The following Q&A is excerpted from “Testosterone for Life,” written by my colleague Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., and published by Harvard Medical School. For more on low testosterone, read my column from October 10, 2012, “Could I have low testosterone?“ Q. Is it true that if a person has a normal sex drive, then he must have [...]
DEAR DOCTOR K: Ever since I went through menopause, sex has become painful. My doctor says this is because of vaginal atrophy. Is there anything I can do?
DEAR READER: Pain that occurs before, during or after sex is a common problem for many women following menopause. Most often, the cause is vaginal atrophy, but there are other causes, too. The pain can range from mild to excruciating.
DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a man in my mid-60s. Lately I've been unable to perform sexually. Are there non-drug strategies I can try before turning to medication?
DEAR READER: Even if you'd prefer to handle this drug-free, start with a trip to your doctor. There may be a straightforward explanation for your erectile dysfunction (ED), such as a side effect of medication. If this is the case, maybe the drug can be discontinued or a new one substituted that is less likely to produce ED.
DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a single, postmenopausal woman in my 50s. Do I still need to worry about "safe" sex?
DEAR READER: I'm surprised by how often my patients ask me the same question. "Safe" sex means using what doctors call "barrier protection" — male or female condoms. It is true that menopause brings freedom from worries about pregnancy (if your doctor is sure you have entered menopause). But menopause doesn't change at all your need to practice safe sex. That's particularly true if you're entering into a new relationship or have multiple sexual partners.