witnessed changing consumer needs. India’s homegrown e-commerce player Flipkart, observed some interesting trends on the platform. With people placed a greater focus on being fit and healthy, the demand for athletic shoes has grown. Running shoes emerged as the top searched items under the sports footwear category. The platform also witnessed a spike of 1.5X times in the sale of sports footwear compared to pre-Covid times and the revenue of this category saw a spike of 20 percent from July to August. Additionally, running and walking shoes searches for women marked a 2X growth.

With people continuing to stay indoors at most times, the preference for comfortable footwear is at an all-time high. Sandals and Slippers now constitute the top 5 searched queries under Men’s footwear – a trend that has never been seen in the recent past. Additionally, slippers have taken precedence over heels on the platform, becoming the most searched vertical under the women’s footwear category.

“To fulfill these ever-evolving demands of consumers, Flipkart is continuously working with brands and sellers to ensure they are able to benefit from the opportunities that e-commerce presents. During the pandemic, we’ve been working closely with a growing number of national, international, and regionally-renowned fashion brands and sellers, in different ways,” Nishit Garg, Vice President – Flipkart Fashion told IANSlife.

Adding, “This includes identifying opportunities for them to connect them with consumers across India through our online marketplace, scale their online presence and diversify existing product portfolios. This is being facilitated through an insightful collaboration which is based on a very deep consumer understanding. This approach has enabled our partners to strengthen their business, while reaping the benefits of e-commerce in a fair online marketplace.”

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])

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