Aging is inevitable, and if you are lucky, you will live a long, happy and sexually healthy life. Gone are the days when the thought of our aging parents was accompanied by a loveless, sexless, grumpy duo in rocking chairs. Today, more mature members of the population are more active than ever, both physically and sexually. They continue to take on new challenges and this includes demanding that medical advances keep up with their healthy sexual appetites.
It is true that along with aging, the ovaries transition and make less and less estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Along with these hormonal changes come decreased libido and vaginal changes that can lead to vaginal dryness, thinning of the tissues and extreme discomfort during intercourse.
These, along with other things, such as changes in body image, can lead to difficulties and major challenges in maintaining healthy sexual relations as we age.
Thanks to medical advances leading to improved health care, as well as a baby boomer generation that refused to take the changes associated with aging "lying down," we arrive at a wonderful place, where the world is your oyster when it comes to available options to combat what was once felt to be inevitable.
Below I will cover a few options for women:
There are many hormonal and nonhormonal options available.
Nonhormonal options for the vaginal changes associated with menopause like vitamin E and olive oil can be used to perform perineal massage.
Don Quai, Evening Primrose, Valerian Root, Chasteberry, Black Cohosh and Maca Powder can also be used to combat the changes of menopause, which can lead to a less satisfying sexual experience.
Osphena is an oral nonhormonal medication taken daily to effect changes in the vaginal tissues which ease vaginal dryness and the painful intercourse that can accompany aging.
Hormonal Replacement Therapy - This subject can alone take more than the space and time allowed in this article to cover. They can be delivered in a number of ways: pill, patches and topicals for systemic relief of symptoms, and vaginal remedies for local relief of symptoms.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy is extremely popular as it provides a more customized approach to deliver depleted hormones. A type of bioidentical hormones known as the pellet can do away with decreased libido, boost energy, eliminate mental fogginess, increase lean body mass, enhance mood and reverse the vaginal symptoms associated with aging.
Vaginal Rejuvenation is a series of cosmetic procedures to help get your vagina in the best condition possible. Any of these procedures can, according to your wishes and desires, correct surgically (or medically using fillers and PFP) many vaginal or labial concerns expressed by women.
Maintaining your health is the most important personal step you can take to maintain a healthy sex life. This includes a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest and keeping chronic conditions under the care of a physician.
Exercise has been associated with increasing your "feel good" hormones associated with libido. Weight loss can enhance your inner confidence and give you a sexual boost.
Open communication with your provider in a nonjudgmental and nonintimidating environment is very important to your ability to feel comfortable discussing this sensitive issue.
A stable and loving relationship is extremely important to maintaining a healthy sex life.
Call the professionals at Innovative Women's HealthCare Solutions to discuss both hormonal and nonhormonal options and other healthy lifestyle changes you can make to make your later years hotter than ever. At Innovative, we believe that with aging, the best is yet to come.
Melinda Miller-Thrasher, MD, FACOG
Innovative Women's HealthCare Solutions (IWHCS)
Buckhead, Midtown,and Smyrna/Vinings
Melinda Miller Thrasher is a native of NYC and attended Cornell University, Mt. Sinai and NYU for her residency training. Her expertise includes fibroids and minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat fibroids. She is on staff at Emory University Hospital and Piedmont Hospital. Dr. Miller-Thrasher has been selected as one of Atlanta's Top Doctors each year since 2009 as listed in Atlanta Magazine, one of the Gynecologists You Love (Essence Magazine) and she is a Patients' Choice Award recipient. She is also a member of the WebMD medical review board. Her new book, "The Innovative Women's Guide To Managing Fibroids Without Hysterectomy" will be available in late 2014.