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Sex drive down the drain? There is hope for women with low libido

Women’s libidos are a delicate balance of several issues. Both psychological and physical issues play a big part in sex drives. Certainly, poor relationships, chronic stress, and lack of time play significant roles in the lack of libido of today’s busy woman.  Also, poor body image has been proven to affect this as well. Studies show that women who take care of their physical appearance and have a good partnership are much less likely to suffer problems with libido.

Decreases in estrogen and testosterone at the time of menopause and breastfeeding also contribute a great deal to waning desires, as do thyroid problems and medications. Some medications that may decrease libido are anti-depressants, birth control pills, anti-anxiety medications, and certain high blood pressure medications.  It is important to review all of the aspects with your doctor when trying to conquer this problem.

Your libido can be restored, particularly if the underlying cause is recognized. Your doctor may suggest a family counselor or sex therapist.  If you are experiencing hormonal changes, these levels can be restored as well. Testosterone can be given in the form of a daily cream, monthly injection, or pellets inserted under the skin every 3-6 months. Also, if estrogen needs to be restored as well, there are several ways to do this. If sex is painful due to vaginal dryness, a local estrogen cream can be used to greatly improve comfort, and thus, desire.

What about supplements? Several exist that claim improvements, but most of the evidence is antedoctal. If there is not scientific proof, I would be skeptical.

Bottom line: Women do not need to suffer from low libido. See your doctor and discuss your options. It is an important part of life and relationships and deserves to be worked on.

Bowel Control Problems?

If you experience fecal incontinence, you are not alone. 8.3% of adults in the U.S. suffer from bowel incontinence. A lot of people do not feel comfortable talking about this, including their doctor. And until now, there have not been very many options to offer for treatment.

A therapy known as Interstim, made by the company Medtronic, has now been approved for fecal incontinence by the FDA. It has been a proven treatment for urinary incontinence for years. We noticed that a high percentage of patients who also had fecal incontinence were getting cured of this at the same time as their urinary incontinence. It works by neuromodulating the nerves that control both bowel and urinary function. It targets the communication between these nerves and the brain.

The great thing about this option is that it is minimal risks and there is a trial that can be done in the office to see if you are a good candidate before committing to long-term therapy. A flexible wire (or lead) is inseted near your tailbone. The wire is taped to your skin and is connected to a small device that you wear on your waistband. The device sends mild electrical currents through the wire to nerves near your tailbone which may get your bowel working the way it is supposed to. Your doctor can then determine the next course of treatment. If the trial is successful, an internal device can be inserted in an outpatient surgical procedure so that no limitations on your activity will be needed.

I feel that a lot of patients have not been informed of this option for their problem or do not want to bring it up to their doctor. I have had special training in gynecological and urological (bladder) procedures and have been doing Interstim therapies for the past 4 years. I have seen several women with fecal incontinence get great relief. I am excited about being able to offer this treatment to patients with fecal incontinence as well as urinary incontinence.

I would love to discuss this option with you and see if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Call my office at (404)252-3898 and ask for an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Elliott if you are interested.