WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR WOMEN WITH MENOPAUSE-RELATED ISSUES THAT AFFECT THEIR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH?
Women are so individual about this. One group of women couldn’t care less and aren’t interested in doing anything about it. Another group does very well on estrogen. The women who are anti-hormone (for medical reasons, or otherwise) can try over-the-counter products that are free of hormones and chemicals.
I recommend stress-reduction exercises. I recommend the new Fiera device to my patients who are having arousal issues. It’s feminine, unobtrusive, and a great thing for doctors have in our war chest. I’ll make it pretty clear to patients how it works. You really have to guide them. I also recommend Lubrigyn Lotion, a wonderful wash and moisturizer for daily use, and Replens Silky Smooth, a silicone lubricant, if needed during intimacy. Patients really like them.
ARE MALE DOCTORS LESS LIKELY TO THOROUGHLY COVER SEXUAL HEALTH WITH THEIR PATIENTS, DR. KRYCHMAN EXCEPTED?
My male colleagues are excellent, and they can commiserate, even though they haven’t personally experienced issues such as vaginal pain or hot flashes. I am quite fortunate that my male and female colleagues frequently send the more complex “sexual health consultations” to me for comprehensive evaluation and treatment.
The curriculum in medical school or residency training don’t include very much, if anything, on sexual health, other than STD control and contraception. There’s much to learn and much to do in medical school, and there isn’t enough time to give this a priority. You need to learn about a woman’s sexual health in the real world.