sábado, 21 de janeiro de 2012

Rekindling the fire

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Researchers admit it is difficult to measure what is normal and what is not when it comes to the human sex drive.
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is the medical term referring to a person experiencing persistent or recurrent lack of interest in sex, resulting in personal distress or a distressed relationship.
For women, more than 40 percent complain of low sexual desire at some point, advised the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. If you count only women with ongoing problems, the percentage is smaller, closer to 5 to 15 percent.
Brenda Gilmore, RN, APRN and certified nurse midwife for My Gynecologist will be featured in an upcoming seminar for women titled "Intimacy — From Flicker to Three Alarm Fire," at 6 p.m. Feb. 21, at the My Gynecologist office in Spring Hill.
She advised it is a very complicated topic dealing with emotional, physical and hormonal issues for women.
"Unlike for men and Viagra, there's no pill for women," Gilmore said. "For women to understand and improve sexual health, my goal is education."
There are studies being conducted with women that are medication based, she added.
"A variety of factors can influence a woman's sexual desire," said Gilmore. "Female libido is multifaceted; women need a toolbox of information and treatment options to be tailored to their individual needs."
Commonly for women, they experience a roller coaster of sexual desires coinciding with the beginning or ending in relationships, as well as during major life changes including pregnancy, menopause or illness.
Determining the norm depends on individual desires and their stage of life. Spouses and partners can influence or contribute to the stress concerning sexual relationships.
Women, just as men, are encouraged to talk with their doctor about their lack of sexual desire, as there are dozens of reasons a woman may not be interested in sex.
Physical well-being, emotions, experience, beliefs, lifestyle and relationship status all contribute to the complexities.
Physical well-being factors include fatigue, illness, body changes or medications. Other physical concerns are pain (dyspareunia) or an inability to orgasm (anorgasmia) — any of these can potentially lessen a woman's desire for sex.
Diseases and conditions including infertility, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and neurological diseases can contribute to low sex drive, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Prescription medications such as antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications and chemotherapy drugs are known to dampen a person's libido.
Body changes can include surgery or hormone changes. Surgeries of the breasts or genital tract can affect self-esteem, thus lowering the desire for sex. Hormone levels change depending on age (menopause), pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Estrogen, commonly known as the female hormone, helps maintain the health of the vaginal tissues. During the transition to menopause, estrogen levels can drop causing decreased interest in sex and drier vaginal tissues, resulting in painful or uncomfortable sex and a decrease in desire for sexual intercourse.
Some women experience a sluggish libido during menopause, possibly due to a decrease in the male hormone, testosterone. This hormone may heighten a person's sex drive.
Dr. Mildred Farmer, medical director at Meridien Research advised low sexual desire is not a medical condition.
"Low sexual desire is only a problem if it causes significant distress," said Farmer.
Meridien Research is conducting a 'late phase' drug study, meaning the study has been conducted previously on other groups. The study includes evaluations, counseling, investigational medication, physical exams and routine lab work. For more information, call (352) 597-8839. Meridien Research is located at 16176 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville.
"The research being conducted is specific to the types of problems a woman is having," said Gilmore. "It is a two arm approach, and it's complicated as it may not help everyone."
After having a baby and breastfeeding are also a time when hormone changes occur in sexual desire.
Other factors include caring for the baby and overall fatigue from daily life may impact desire.
Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, stress, body image, self-esteem, history of physical or sexual abuse, and relationship issues are other issues resulting in a low sex drive.
Emotional intimacy is important to sexual desires, having a connection with your partner, conflicts or fights that are unresolved, a lack of or poor communication of sexual needs and preferences, as well as infidelity or loss in trust.
Medical treatments for low sex drive can include medications, hormone therapy, or mental health and relationship counseling, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has no approved medication for treatment of low sexual desire. Additional treatment options include sex and physical therapies.
Estrogen therapy is a treatment option to help with symptoms of menopause. Treatments can be by pill, patch or gel. Localized creams for the vagina can be slow-releasing suppository or ring that you place in the vagina. A doctor may prescribe both estrogen and progesterone.
Replacing testosterone in women remains controversial. It is not approved by the FDA for the purposes of treating sexual dysfunction in women.
Negative side effects include: acne, excess body hair (hirsutism), and mood or personality changes.
With any medical treatment, the doctor should closely monitor symptoms and check for any negative side effects.

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