50% of Singaporean women have sexual problems

A Singaporean couple, childless for the last 12 years, has been given a crash course in consummating their marriage. The couple, both civil servants aged 38, were married at 26. They could not have children for the past 12 years and approached a doctor for help.

After a conducting a series of interviews, the doctor found out that the reason they could not have children was not because of infertility. It was because in the 12 years that they have been married, they had never consummated their marriage.

It seems that whenever the couple tried to have sex, the woman would cramp up because she was too nervous. As her husband did not want to cause her pain, he eventually gave up trying to consummate their marriage.

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According to Dr Kumar, a senior consultant at the Gleneagles Hospital, Gynecology department, more than 90% of sex-related problems in women are a result of psychological issues. These psychological issues manifest themselves into physical ailments such as extreme nausea, blinding headaches and even painful cramps.

“Painful sex as a result of the vagina cramping up is mainly due to psychological barriers in the woman. This could be due to a lack of sexual knowledge or due to the woman’s views toward sex. She could be very reserved or think that sex is a dirty act,” said Dr Kumar.

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Back to the case of this couple, the woman had believed that she has a very small and narrow vagina and is intensely afraid of the pain. This resulted in her cramping up and her fears coming true every time the couple tried to have sex. Despite counselling and learning relaxing techniques, the couple still failed to consummate their marriage.

To show her that her fears are unfounded, Dr Kumar put the woman on the operating table and sedated her to relax her muscles. The gynecologist then showed her that her vagina is not as small as she thought it was.

The couple eventually managed to consummate their marriage and the woman became pregnant four months later. According to doctors, 50% of Singaporean women have sexual problems and experience some form of sexual dysfunction, but most of them do not seek help.

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As most Asians, we Singaporeans are still squeamish when it comes to “sex.” In a progressively modern society with a strong traditional foundation, we are still struggling with the idea of talking about sex openly and without guilt or shame.

Most of us have never actually been given the “bird and bees” talk by our parents that have been popularized in Hollywood movies. We learned about sex on our own through TV shows, magazines, Enrique Iglesias’s highly suggestive music videos, borderline smutty fanfictions and the alarming yet vastly educational world of online porn.

Though this story of the childless, sexless couple is humorous, it has to be noted that the reason this happened was because of lack of sex education as well. Therefore it is good that sex education is now mandatory in schools all over Singapore so that sex misconceptions like this will never again leave couples childless.

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