Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Libido... Where is yours?

How to get your "Mojo" back

Libido is defined as the desire for an intimate, sexual relationship with a partner.  For many men and women, enjoying an active and passionate sex life is a vital part of a happy and healthy lifestyle.

But perhaps your interest in sex doesn’t seem to be as strong as it was in your 20s, 30s, or even 40s. You’re not sure what’s going on, but you know for sure your libido isn’t what it used to be.

Or maybe your sex drive is still there, but there are complications to your enjoyment, such as men experiencing problems having or maintaining an erection and in women vaginal dryness, disinterest, or discomfort during sex.

Without an active sex life, you may sense that there is something “missing.”  You may feel dissatisfied with life or experience stress and anxiety. There may be the perception of lost vitality and virility if you’re a man, or low self-esteem and feeling less feminine if you’re a woman.

Sex Drive & Hormone Levels – What’s Age Got To Do With It?
There may be a medical reason for a loss of sexual desire or other problems related to sexuality.  Some chronic medical conditions or certain medications can cause erectile dysfunction or problems with sexual arousal in women.

But often, reduced sexual enjoyment is simply the result of declining levels of hormones – an unfortunate side effect of the aging process.

Did you know that starting at age 30, men on average begin to experience a yearly drop in testosterone levels ranging from 1% to 3%?  Many women start to have declining levels of estrogen as early as their late 30s.

The right balance of the sex hormones, estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, along with hormones such as cortisol, thyroid and DHEA, directly correlates to sex drive.  Diminished levels of these hormones play havoc with our libido, our ability to perform sexually and the sensations we experience.

But that’s not all.

The proper balance of hormone levels in our body also affects our overall health and well-being. Hormones have a profound effect on everything from mood and energy level to muscle mass and strength, bone health, skin tone, mental sharpness and focus, blood sugar levels, cardiovascular health, and much more.

It’s no wonder that as we age and hormone levels fluctuate, the body may no longer be in proper balance. As a result, we may begin to see and feel the consequences physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally.

For men, the change may be subtle and gradual. For women, it may be dramatic and abrupt.  But either way, there is the definite realization that they are no longer at their peak performance during sex, work and play.  And that can affect the quality of every aspect of their lives.

Male Menopause – Fact or Fiction?
It’s true. Many men at middle age experience a type of male menopause called andropause.  It may not be the same type of wake-up call that menopause creates in women. But for men, a gradual loss of hormones, especially testosterone, can be extremely impactful on physical, sexual, emotional and mental health.

Lower testosterone levels have a direct relationship to decreased libido and erectile dysfunction and can contribute to weight gain and increased abdominal fat, decreased beard growth, breast enlargement, loss of mental sharpness and muscle tone, even anxiety, fatigue and irritability.

Often, anti-depressant medication is prescribed to combat mood swings and depression.  But anti-depressants can reduce sexual desire further, exacerbating the problem. At Southwest Age Intervention Institute, we know that a holistic approach that restores and balances hormones, and includes a good diet, exercise and nutritional supplements, is the right solution.

Women, Hormones & Menopause
Exactly when women begin to experience the results of hormone loss can depend on many factors, including heredity, nutrition, stress, lifestyle and the age that the menstrual cycle began.

But we do know that as hormone production becomes more erratic, fluctuations and surges can contribute to the many well-documented list of symptoms: sleep disturbance, hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, headaches, depression, along with problems related to sex.

Decreased hormone levels can reduce sex drive and interfere with sexual arousal.  It can also make sex uncomfortable due to several factors. With the loss of estrogen, the walls of the vagina become thinner, less elastic and dry. There may also be changes in the tissues of the urinary tract leading to incontinence and greater risk of infection.

Appropriate hormone replacement therapy can improve your sex life by reducing these detrimental changes to the vagina, especially by improving the elasticity of the vaginal walls and increasing moisture and lubrication.

Not a Quick Fix – A Long-Term Solution
Untreated, hormonal imbalances can lead to a variety of complications and a loss of pleasure in life. Yet often, we may not know what to do about it. And sometimes, we may be embarrassed and prefer not to talk about it. Fortunately, the Southwest Age Intervention Institute has an answer.

By using safe and effective evidence-based medicine, we can help you get back on track. We can restore hormone balance by using a medically prescribed, personal treatment plan designed for your specific needs. Our goal is to stop your hormone levels from declining, restore them to a healthy level and maintain them over time so you can enjoy life to its fullest.

What We Can Do For You
The first step is to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation. A laboratory analysis of your blood will identify your unique biological markers, including your current levels of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, thyroid, cortisol and insulin.

If your hormone levels are clinically lower than what we consider to be a healthy range, your treatment plan will focus on the best method of adjusting your levels for optimal health and satisfaction.  This may require us to stimulate your body to produce more of the needed hormones, or we may need to prescribe replacement therapy.

The right hormone regimen for you may include creams, supplements or injections.  However, it is important for you to understand that we only use bioidentical hormones – hormones that most closely mimic the body’s natural substances to give you the best results safely and effectively.

Follow-up is critical too.

As the body is continually changing, it is just as important for us to continually monitor your progress. You can be confident that we will continually evaluate your hormone levels to make sure that they are at appropriate levels to ensure the health and safety of your treatment plan.

To learn more about hormones and their role in helping you enjoy a great sex life all of your life, call Southwest Age Intervention Institute today to schedule your confidential executive health evaluation with our team of age management experts. We are here to address all of your concerns and ideally direct you toward a better quality of life, not just sexually, but in all areas as it pertains to your health and longevity.


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