Neolife medical management
A woman’s sex life goes through many different stages. Puberty, maternity, menopause, etc. However, certain symptoms can occur as signs of aging even at ages when life is still full. A decreased libido, vaginal dryness or painful intercourse, are all problems that cause discomfort and reduce a woman’s confidence.
Understanding their causes and knowing that there may be a solution by following treatment with anti-aging medicine is a breakthrough that can make a huge difference.
• What are the main issues linked to female sexuality?
They basically come down to the following 4:
- A lack or decrease of sexual desire.
- The inability to achieve arousal when there is sufficient desire.
- The inability to reach orgasm.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
Together these issues are known as “Sexual Dysfunction” and are classified as such by the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 4th Edition.
Perhaps the main issue linked to female sexuality is the lack of sexual desire, or in other words, a decreased libido. This issue is not exclusive to menopausal women, since it also affects pre and perimenopausal women.
The question is whether an active sex life is even necessary and if it is, should we just wait until desire turns up or should we do something to activate it?
It is understood that a satisfactory and sexually active life has numerous positive effects on both our physical and mental health. That said, a proactive attitude towards improving one’s sexual desire, provided that circumstances are favorable, is thus desirable.
• What are the causes behind these issues?
The causes of sexual dysfunction are varied and complex, perhaps even more so than in men. Someone once said that a man’s sexuality is like a light switch, and a woman’s is like an control panel of an airplane…
Going back to the causes of female sexual dysfunction, they can be classified into two groups:
- Behavioral type causes: psychological, emotional, relational, spiritual and environmental. Preconceived ideas about sex, previous satisfactory or unsatisfactory sexual experience, religious or cultural beliefs, relationship with one’s partner, communication with one’s partner, the right environment and moment…
- Physical and medical type causes.
The physical aspects or physical barriers to sexual health may include one or more of the following:
- Hormonal: estrogen, progestogen, testosterone, DHEA, thyroid hormone, oxytocine, or Vitamin D imbalances… The decline in progesterone from 35-40 years old onwards, associated with estrogen dominance syndrome, the drop in testosterone levels, the increase in SHBG and hypothyroidism tend to be the main causes.
- Anatomical (both in structure and in function), such as the after-effects of pelvic surgery, episiotomies, hysterectomies…
- Inflammatory diseases, pain, fatigue, heart disease…
- Side effects of medication (chemotherapy, psychoactive drugs, hypnotics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, antihypertensives, medication that blocks testosterone or increases SHBG such as tamoxifen, oral contraceptives, estrogen pills, cimetidine, corticosteroids, lovastatin, aldosterone…Statins lower testosterone levels).
• At what age do symptoms present themselves with greatest incidence?
The greatest incidence of female sexual dysfunction occurs from the menopause onwards and is mainly caused by the hormonal changes outlined above. Decreased libido, loss of self-esteem, changes in body image, related health problems, vaginal dryness…However, this does not exclude the presence of sexual dysfunction at earlier stages of one’s life. In general, it is said that women’s sexual fulfillment is between 40 and 50 years of age, due to the balance that occurs during this decade between behavioral aspects (psychological, emotional, relational, spiritual, family…) and physical-medical aspects (the end of the menopause has not quite been reached). That said, both menopausal and post-menopausal women can fully enjoy their sexuality, even more so than in their younger years.
• What’s the answer?
In general, the outcome is usually good, but it depends on the cause behind the dysfunction. It is easier to approach physical-medical causes than psychological, relational, emotional ones… All causes have their own form of therapy available.
With regard to lack of libido in pre, peri and postmenopausal women, and where all of the behavioral and general health aspects are in order, the treatment is relatively simple and effective: androgenic therapy, that is, with gels, patches or sublingual testosterone tablets at low doses. Testosterone is a powerful activator or sexual desire in women, and of course in men also.
With regard to vaginal health, loss of lubrication and atrophy of the vaginal walls from 40 years old onwards is relatively common and affects 50% of women 3 years in to menopause. Such circumstances are often the main cause of sexual dissatisfaction due to sexual intercourse becoming painful. Vaginal estrogen therapy restores vaginal PH levels, restores lubrication and relieves discomfort. Vaginal moisturizers can also be used to preserve vaginal mucosa and lubrication during sexual intercourse.
• What are the benefits for women?
As already mentioned above, a full and satisfactory sex life has a positive impact on a woman’s overall health. Sexual dysfunctions can be identified, along with the causes and a plan for successful treatment, at least with regard to lack of libido and vaginal health. These issues affect a high percentage of women over 40 and more than 50% after menopause. However, very few seek advice for its treatment in particular.