April 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm , by Kayla Becker
When I heard that ob-gyn Lauren Streicher, M.D., a trusted member of our hard-working LHJ Medical Advisory Board, had written Love Sex Again, I wrote it off as a book for an older crowd—definitely not for a 20-something like me. But when I met with Dr. Streicher, a super energetic woman who has been the go-to person on sexual health for Dr. Oz and The Today Show, her enthusiasm won me over. I was surprised at how much I learned and how interested I was in what she had to say. Because let’s face it—she’s one of the few candid voices actually talking about this stuff.
In the book, which comes out this week, she covers topics such as how your hormones affect your sex life, what to do when sex is painful, how to re-spark your libido and how to improve your orgasms. She puts words to things you didn’t know you had and offers solutions to problems that are common. Her personable, humorous tone makes the book fun to read, and it’s useful, whether you’re in your 20s or your 70s. Here are three things from the book that grabbed me most.
WHAT 20-SOMETHING KAYLA LEARNED
1. Not many women are talking about their sexual problems.
Even though 100 million women in America have troubles in the bedroom (at all ages), very few talk about it—not even with their doctors. And even if they are seeing a physician, the doctor generally won’t bring it up. When surveyed, almost 42 percent of women said their doctor never asked about sex or libido. Dr. Streicher says it’s time to speak up!
2. Endometriosis can affect you (and your sex life) when you’re young.
The disease, which is often misdiagnosed, can be genetic and start at birth. In fact, 52 percent of teen girls with severe chronic pelvic pain had surgically proven endometriosis. It was news to me that this health problem didn’t just start later on in life. It reminds me of the popular article LHJ published recently about a woman who suffered from endometriosis for 20 years without being diagnosed!
3. The HPV vaccination is safe after age 26.
Because the HPV vaccination Gardasil is only FDA-approved for ages 9-26, I thought for years that it was unsafe after that time. In reality, age 26 is the cutoff not because it’s dangerous, but because the FDA has determined it doesn’t have a high enough cost benefit. Most women don’t ask for the vaccination because they think they’re too old for it, but Dr. Streicher says she gives the vaccine to anyone who asks. So if you’re, say, divorced and starting to date again, you should ask your doctor about it. The HPV virus can lead to several types of cancer, including oral. Just be prepared to pay, since your insurance probably won’t cover the cost.
I asked a friend in her 50s what she found most compelling from the book.
WHAT 50-SOMETHING JULIE LEARNED
1. Your sexual organs can atrophy?
Of course I’d heard that the drop in estrogen during perimenopause can cause your sexual desire to plummet, but I’d never heard about vulvovaginal atrophy. Lack of estrogen changes the pH so you have less lubrication and less protection from infections, as well as dryness, burning, itching and pain. No wonder so many women my age don’t feel like having sex! Yes, systemic hormone therapy can help. And we now know that new lower doses and different formulas are safer for many women (although there still are risks). But with local vaginal estrogen, via cream or a ring, only a tiny amount is absorbed into your system and can restore your lubrication and elasticity to more like your younger self within a few weeks. And yes, you do have to use it or lose it!
2. STDs… they’re not just for young people!
For some reason, we seem to think that 20-year-olds have more to worry about when it comes to sexually transmitted infections. There are more than 50 of them floating around out there; syphilis and chlamydia, for example, are skyrocketing in those over 55. And 80 percent of adults will have been exposed to HPV by the time they’re 60. “So many times my patients say, ‘I’m not worried… he’s a really nice guy,’ says Dr. Streicher. “I’ve got news for you. Sometimes the nice guys are the ones most likely to have an infection. Face it: Creepy guys usually have a harder time getting someone to sleep with them.”
3. Where is the women’s version of Viagra?
Women’s sexual function and desire are just more complicated than men’s. “Even if someone does discover the perfect pill to keep women lubricated, interested and highly orgasmic,” says Dr. Streicher, “the chance that the FDA will approve that pill before our daughters are grandmothers is extremely small.” So what till then? Dr. Streicher says some women with low libido benefit from small doses of testosterone, which can be prescribed off-label. A good lubricant can help a lot, too (or vaginal estrogen; see above). Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor.
