Remedies Available to Treat Menopause-Related Sexual Dysfunction
For many older women, the adage of things getting better with age might not apply to their sex lives. But while the majority of women wish their physician would ask about the state of their sexuality, very few women actually broach the topic with their physician.
Women of all ages can encounter issues with desire, arousal, pain and lack of orgasm during sex. However, the physical changes a woman encounters during menopause may compromise healthy sexual functioning
"Older women view sex as an integral part of their relationship and quality of life just as they did when they were younger," says Dr. Johnson, an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) board-certified obstetrician, gynecologist, and director of the women's health center at the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "Satisfying sexual events is the goal for women of all ages and issues can be resolved with appropriate therapies."
Dr. Johnson says the biggest concern many women face is fatigue. "As an osteopathic physician, I take time to ask a patient about her home life, such as the state of her relationship and if she works, since those factors can affect a person's health," Dr. Johnson says. "If it seems like she has a lot on her plate, I often will suggest getting plenty of rest and scheduling time for intimate relations as ways of getting her sex life back."
As women age, they might be on more medications to treat chronic diseases. "Some medications can cause a decrease in libido for women," says Dr. Johnson. "A woman may be taking an antidepressant to treat her depression but the medication can lower her sexual desire."
Medications that treat cardiovascular and hypertension symptoms also can affect desire. Dr. Johnson recommends women speak with their physician if they suspect their medication could be causing symptoms of sexual dysfunction.
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