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1. Is it normal for sex to hurt?
No, it's not. Painful sex has several causes including insufficient lubrication and ovarian cysts. If your doctor knows you're uncomfortable, she can figure out why and how to help.
2. Is it bad if a period gets heavier?
This is normal with age or weight gain -- but if you skip, then have a heavy one, it's a tip-off you're nearing menopause. Very heavy or long periods can signal fibroids or polyps.
3. Should my new boyfriend and I be tested for STDs before we have sex?
Yes, have a frank discussion about previous sexual activity. Testing is the best way to ensure neither of you is a carrier; short of that, use a condom.
4. Do orgasms stop as you get older?
Blood flow to the pelvis drops and nerves can be less responsive, so orgasms may not be as explosive as when you were 30. But if you're not having them at all, check with your doctor.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, March 2009.