National Women’s Health Week, May 10-16 underscores the need for women everywhere to make their health a priority. Below are some insightful tips from nationally acclaimed health experts to help women take small steps toward better living.
- Bladder relief: Women rarely talk about it, but over 20 million women struggle with overactive bladder and won’t even discuss it to their doctors. Women experiencing incontinence don’t need to settle for diapers, pads or surgery—they need to strengthen their pelvic floor and find Kegels just don’t work as they don’t do them correctly or consistently. Whether unexpected leakage is from a cough, sneeze, laugh, over exertion or childbirth, strengthening the pelvic floor (with a pelvic floor physical therapists or with Apex an FDA approved medical device) is critical. And as a bonus, strong pelvic floor muscles enhance orgasm and arousal,” says Madeleine Castellanos, NYC Sex Therapist.
- You may be down a quart….If you’re not getting the right fuel it’s hard for your mind and body to work at optimal capacity. “Rogue Nutritionist” Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS, pinpoints 7 nutrition lies that can make you sick and fat! His updated blockbuster Living Low Carb (Sterling), will be a welcome gift to women having trouble losing weight on all the “sure fire” diets they’ve tried in the past.
- All you need is touch…According to Houston-based psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed., LPC, happy marriages have one feature that bad marriages don’t have. They have more frequent touching. Sleeping together, even if you don’t touch each others’ skin, helps provide emotional benefits that are proven with touch.
- Embrace the change. Women’s bodies have different needs at 20, 40, 50, 70, so it’s essential to develop a health strategy for every phase. Clinical Professor of OBGYN at Yale University, Mary Jane Minkin, MD, author of A Woman’s Guide to Menopause and Perimenopause (Yale University Press) says you should feel comfortable talking to your gynecologist about anything and everything regarding your body. If you don’t have that kind of trust, find another doc with whom you have better rapport. She also recommends getting your mammogram, pap smear and a colonoscopy on a regular schedule.
- Put your sex life on the front burner again…According to New York psychiatrist and sex therapist Madeleine Castellanos, MD, a good sex life is vitally important for health, happiness and maintaining an engaged relationship with your partner. If your sex life is flagging because of dryness and even pain during intercourse, the fix is often as easy as visiting the neighborhood drug store for Replens. It’s a moisturizer that provides comfort for 3 full days. And, try a good silicone lube just before sex –it feels great and reduces chances of abrasion. She recommends the 100% silicone formula, latex-friendly Wet® Platinum®, which is FDA-approved as a Section 510(k) medical device or Replens Silky Smooth.
- Reduce Stress! “For women entering menopause, sleep can be a constant challenge and sex is the perfect solution. Sex increases estrogen release in women, which has a positive impact on REM sleep. Sex is a natural way to decrease stress and can help with the onset and quality of sleep. If you’re up at night tossing and turning, mind racing and you’re just about to panic wondering how you will ever get to sleep in time to wake up refreshed choose the oldest tranquillizer in the world–sex,” says Mache Seibel, MD Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Editor of My Menopause Magazine. “The more sex you have the more sleep you’ll get. Sleep comes naturally when both body and mind are relaxed and free of stress. Once you’re rested and focusing on the pleasure of the moment, you’ll be hard pressed to keep thinking about all those random thoughts that were keeping your brain too active to fall asleep. During sexual activity, the oxytocin released with stimulation and orgasm can increase feelings of calm and safety and cortisol levels drop; both are prerequisites for good sleep. During orgasm, there is also an increased release of prolactin, which gives a heavy somnolence, helping you fall asleep faster and more efficiently.”
- Reignite the flame: Busy schedules don’t help contribute to desire in the bedroom. Stronvivo, is a new dietary supplement consisting of 5 essential elements that stimulate nitric oxide production, supporting healthy hormone levels resulting in increased sexual desire and better lubrication for women.
- “Menopause is natural and every women goes through the change of life,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor Dept Ob/Gyn, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and author of V is for Vagina. Menopause is not an illness but you can treat the symptoms, which can be disruptive, uncomfortable and embarrassing. Many women, even those who exercise regularly and have a low-glycemic diet gain weight, especially around the belly and hips and have difficulty losing weight due to decreased estrogen levels. In addition to weight-bearing exercise and proper diet, sometimes an estrogen replacement patch can help. And, daily exercise, even walking is essential for the body and mind. And, if intimacy becomes difficult, there’s an easy fix! Try, natural herbs to boost sex drive found in granola, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, eggs, coconut milk and root veggies. Aphrodisiacs include chocolate, red wine, oysters, bananas, avocado, salmon and walnuts, chile peppers, figs, honey and soy for hormone production and lubrication.