August 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm , by YourTango.com
You and your partner already have toe-curling, sheets-grabbing lip-biting sex nearly every day. So how can you make it even hotter? Good question. Whether you’re pretending to meet each other for the first time or you’re roleplaying as your naughtier, sexier persona, heating things up between you has never been easier. Don’t believe us? Check out these suggestions for infusing your relationship with sexy spontaneity, from four of YourTango’s top experts:
Entice your partner with a list of your biggest turn-ons. Send your partner an email listing some of the sure-fire ways to get you in the mood … and then promise him a pay-off. (And trust us when we say, he’ll be drooling.) —Meri-Arnett Kremian
Let him chase you. Give him a look as if you don’t recognize each other, and introduce yourself by saying, “I don’t believe we’ve met … ” Play a little hard to get, letting him know that you’re not the type to fool around too quickly. Give him some hints that you find him very attractive and even though you’ve never done this before so quickly, you just can’t seem to help yourself. Once he starts kissing you, tell him that you really shouldn’t, it’s getting late, you need to be getting home, you’re not that type of girl … but, of course, make it obvious from your actions that you don’t want him to stop. Keep playing this kind of push-pull game until he’s just ravenous with desire, when you finally give in because you are just too attracted to him not too. Men love the chase and giving him the chance to re-live the hunt will really get his testosterone flowing. —Jane Garapick
May 13, 2011 at 10:30 am , by Jennifer Castoro
Wives (and husbands, too) come up with many a reason to skip out on sex: a headache, a sleepless kid, an especially compelling episode of Dancing With the Stars. But what happens when you’d love to get it on, but it actually physically hurts? The couple in our latest issue’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? column (on newsstand’s now! go buy it! Sheryl Crow is on the cover!) is dealing with that heartbreaking issue. Kiera, 38, has suffered from endometriosis her whole adult life but it’s recently worsened, which makes sex with her husband of 10 years, Ryan, virtually impossible. The condition causes terrible pain in the days before, during and after her period, making even everyday activities excruciating.
Kiera’s turn She longs to be intimate with her husband, but the constant pain and discomfort caused by her endometriosis makes it tough to run errands or cook dinner, let alone have sex. She’s noticed a change in Ryan recently – he gets home late from work and has strange, dark mood swings – and she thinks he may be having an affair. She’s caught him looking at online porn, which she hardly blames him for, since there’s no action anywhere else, but it hurts her that he’s resorted to that option. He’s withdrawn from helping around the house, too, and they constantly argue over parenting decisions. She’d rather be alone than feel like she’s letting her husband down. Read more
February 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm , by Jennifer Castoro
In the spirit of a certain lovey-dovey holiday, we’re setting the warring couples aside for a week and focusing on the fun side of marriage. These quizzes, tools and stories will get you in the mood for love (or at least make you smile!).
-Check out these sweet stories of couples who said “I do” all over again.
-Great ideas for celebrating on the cheap.
-If you’d rather not fight the crowds at the card store or all that’s left there is “I love you, Aunt,” send your sweetheart a cute e-card.
-Second honeymoon, anyone? Enter to win a 4-night stay at the couples-only Rendezvous Resort in St. Lucia!
-Must watch: a hilarious video about what happens when a wife loves the dog more than her husband.
-Does the thought of an amorous Valentine’s Day leave you feeling a little . . . eh? Do you dread the holiday because you feel pressured to get it on? Get thee to this page, immediately.
-Or should you just call the whole thing off? Take this quiz to find out if you should skip V-Day entirely.
-And as always, follow us on Twitter for fun date ideas, relationship news and expert tips year-round: @marriagebesaved.
So let’s be honest: What’s your take on this day o’ looove?
April 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm , by Julie Bain
1. Lay off the sweet stuff.
Give up processed or packaged foods with added sugar for one whole day. Sure, eat fruit, whole grains or other natural complex carbs—you need them for energy. But new research shows that extra sugar raises your bad cholesterol and lowers your good cholesterol. Step away from the cupcake—and you’ll feel better and lose the cravings soon.
2. Hug a tree.
Communing with nature is one of the best built-in stress-busters we’ve got. It’s glorious, blooming spring in most parts of the country now, so before you tackle your long list of chores and errands this weekend, write at the top of the list: Go for a walk in the park (or the woods, or along the stream or up the mountain). Smell the flowers, feel the bark of a tree, dip your toe in the water, listen to the sound of the wind in the pine needles. Breathe deeply and be in the moment.
3. Let it out.
Studies have shown that when women bond with their friends, it lowers their blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol. Had a rough week? Get it out and share! Then don’t forget to ask, “How are you feeling?” You’ll both be healthier.
4. Get it on.
Studies show that in a safe, committed relationship, regular sex improves intimacy, reduces stress, burns calories, and keeps you feeling young. It also helps you sleep better.
5. Hit the hay.
Writing down what’s keeping you up at night won’t solve your problems, but it does give you permission to set them aside to deal with them tomorrow. Get into bed early with a little notebook, write down what’s bugging you, then let it go and have sweet dreams!
Photo copyright AlienCat, Fotolia.com