|In the Mood Again: Use the Power of Healthy Hormones to Reboot Your Sex Life at Any Age|
If your sex drive is in the toilet (and has been for longer than you care to admit) and the idea of a long night of steamy lovemaking seems as current as eight-track tapes, then this book is for you. More than likely, you enjoyed a robust sex life in your 20s, but as the years have gone by, you have increasingly felt too tired, too old, or simply not in the mood for sex. You have bought into the myth that as the decades stack up, less frequent and less pleasurable sex is a sad fact of life. Well, stay tuned, because we are here to present you with a new reality.
No matter how old you are or how long it has been since you felt in the mood, you can once again enjoy regular, passionate, and relationship-enriching sex. Even better, your renewed sex life can become a secret fountain of youth, giving you more energy, helping you lose weight, and improving your overall health and well-being.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Worried that you will need handfuls of expensive, side effect—ridden prescription drugs? You won’t. Afraid that we are going to recommend you try getting turned on by porn or experiment with some form of gymnastic erotica? Don’t be. Whether you are 30-something and suffering from double-income-no-sex (DINS) syndrome, 40-something and choosing to change channels rather than get frisky, 50-something and having too many hot flashes to even consider stirring up any action between the sheets, or 60-something and avoiding sex because of performance issues, your sex life can be better than ever before. Read on to find out how.
You Are Not Alone
If your sex life has been on pause, you have lots of company. The number of Americans leading low-sex/no-sex lives is startling. I (Genie James) first became aware of the scale of our nation’s low-libido epidemic in 2002 when I collaborated with C. W. (Randy) Randolph, Jr., M.D., my coauthor and husband, to write From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well. Part of my research involved documenting the link between hormone imbalance and quality-of-life issues. Over a six-month period, I interviewed more than two hundred new male and female patients ranging in age from 30 to 70.
Most of the reported issues were expected: less energy, weight gain, hot flashes, saggy skin, foggy thinking, and/or depression. My lightning bolt was that sexual dysfunction—loss of sex drive or libido, performance problems, and/or decreased sexual pleasure—was the number one issue for 66 percent of respondents. Worse, resignation to an increasingly sexless life was a common theme. Here are some excerpts from my interviews:
I used to enjoy sex a lot. Even after marriage and a couple of kids, I could get in the mood at the drop of a hat. My husband and I had the habit of making love two to three times a week in the morning before we woke our children up. That was until I turned 35. I still love my husband, but now when he wakes me up at six o’clock in the morning, I just get annoyed.
—Sharon, 39years old
I have been divorced for almost fourteen years now. For the first few years, I was a real Casanova. I particularly loved to take a woman I was dating on a cruise. My favorite thing was to have wild sex on our stateroom’s balcony. Then, about four years ago, I began to have difficulty getting and keeping an erection. I became embarrassed. While I still ask women out for dinner and a movie, it has been two years since I had sex. Occasionally I masturbate, but even that doesn’t give me much pleasure.
—Edward, 55 years old
Me want to have sex? You must be kidding. I am 27 pounds heavier than I was thirty years ago, my droopy bosoms hang down to my navel, and you could balance a six-pack on my rear end. The bottom line is that my husband and I haven’t had sex in eleven years. He used to fool around outside our marriage, but with my body, I couldn’t blame him. Lately, however, he, too, seems to have run out of gas. We spend most nights sitting on the sofa flipping channels and eating nachos. I guess that is some kind of intimacy, right?
—Nadine, 61 years old
A review of large-scale clinical studies indicated that I had tapped into a national trend. The statistics were daunting:
Interestingly, these statistics may actually be underestimates of sexual dysfunction in the United States. Loss of libido was the second most common sexual dysfunction in men. The first was premature ejaculation. In another medical survey, doctors reported that about 50 percent of women from ages 28 to 60 say they no longer derive pleasure from sexual activities.
My goodness, I thought. America is in the midst of a low-sex/no-sex epidemic with no cure in sight. But believing that great sex is only a playground for the young-in-years is dead-wrong thinking. For decades, we have medically proven that you can turn back the clock and have an active and enjoyable sex life at any age. It is time we told the world.
The idea for this book was born.
Our Medically Proven Promise
If you want a better sex life, Randy and I are exceptionally qualified to help. No matter what your age or how long it has been since you initiated and/or enjoyed wonderful sex, we offer more than hope. We have two natural solutions that can either intersect or stand alone. Both approaches begin and end with your hormones.
Human sexuality is a complex biological phenomenon that is controlled at a cellular level by your body’s hormones. The ovaries and testes are the body’s factory for the three sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When all three sex hormones are produced in optimum amounts, you are easily aroused and sexual performance is a delight.
As the ovaries and testes age, however, they manufacture less hormones. Declining hormone levels not only compromise libido and impair sexual performance, they also contribute to a host of other physical, emotional, and mental issues. Some symptoms, such as abdominal weight gain, extreme fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, depression, bloating, foggy thinking, and headaches, are uncomfortable. Others, such as an increased risk of heart disease, dementia, and breast, uterine, and prostate cancers, can be life threatening. Whew! With all that going on, who would be in the mood?
Our good news: You don’t have to resign yourself to getting fat, ornery, sick, and increasingly sexless. If you safely and naturally replenish deteriorating hormone levels, you can feel like your youthful self again. Not only will your sex life return with a bang, your body will be healthier with more muscle and less fat.
Our first approach to restoring your sex drive and improving your health involves replacing the hormones your body is missing with ones just like it used to make. Let us be clear: This is not accomplished by prescribing the popular synthetic hormones, such as Premarin or Prempro. In order to be patented, the molecular structure of these hormones has been altered to be slightly different from the ones produced within the body. Though slight, the difference can be deadly. The 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study linked synthetic hormones to an increased risk of breast and uterine cancers, heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
We use a different type of hormone—bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT)—to treat hormone deficiencies. Bioidentical refers to plant-derived hormone molecules that are identical to the human hormones produced within your body. Hormone receptors from the genitals to the brain recognize, receive, and utilize bioidentical hormones like a key fitting into and turning a lock.
