It’s the month of LOVE – are you feeling it?
It’s the month of LOVE, and sexuality remains an important part of emotional and physical intimacy that most women desire to experience throughout their lives. However, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among all women is estimated to be between 25% and 63%, and the problem is even more common in postmenopausal women with rates between 68% and 86.5%. Postmenopausal women experience significant declines in sexual responsiveness, frequency of sexual activities and libido, with significant increases in dyspareunia (painful intercourse). Sexual dysfunction significantly impacts a woman’s self-esteem and causes emotional distress, often leading to relationship problems.
Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is a multidimensional problem. Lack of sexual interest can be affected by medications, family situations, work-related issues, and psychologic factors. FSD is also related to a partner’s function: when erectile failure of a male partner is improved, a woman’s desire and satisfaction improve. More than 70% of patients with FSD are depressed, and the FSD may worsen when women are treated with antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It’s important that women share concerns of sexual side effects when new medications are prescribed.
Common disorders related to sexual dysfunction and increasing age include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lower urinary tract symptoms, and depression. Breast cancer, hysterectomy, oophorectomy (removal of ovaries), obesity, bariatric surgery, osteoarthritis, clinical depression, and smoking are all linked to female sexual dysfunction. Treating these disorders or modifying lifestyle-related risk factors (for example, obesity) may help reduce sexual dysfunction.
The biologic processes involved in sexual response center around estrogen and testosterone. Low estrogen levels lead to vaginal dryness and chronic estrogen deprivation causes the labia to become less responsive to touch, ultimately leading to discomfort during intercourse and loss of sexual interest. The bladder often becomes thin and atrophies with diminished estrogen, potentially leading to urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, painful urination, and cystitis after intercourse. Libido changes in menopause also may be attributed more to falling testosterone levels.
Small doses of estrogen vaginal cream can adequately improve lubrication and decrease pain with intercourse; however, response to estrogen is quite individual. Therefore, we customize hormone therapy in the best dose and dosage form for each patient. Drug efficacy may be affected by the route of estrogen administration. Transdermal and intravaginal routes of estrogen administration for patients with sexual dysfunction have become the most common and successful treatments for these patients. Testosterone therapy has also been shown to improve sexual dysfunction. Other hormones, such as progesterone, can be used alone or combined with estrogen replacement therapy to enhance the positive effects or to diminish the negative effects when dealing with FSD
Reference: Obstet Gynecol. 2012; 5(1): 16-27.
Increasing recognition of this problem and future research in this field may change perceptions about sexuality, dismiss taboo and incorrect thoughts on sexual dysfunction, and lead to more women receiving helpful treatment.
We work together with women and men and their doctors to customize hormone therapy and meet each individual’s unique needs.
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DHEA has been found to help sexual function in 3mg to 13mg vaginal cream or suppository
Ask about our Estriol Vaginal Cream with a Bio-Adhesive base which helps to heal the area faster with less doses required… Estriol 0.5mg in Mucolox/Versabase vaginal cream.
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