Women: Rev up your sex drive

by Lorna Vanderhaeghe

This article was originally published in October 2004

Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe, noted medical author and lecturer

Join noted medical author and lecturer Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe for a free lecture, exploring 10 of today’s top health concerns for women. Lorna is the author of seven books including, “The Immune System Cure,” “Healthy Fats for Life” and “Healthy Immunity.”

(October 2004) — Although hot flashes, endometriosis, fibroids and period problems are the most talked about female complaints, women are telling me that one of the saddest facts is their lack of sex drive. Jokes are often made about wives and their indifference to sex, but from my experience, women are concerned that their desire for intimacy is diminished if not gone.

Unfortunately, too many women also believe that a lack of interest in sex is a normal part of aging. According to the March 2003 issue of Women’s Health in Primary Care, 50 percent of women between 66 and 71 still desire sex and 29 percent of those over 78 are still active.

During perimenopause (the 10 to 15 years before menopause), our ovaries and follicles don’t operate at peak performance — sometimes an egg is released, and often it is not. When ovulation is disrupted, we do not produce enough testosterone to stimulate the desire for sex.

While this is happening, estrogen production may be surging or declining — causing vaginal atrophy, painful intercourse and no desire. Other health issues can affect sex drive including the use of anti-depressant medication, hysterectomy, diabetes, heart disease and fibromyalgia.

Some women are content with no sex drive, but for those who want it back, there are several options. Your health practitioner can prescribe a natural testosterone gel to help return desire in a healthy relationship. Generally, it involves applying a small amount of gel, delivering 0.5mg of testos-terone for two weeks, and then reducing to one application per week.

It’s a prescription drug in the United States and available through a compounding pharmacy. (To find a compounding pharmacy near you, call 1-800-331-2498). Testosterone taken in high doses for long periods of time can result in facial hair growth. Thankfully, testosterone gel works quickly and there’s no need for high-dose, long-term use.

Although I’ve yet to find an herbal Viagra for women that works, (I am searching), certain nutritional supplements help improve overall health, brain chemistry and blood flow. Vitamin E 400-800 IU, Black Cohosh 40mg of standardized extract, and Tyrosine 500mg, along with a multivitamin with minerals containing a good dose of B vitamins, will help.

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