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Sexsomnia is a sleep disorder in which the affected individual is engaging in sexual activities of any sort while asleep. It is further classified within the sleep disorder group of parasomnias, it can occur alongside other sleep disorders such as sleep walking, bed wetting, night terrors or sleep apnea.
Generally, the individual suffering from this disorder does not remember anything of the episodes. Sexsomnia is thought to be caused by relationship issues with one’s intimate partner. The issues can be emotional in nature, or related to sexual problems. Sexsomnia can also be caused by alcohol abuse, sleep-deprivation or stress. Sexual acts commonly performed in sexsomnia include masturbation, fondling (of oneself or another person), sexual intercourse, and even sexual assault and rape. As a matter of fact, there have been several cases of sexual assaults and rapes reported by the press, and caused by sexsomnias. In all cases, the prosecuted individuals were found not guilty due to their medical condition. Because sexsomnia primarily arises from an anxiety disorder, it can be treated with psychotherapy and antianxiety medications. Psychotherapy should aim at identifying the sources of anxiety in the patient’s life and resolving any internal conflict that might trigger the condition.
Couvade syndrome is a psychological condition with physiological symptoms in which a partner experiences some of the same symptoms of pregnancy as the pregnant and expecting mother. It is also called sympathetic pregnancy. Commonly experienced symptoms are morning sickness, disturbed sleep pattern, weight gain and altered hormonal levels. In more severe cases, the patient suffering from Couvade Syndrome even experiences postpartum depression and labor pains. Several theories have been put in place in an attempt to explain how one’s pregnancy can have such a strong physiologic effect on their partner. The physiological theories that explain this syndrome stipulate that when a partner is living under the same roof as their expecting female partner, they experience hormonal shifts in their levels of cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and prolactin; which are all involved in pregnancy development and sustainance. However, Osvlosky and Culp (1989) support a more psychological theory to this condition. According to them, with the upcoming of a new born in the family, the male counterpart might experience anxiety and a certain level of rivalry.
Diphallia or penile duplication is a medical condition in which a male infant is born with two penises. Diphallia occurs alongside with other congenital and developmental abnormalities such as renal, vertebral or Anorectal anomalies.
Diphallia is thought to be caused by an injury in utero that occurs within the teratogenic period (more specifically, weeks 3-8). The injury could vary from oxidative stress, chemical stress that could cause gene malfunction (specifically the homeobox genes). The homeobox genes are critical genes during embryogenesis, and they work to ensure adequate cellular division and migration during organogenesis.
There have been cases of males living successful and happy lives with diphallia, and being able to have proper sexual intercourses with their female partners. Regarding their fertility potential, men with diphallia are able to make children, but in some cases there could be deeper anomalies that could hinder that ability, thus rendering them (unfortunately) sterile.