Q: “I’ve noticed I don’t have the same sexual desires I used to have. I’m 45 and have always been very sexually active. Is it possible my testosterone has dropped?”
A: This is a very common complaint from both men and women! Libido generally starts to decline as we age and hormones play an important role in that. However, libido for a woman is trickier than for a man. Women are much more likely to be effected by stress, kids, finances, work, etc. and even by relationship nuances. Although a woman can be treated with testosterone, there are generally more things involved with diagnosing low libido than just testosterone.
I would recommend you have your Doctor/Nurse Practitioner check your hormone levels. Often when a woman’s estrogen starts to diminish, she experiences vaginal dryness and sometimes painful intercourse. Estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone should all be checked. After discussing your results, your provider can prescribe testosterone if you are deficient but may start with a variety of other things before doing that.
In essence, your sexual health is very important and should not be ignored. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss this with a healthcare professional – we are here to help you!
Q: “I am 41 and still have periods that are getting worse with age. I now suffer from a lot of PMS – which I never did before! I have bloating, sore breasts and gain about 5 pounds with every period. I also have anxiety that seems to be related to my periods. Is there anything I can do with hormones to help or do I need to wait until I hit menopause?”
A: “It is very common to have an increase in PMS symptoms as we age. Our hormones begin to decline, change and become imbalanced long before we actually complete menopause (by definition, 12 consecutive months without a period). Most women start to experience changes after the age of 35, though some are more subtle than others and not everyone is affected in the same way. Every woman is unique. Common symptoms of PMS are bloating, weight gain with period, breast tenderness, mood swings, anxiety, cravings, increased cramping, and irritability. Typically symptoms start about a week before the period but in many cases as early as 2 weeks prior. If you are experiencing these symptoms, there is help. We treat many women with hormonal imbalances of PMS and most report feeling much better with their PMS symptoms greatly relieved! Remember… changing, declining hormones is a process, not an event. There are measures you can take along the way to feel better!”