We want it, we need it, it's good for us and we enjoy it, so it comes as a surprise when we stop having sex. Unfortunately, many couples who are in sexless relationships seem to think that "it will all work out." This is rarely the case, and the sexual side of a partnership can fade away if something isn't done.
Jennifer Berman, M.D., an internationally renowned expert and pioneer in the field of female urology and sexual medicine who has helped establish changes in the area of women's sexual health and libido, had this to say:
I firmly believe that the ideal approach to sexual health and wellness requires a complete medical and psychosocial evaluation, as well as inclusion of the partner or spouse in the evaluation and treatment process. Sex is the glue that binds a happy relationship. Both partners need to be committed to the partnership and work together to resolve the problems.
Sexual health and happiness seem to be requisites for a healthy, happy life, and it is about time that it is brought to the forefront. Women have long been demanding that medical personnel understand that sexual health is as important a factor in the quality of a woman's life as male sexual health is to men. And that demand goes well beyond the pre-menopausal years; there is no expiration date for healthy sexual activity.
While over 18 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction, more than 20 million American women suffer from what is termed Female Sexual Dysfunction. Yet, until the last decade, not much was done to help women. The majority of medical treatment and research was done to help enhance sexual health for men. Women were sometimes cavalierly told by their OB/GYNs that their problems were "all in your head."
Dr. Berman believes that sexual health for women is a critical component of good general health. As one of only a few female urologists in the United States, she is considered America's leading expert on women's sexual health issues. Dr. Berman pioneered clinical research studies on the physiology of female sexual function and dysfunction and the medical therapies for female sexual function complaints.
The preeminent Berman Women's Wellness Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. addresses women's sexual health, menopausal health and successful aging. Her medical practice focuses on individually tailored management of female gynecologic, urologic, hormonal and sexual function problems. According to Dr. Berman, a healthy woman should be able to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sex life well into her later years. Like anything else worth holding on to, sexual health must be maintained as well as general health. Healthy eating, exercise and a healthy lifestyle can all contribute to it. Dr. Berman feels enthusiastic and inspired about the future of women's health:
Sexual health issues are often sensitive topics for people to discuss. One of the things I enjoy most about my job ... is being able to really improve the lives of these couples and individuals by helping them solve these issues. Most people don't realize that there is a world of help available to them.
Dr. Berman feels that it says a great deal about antiquated societal attitudes when couples don't know how to enhance their intimacy or are too embarrassed to ask. There is a wealth of information and medical expertise available.
The primary complaint when a relationship turns sexless is a lack of desire. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or depression can cause, or strongly contribute to, this lack. Unfortunately, some medications prescribed for depression and stress can also contribute to a low sex drive. While most medical and pharmaceutical interest has predominantly been in the area of male sexual dysfunction, treating women for sexual dysfunction is now being actively supported by doctors, and rightly so.
Dr. Berman believes in a holistic approach to treating sexual dysfunction as well as the issues associated with the normal process of menopause. Giving women a chance to enjoy life to the fullest, she is pioneering a new medical path for women's sexual health.
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