Randy’s expertise in BHRT is unique. Prior to attending medical school, he was a licensed compounding pharmacist with a deep interest in pharmacognosy, which is the study of medicine derived from natural sources such as plants and herbs. Long before the WHI study in 2002, he recognized the side effects triggered by synthetic hormones and chose BHRT as a safer and more effective alternative. For more than a decade, Randy has used BHRT to treat thousands of women and men suffering from low libido and/or sexual performance problems.
After only three months on an individualized prescription of BHRT, 92 percent of Randy’s male and female patients report a complete restoration of sexual desire; 97 percent of women say they no longer have vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse; 88 percent of men report that erectile dysfunction is no longer an issue. As a testimony to BHRT’s additional health benefits, 99 percent of all patients indicate they have more energy and 87 percent say they have lost 10 pounds or more.
In response to new medical evidence combined with a groundswell of consumer awareness and demand, BHRT has gained enormous popularity in the last decade. Still, if you are interested in pursuing BHRT as a treatment for low libido and other symptoms of hormone imbalance, you may face some challenges. You will first have to find a doctor who is trained and experienced in prescribing it. While more and more doctors are attending continuing medical education programs to learn about this emerging field of medicine, the number of BHRT specialists in the United States is not yet sufficient to meet an ever-increasing demand.
Cost can also be an issue. Our medical center accepts most health insurance plans, but many BHRT specialists serve only self-pay patients. The out-of-pocket cost can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Some approaches to bioidentical hormone replacement are more controversial than others. For instance, some physicians prescribe dosages of bioidentical hormones that elevate levels above the physiologic, or normal, level, causing women in their 50s, 60s, and beyond to keep having periods. We do not advocate this approach. Also, it is important to make sure that the hormones are truly bioidentical. There are a number of cheaper counterfeits on the market today.
BHRT is a great option for restoring youthful sexual function, but it is not yet a panacea for all. If you are wondering whether hormone replacement is for you, we provide a checklist of factors to help you sort through your options. If your informed decision is to move forward, we give advice on how to find a medical professional in your area worthy of your trust.
Not sure if BHRT is for you? Don’t give up on your sex life yet. Randy and I offer an alternative approach to boosting your lagging hormone levels.
For more than twenty years, I have been exploring natural approaches to women’s health, consulting with hospitals and physicians across the country. My focus on female sexual desire, sexual function, and sexual response began more than fifteen years ago in response to the rapid increase in women’s longevity. Recognizing that women could spend up to a third of their lives in a menopausal state, I knew it was time to move beyond traditional thinking to develop a natural and easily accessible approach to maintaining healthy levels of sexual desire and fulfillment for life. Over time, I developed an integrated approach that merged the fields of neurology, psychology, and nutrition.
When I first lobbied doctors about natural approaches to boosting lagging hormone levels, I faced stiff opposition. Then and now, most conventional physicians cling to the ideas that there is no such thing as too much estrogen in women and testosterone is a male-only hormone. Abundant scientific evidence in the United States and Europe has proven this thinking incorrect and dangerous.
Popular pharmaceutical treatments, such as antidepressants and synthetic hormones, mask the symptoms but don’t resolve the underlying issue of declining hormone levels. Based on centuries-old wisdom and groundbreaking clinical studies, I developed an alternative approach to boosting hormone levels. This three-step program combines a hormone-healthy diet with clinically tested nutritional supplements and specific lifestyle choices. It is simple, accessible, and relatively inexpensive. Best of all, it works fabulously.
You’ll see references in this book to many scientific studies that back up our recommendations. But Randy and I have our own focus group: Since 2003, we have tracked the response of more than seven hundred women and men. After two months, 97 percent of women committing to the three steps report significant improvements in sexual function, including desire, arousal, lubrication, satisfaction, and orgasm. An increase in desire before physical stimulation is reported by 94 percent of men. This is a particularly exciting statistic, since prescription erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs, such as Viagra and Cialis, stimulate blood flow to the penis but do nothing to restore arousal. In our focus group, 86 percent of men who previously took an ED prescription report that after only six weeks, their erections are consistently harder and longer lasting than ever before.
Hormone health and great sex don’t need to be a confusing puzzle. This book makes it easy by giving you food and supplement suggestions, as well as lifestyle tips.
Better Sex, Healthier Body, Happier Relationships
Here’s more good news: Restoring your body’s optimum hormone balance, improving your libido, and having sex two to three times a week can do you a world of good in ways you might not have anticipated.
Medical studies show that restoring youthful hormone levels improves overall health, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, promotes weight loss and healthy body composition, and increases energy and vitality. Sexually active men and women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s report having more youthful-looking skin, shinier hair, and whiter teeth. Just as exciting, clinical studies have found that people who have sex two or more times a week live longer.
More sex has also been linked to enhanced intimacy. Men who have more frequent sex say they feel closer to their partner and enjoy the nuances of intimacy, such as talking, cuddling, and foreplay, as much as the main event. Women who find themselves in the mood again are more willing to put down their to-do lists to play out sexual fantasies or experiment with new techniques or positions.
Here’s to Your (Sexual) Health
In 2009, I turned 50 and Randy turned 60. I can honestly say that our relationship gets hotter with each passing year and we feel great. We want you to be able to say the same. I hope you find the answers you need in this book. To ask us questions or to tell us about your own experiences with this program, visit us at www.hormonewell.com.
© 2010 Women Evolving LLC
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