[Disclosure 1: just substitute the words “hot flasher!” Disclosure 2: This song has been on my mind lately so needed to find a way to work it into the blog – thanks for indulging me!]
A new study published in the online edition of Menopause Journal has shown that hot flashes influence sleep in a stepwise or graduated fashion.
In this study, researchers analyzed data from 217 postmenopausal women between the ages of 40 and 60 years; information about hot flash frequency and severity was recorded in a daily diary, and sleep-wake patterns measured over an average of seven 24-hour periods in a subset of 112 women.
The results showed an association between moderate to severe insomnia frequency and severity of hot flashes and:
- Greater nighttime wakefulness
- A higher number of long wake episodes
So what can you do?
Short of that…well, nothing like a little Pat Benatar…Read More
I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled Wednesday Bubble. I wanted to share everything that I’m grateful for afterall, we are on the verge of Turkey day here in the States, right?!
I promise to post part three of my interview with the immensely talented Patti Digh and other wonderful tidbits soon.
In the interim, thanks for indulging me.
I have one request though; hug somebody today, give them a smile, donate a $1 to Second Harvest and feed 16 individuals, be grateful, laugh, have fun, live in the moment.
Personally, I am grateful:
- For an amazing family. Two parents who are healthy and present, a brother and sister in law who support me 150% and show me their love in a zillion ways, and three amazing nephews who each bring joy into my life in ways that I could never have defined before they arrived here on earth
- For incredible, loving friends who show me the way even when I don’t want to see it (you know who you are!)
- For my life, which is rich and fun and exciting and always new
- For music, which inspires when words fail me and the gift of writing when they don’t
- And for you, dear readers of this blog, who support my journey and continue to check back to see what crazy thing I’ve come up with to share
Thank you all.
Happy Thanksgiving!Read More
I’ve written several posts about the use of testosterone for sexual dysfunction in menopausal women and its less than pleasant side effects, such as unwanted hair growth and development of the metabolic syndrome.
Fortunately, Dr. Christiane Northrup has a different and much healthier perspective about sexual dysfunction during the transition.
One of the first things she writes, in her newly published “The Secret Pleasures of Menopause,” is that an important key to achieving health and healthy sex during and after the menopause is to boost one’s nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide, she explains, is a free radical produced in the lining of blood vessels, by lung and white blood cells, and nerve cells in the brain, that “resets your power grid and reboots your body, a secret weapon for optimal health.”
In order to produce more nitric oxide, you need to engage your mind, body an spirit in positive activities, such as:
- associating with positive people
- eating healthily and exercising
- being kind/taking pride in yourself
- realizing you are what you believe
- letting go of the past and embracing the present
- understanding that health and sex go hand-in-hand
Dr. Northrup suggests that we become “ardent explorers” of our own pleasure, in essence, become our own partners in sex. Turn ourselves on and tell ourselves often that a turned on woman is irresistible. Recognize and release anger as much as we can. Commit to regularly exploring our pleasure potential and live our lives in ways that “excite, motivate, and turns on” other people in our lives.
A few additional tidbits:
- Think heartwarming, sexy, uplifting, kind, loving and positive thoughts about yourself and others EVERY DAY
- Strive for commitment, trust and vulnerability with your partner
- Do things that keep you in touch with your life force…cultivate your inner pleasure and exchange it for stress, and decide that this half of your life is really the best
- Get out of your head and into your body….regularly
Desire pleasure, know that you deserve it, believe you can bring it into your life, overcome your resistance to accepting it, and embrace it.
Honestly, I’m not usually into this touchy feely stuff. But I encourage you to read Dr. Northup’s book and start to practice some of these positive, life affirming, love affirming steps. Pleasure truly starts within by changing our mindsets about our limitations, we can fine tune our bodies in ways that make us and others feel great.
As Dr. Northrup says, our bodies were made to experience unlimited pleasure.
And of course, pleasure begets pleasure….Read More
This seemed like such an appropriate follow up to my last post that I just couldn’t resist.
Happy Friday!Read More
Would you prefer to have a better sex drive and a beard? Or the opposite?
About a week and a half ago, news hit the headlines about a new FDA-approved testosterone patch for women to restore declining libidos. The patch, called Intrinsa, was tested in a study of 841postmenopausal not currently on hormone replacement therapy who received either one of two doses of the patch or a dummy placebo patch over 52 weeks. The patch’s effectiveness (namely, restoring sexual satisfaction) was measured up to week 24, or for roughly half the study.
The results, which were published in the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine, showed that compared to a dummy patch, using Intrinsa was associated with significant increases in sexual desire and a decline in sexual distress. Overall, the higher dose patch led to modest improvements in sexual function.
In other words, wearing a patch was significantly better than using nothing at all but not life-shattering in terms of improving sexual function.
The caveat? Unwanted hair growth, which occurred in about a third of women using the higher dose patch and in about 23% of women using the lower dose.
Results of this study undoubtedly leave hope for women in menopause experiencing declines in sexual function. In fact, I’ve written previously about the positive effects of taking testosterone to improve sexual desire. However, I’ve also found some evidence that testosterone increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease in women.
The other rub? You have to use the patch all the time, which means that you are subjecting yourself to testosterone and negative side effects, such as hair growth, 24/7. Researchers don’t have any answers about the safety of long-term use.
Fortunately, there are some very positive steps you can take to improve menopausal declines in sexual desire and function, which Dr. Christine Northrup says, are often misnomers. So, I leave you with this:
Why would you risk unwanted hair growth and other yet to be defined side effects when you can solve the problem in a positive, affirming, healthy way?
More to come!Read More