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Is Your Sexual Desire All Dried Up?

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Sexual Dysfunction in Women

A guest post by Denise Buchman

Amazing what conversations and topics come up at a dinner party…or is it because I am telling everyone I am 50 and Fabulous?

People who know me know I have a zest for life even with all the twists and turns I have experienced along the way.   I am a happily divorced solopreneur for 12+ years and now an empty nester. I have always loved sex. Embracing it as a feel-good natural drug and really owning it for myself started for me at the wonderful age of 38 walking into my 40s. So here I am, celebrating all year long The Big 50 and finding out many of my fabulous female friends are not experiencing the BIG “O” anymore due to painful sex, dryness and lack of sex drive!

My first response: Have you talked to your gynecologist?

My second response: How do you function and don’t you miss it?

Then the flood gates of embarrassment shame and fear open. Women encounter so much stress, and of course, our bodies that are so beautiful and can produce human life, go through various changes in pre- and post-menopause.   Unfortunately, most women do not talk to their healthcare providers about sexual pain or problems; neither do their healthcare providers bring up the topic. In an international survey of 391 women by the Women’s Sexual Health Foundation, fewer than 9 percent of women said their health care professionals had ever asked if they had sexual problems. I was a bit taken aback by this information, so I decided to do a bit of research with my own gynecologist.

Come to find out Andrew M. London, M.D., my personal gynecologist, partnered with Leonard R. Derogatis, Ph.D. and created The Maryland Center for Sexual Health (MCSH) in Lutherville, Maryland. Dr. Derogatis has been an attending psychologist with the Johns Hopkins Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit for over 35 years and was its director for a number of years. Dr. London, The Associate Director of the MCSH, also trained at Johns Hopkins and was Chief Resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hopkins. Both clinicians have extensive experience and interest in understanding and treating sexual problems.

The MCSH is dedicated to the application of modern diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the treatment of a broad range of sexual dysfunctions and conditions experienced by men and women. In addition, the MCSH conducts an extensive range of therapeutic clinical drug trials, evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of new drugs for the treatment of numerous sexual problems.

Between 25 and 45 percent of postmenopausal women find sex painful. While there are many causes, one of the most common is vaginal atrophy, a lack or loss of the beneficial effects from estrogen prior to menopause. At the dinner party most of my friends were saying they have dried up and we had a few laughs over cocktails, but really this is a serious and sensitive topic with solutions!

MCSH is currently looking for women in the Baltimore Metro area, between the ages of 40 and 80, suffering from vaginal discomfort and willing to participate in a 12-week clinical trial with financial compensation. Find out more and stay up to date on topics, trends and additional studies. 

If we don’t bring up the topic of sex with our healthcare professionals, it won’t get addressed. I encourage women to share their truths, journeys and stories to bring awareness so change is possible! By sharing what these two forward-thinking doctors are doing with studies and clinical trials, change is possible!   I see them as game-changers and perhaps I will need them as I continue to roll through my Fabulous 50s towards my Sensational 60s!

 

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