let's talk about sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

Sexual health is an important part of a healthy life. A healthy sex life can:

  • Ease stress
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improve your immune system
  • Help you maintain a healthy relationship with that special someone

Today, medical science is making it easier and more enjoyable for adults of every age to reap the benefits of a healthy sex life. Unfortunately, women who suffer from sexual discomfort or a lack of libido may feel like their chances at a healthy sex life are over.

Virtua OB/GYN Adora Udoh, MD, works with women of all ages on issues related to sexual health and general well-being. Her recommendation? Talk about it!

“When women talk to me, their most common questions are about a decrease in desire, particularly compared to their partners,” says Dr. Udoh. “I always start with a complete history because there are a wide range of issues that can affect desire and arousal.”

When issues are psychological, like stressors at home or work, a sex therapist or counselor can help.

There are also plenty of medical reasons to consider:

  • Are you on any medication?
  • Do you have conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure?
  • Have you had surgery, which may affect pelvic anatomy?

“All of these can lead to a decrease in blood flow, which affects arousal,” explains Dr. Udoh. “In some cases, women may be suffering from physical pain or discomfort from vaginal atrophy, a thinning of the tissues caused by a drop in hormones.”

Dr. Udoh shares these 3 recommendations with women who're looking to improve their sex life:

Communicate

Talking to someone is the easiest and also the hardest thing to do. If you have concerns, it’s important that you ask questions during an annual exam or in a separate appointment. Remember, you have a right to information, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Lubricate

The solution to many sexual health problems doesn’t require a prescription. Your local drugstore can provide a wide range of lubricants, which provide necessary moisture and reduce pain.

Some lubricants even have stimulants, which increase arousal and sensitivity. You can also find a selection of adult toys that can help to stimulate the genitalia and encourage arousal. Don’t feel comfortable buying these at a store? There are plenty of ways to discreetly order online.

Medicate

Issues aren’t always in your head. There can be legitimate medical reasons for decreased arousal, and you and your doctor can work together to find the best solution for you.

If you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance after menopause, hormone therapy can be useful. Your doctor may be able to recommend new treatments like bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Updated June 6, 2016

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