Like many of you, when I was pre-menopausal I thought sex after menopause would be a little less intense but something that wouldn't bother me. My doctor never said anything and I never heard ladies talking about how bad sex was after menopause, so I really wasn't concerned. I had heard women say, "I am done with that" but I really didn't know what they meant. After all, why would anyone give up sex voluntarily, particularly if they had a partner?
Then, about a year before menopause, at age 41, I began to find out what no one was talking about. I started losing my sexual response and it did bother me. As my ovaries were failing and producing less and less hormones I started losing more and more ability to respond sexually. Then one day it happened. Nothing. I waited awhile and tried again. Still nothing. I waited and waited and waited and nothing. I couldn't understand why my sexual response wasn't coming back. Is this why women don't talk about sex after menopause, because there isn't any?
I was devastated and so was my husband.
I decided I had two choices. I could either make peace with my loss and make my husband accept that sex was no longer part of who we were and watch our marriage fall apart, or I could recognize how I got to this place and fix it.
I took the latter road and fixed it. I had profound hypogonadism (menopause), I had no sexual function and I was determined to treat it.
You can say menopause should not be treated medically, you can say that your doctor doesn't see it as a problem, you can say that your mother and father were not bothered by it. You can say anything you want to say but at the end of the day you still have profound hypogonadism, which takes a toll on more than just your sex life.
Believe it or not, it really isn't that hard to receive treatment if your doctor is willing to work with you. I am not talking about the HRT in clinical trials because that isn't HRT for ovarian failure. I am talking about replacing the multiple hormone deficiency you have as a result of ovarian failure.
I am going to tell you my regimen, products and dosages. Why should it be a secret? Does a diabetic hide the fact that they are on insulin? I am not using too much or too little of any hormone as my levels are very close to the levels I had when my ovaries were still working. About 80- 90% percent of women end up like me sexually. It is the most common scenario and yet the least talked about. Sometimes we hear about women who find their libido is increased after ovarian failure, this is the exception not the rule. The question I have is, why put women through this traumatic loss of function when it can so easily be restored and you're healthier for it?
Here is how I treat my profound hypogonadism which I acquired as a result of ovarian failure. In other words, here is how I treat my menopause.
Twice a week, I change my estradiol patch (0.1 mg Vivelle dot), twice a week I change my testosterone patch (Intrinsa, only available in one dose), every night I take my progesterone cream (20 mg, 14 days/40 mg, 14 days), every morning I take my dhea (15mg) and rub on oxytocin cream(3 IU). I receive my Vivelle patches, progesterone cream, and oxytocin cream from a local compounding pharmacy and I purchase my testosterone patches from a pharmacy in England and my dhea from an internet vitamin site.
My insurance company reimburses me for my prescription medications, including my testosterone patches.
So here I go. I am going to share my experience about sex before and after menopause.
Before menopause, sex was easy and wonderful. After menopause, without treatment for my profound hypogonadism, I was not able to respond at all sexually. However, with treatment for my profound hypogonadism I have sexual response and it is about 80% of what I had before menopause.
What this means is that sexual response lost to ovarian failure can be restored. Hopefully, in the future with better products restored completely. I am not the only one who knows this. The pharmaceutical company, Proctor and Gamble, that produced the testosterone patch specially made for women called Intrinsa and the ovarian physiologists who documented what the ovarian hormones are and how much are produced also know it.
Whether you seek treatment to restore your sexual function or simply don't want to walk around with untreated profound hypogonadism there is no reason to deny yourself treatment. Not only will you have better sexual response you will also be treating the underlying illness that causes dry eye, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Treat your hypogonadism and you will likely no longer need sleeping pills, osteoporosis pills, eye drops for dry eye, blood thinners, statins, or anti-depressants.
Before menopause happens, before you walk in those shoes, talk to your doctor about beginning treatment before your ovaries fail. If your ovaries have already failed than say to your doctor that you want treatment for profound hypogonadism. Treating it treats the whole body not just your sexual response.
Get yourself treatment and you will be healthier for it.
Beth Rosenshein is an electrical/bio-medical engineer and is very familiar with medical research. She holds two United States patents, one for a unique design of a vaginal speculum, and one for a clever urinary collection device specifically designed for women. Beth discovered and documented an important drug interaction...
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