Sexual dysfunction affects 45% of American women and worsens with age. Compare that to 30% of men. This is hard to believe with the plethora of media ads selling erectile dysfunction medications. (Usually, while my children are watching TV).
Here’s the Problem:
There is no FDA approved medication for female sexual dysfunction in the United States. Given the multitude of health benefits, not only should there be medication, sex should be mandatory to lower the overall health risks of our nation!
Ok, sometimes I get a little overzealous but, seriously, think about this:
Benefits of Sex:
· Relieves stress
· Lowers blood pressure
· Improves depression
· Excellent cardiovascular exercise
· Twice or more a week reduces the risk of heart attack by half
· Boosts self- esteem
· Orgasm releases Oxytocin, the “love hormone”, which builds trust and promotes bonding with your partner. Oxytocin also promotes sleep and what middle aged woman doesn’t need that?
· Releases Endorphins to naturally relieve pain
· Strengthens pelvic floor muscles which minimize incontinence.
With all this great stuff, every woman in America should be as interested in sex as we are in going to the Gym or watching our Carbs.
Unfortunately the female sexual response is so complex you could say we are engineered more like a Bugatti versus the man’s Kia. There is lack of interest, lack of arousal, inability to reach orgasm, pain, and desensitized sex organs. These problems may stem from decreased levels of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, serotonin, and nitric oxide. Also, increased levels of inflammatory compounds such as cytokines and monoamine oxidase can destroy dopamine which is a pleasure enhancing compound in the brain. The altered hormonal levels not only affect the brain but also change the anatomy of the vagina decreasing the pleasurable nerve response.
What Can Be Done:
Bio-Identical Hormone replacement
Every woman must make the decision that is best for them as to whether to replace lost hormones or not. Hormones are replaced using bio-identicals which include Estradiol, Estriol, Progesterone, DHEA and Testosterone.
Oxytocin is a hormone released in the brain in the posterior pituitary. It is released by both men and women during orgasm. Oxytocin is used in women who have difficulty reaching orgasm.
“Is there a Viagra for Women?”
How many times have I heard that one?! And the answer is Yes. It is used at a lower dose And, just as the above medications, it is not FDA approved for women.
No, I didn’t make that up. That’s what the Compounding phamacists call a combination of medications that when applied to the clitoril area, increase blood supply and sensitivity. The actual ingredients vary from physician to physician. Mine is top secret but you can make an appointment and find out.
Herbals and Supplements
Ginseng, Ginko, Damiana, L-Arginine, Tribulus Terrestrius, and White Peony have all been used to increase circulation and increase desire all with varying degrees of effectiveness.
G-spot Augmentation and Vaginoplasty
The G-spot or the Grafenberg spot named for the German physician who discovered it, is the area of the vagina responsible for producing vaginal orgasms. If you are a woman who is already comfortable with her body, you may already know exactly where your G-spot is.
The G-Spot (4) is reportedly located one to three inches into the vagina, at the side of the urethra (6) and the urinary bladder (2).
This area can be enlarged using dermal fillers or fat transfer for greater stimulation.
Vaginoplasty is a fancy name for tightening the vagina back to its more youthful state. The end goal is to create greater friction and sensation for both you and your partner. This is an outpatient procedure commonly done with a laser or radiofrequency modalities. It does require 6 weeks of pelvic rest to recover.
Anti-Aging and Longevity
Your sexual health is crucial for your overall health and aging process. In addition to all the above treatments, there is no replacement for a healthy diet full of nutrients and antioxidants, regular exercise, proper sleep and consistent stress reduction. All of these release serotonin which just plain makes you happy!
“Happy” and healthy are key goals at Terese S. Harris , M.D.