Few things can damage a marriage like issues in the bedroom. What many couples don’t realize, though, is that there are many hidden physical causes that can be identified and successfully treated, said Dr. Kim Weaver, owner of the Weaver Clinics, based in Moore.
“Sexuality in women, in particular, is very complex,” Weaver said. “Female sexual dysfunction can present in different forms, including lack of sexual desire, impaired arousal, inability or difficulty in achieving orgasm, pain with sexual activity, vaginal dryness, tissue laxity, decreased clitoral sensitivity, or frequently, a combination of these issues.”
Problems also aren’t limited to women over 50. Many young women struggle as well, especially after childbirth.
Physical problems that impact sexuality almost inevitably damage a couple’s relationship.
“Many women who struggle with low libido will often withdraw from their spouse and avoid opportunities for sexual intimacy,” Weaver said. “Over time, this causes strain on the relationship. Unfortunately, many women think they are alone and don’t seek help due to embarrassment.”
Sexual dysfunction in men is also common and increases with age. Low testosterone is frequently the cause, and symptoms of low testosterone include irritability, anxiety, fatigue, a diminished sense of well-being, low libido, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, insomnia and erections that are less strong.
“For years men believed that sexual problems were a normal part of growing older,” Weaver said. “Fortunately, modern medicine and changing attitudes have debunked this myth. As men and their health care providers have become more comfortable talking about these problems, and as new treatments are developed, there is no reason why men cannot remain sexually active well into their 70s and beyond.”
At the Weaver Clinics, treatment begins with a clinical consultation, followed by a physical exam and laboratory tests to determine hormone and vitamin levels. Many intimacy issues in both men and women stem from too-low levels of several key hormones and vitamins, especially testosterone. Men are more hesitant to seek treatment than women, which is why the clinic offers complimentary testosterone blood tests to its male clients. (These can be scheduled, or more information obtained, by calling 844-DrWeaver.)
Both men and women have a broad list of treatment options, including bioidentical hormone and testosterone therapy, devices and exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help with bladder control, plus natural lubricant and vaginal/labial rejuvenation procedures.
Bioidentical hormones are a natural form of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These levels are monitored and adjusted in patients and help the body prevent or reverse many age-related issues, Weaver said.
For female patients, the most popular treatment offered is the state-of-the-art Juliet vaginal and labial rejuvenation. It’s a simple, nonsurgical office procedure that’s done as a series of three treatments, one month apart.
“Over time, vaginal tissues can stretch and lose tone and elasticity after pregnancy, childbirth or with aging,” Weaver said. “The Juliet delivers gentle energy to the vaginal walls to stimulate new collagen, remodel tissue and restore flexibility and shape.”
A typical success story, she said, involved a married woman in her 40s who had had two children and was suffering from fatigue, no sex drive, anxiety, dryness, vaginal laxity and urinary incontinence. After being diagnosed with low testosterone and Vitamins D and B12 levels, plus vaginal relaxation, she opted for the Juliet procedure as part of her treatment.
“When I saw her for a follow up, she said she was VERY happy with her results!” Weaver said. “She said she felt more like herself again, and her husband of 20 years told her ‘welcome back!’ They were both very happy with the changes in the bedroom.
“We focus on the medical aspects, but we recognize the spiritual and psychological components as well,” Weaver added. “We encourage our patients to schedule date nights, work together to make their marriage a priority, rekindle the flame and participate in counseling if needed.”