As women, society can often make us feel like we’re
on a timeline. Not only are we expected to bear children by a certain age, we are
also expected to cease being sexy as we get older. But we're happy to say that more
and more women are throwing this timeline to the wind and charting their own paths!
Many women are enjoying motherhood later in life in order to pursue their dreams.
And those beyond menopause are reclaiming their sexual selves to take pleasure in
vibrant, active sex lives. Though the focus of a woman’s sexual life will
change over time, nature has given both men and women the ability to enjoy sexual
pleasure for the duration of our lives!
And the truth is, sexuality and sensuality can change for a woman throughout her
life. At some points feeling sexy comes easily, while other times being in touch
with our sexual selves is the last thing on the to-do list. It may be a loss of
libido, pain with intercourse, fear of pregnancy or STD’s, or stress regarding
infertility. Anyway you look at it, women’s sexual needs and desires fluctuate
naturally with time. And we know that an honest discussion about these matters can
dramatically change a woman’s quality of life and help prevent unwanted health
Many women overcome issues related to sexuality and fertility. Fertility, in the
conventional sense, may not be an option for some women or it may not happen when
they thought it would. But there are many avenues to explore within and outside
your own body when it comes to fertility. Then there are women who reach the end
of their fertility with great relief. They welcome the cessation of menstrual periods
and the hassle of birth control, but aren’t sure what their sex lives will
look or feel like in this new terrain.
The bottom line is that when it comes to our sexual selves, women are faced with
overwhelming expectations. It’s natural to ask questions. We encourage you
to do so, and to become as informed as possible. From questions about masturbation
and low libido to the mind-body connection in fertility, we’ve been listening
and providing advice on women’s sexual health and fertility for many years.
So here is a comfortable place for you to explore this sensitive subject and find
answers to some of the questions you may have been afraid to ask.
Featured articles on sex and fertility
Reviewed by Dr. Mary James, ND
By Barbara Carrellas
By Dr. Mary James, ND
Created by Women’s Health Network
See more articles on sex and fertility
Sexology 101 — ignite
your sex life with advice from an expert. Sexual changes in midlife
leave women understandably frustrated — and wondering how to get their “groove”
back. Women's Health Network talks with sex educator Barbara Carrellas about ways
to restore — or develop — your sexual identity.
Safe sex in midlife.
With more Baby Boomer women enjoying revitalized sex lives, their risk for contracting
a sexually transmitted disease or infection is on the rise as well. Learn what emotional
and physical factors play into sexual wellness for women in midlife, as well as
practical guidance in how to talk to your partner about safe sex (a useful skill
for sexually active women of all ages!).
of masturbation, Reviewed by Dr. Sharon Stills, NMD. Over
two-thirds of women report never experiencing a “vaginal” orgasm. Here
is a fresh perspective on the anatomy of the clitoris, and a discussion about the
reasons why masturbation is healthy for our minds and bodies.
Endometriosis - how a natural
approach can help, reviewed by Dr. Mary James, ND. As
is true of fibroids, “endo” is on the increase. Learn its underlying
causes, and what you can do to make it better short of surgery.
Premature ovarian failure or POF - what
you can do, reviewed by Dr. Sarika Arora, MD. Aside from
the unique emotional challenges a diagnosis of POF can present, there are unique
health concerns to consider, all of which can be overwhelming. With new research
on the causes of premature ovarian failure, we think the term “POF”
fails to serve women experiencing this disorder. Here’s an update on conventional
and alternative treatments, and advice on keeping yourself healthy through POF.
Choosing birth control
— options for women, reviewed by Dr. Amber Hayden, DO.
A woman’s ability to govern her own fertility is of primary importance to
her health and well-being. Here is Women's Health Network’s three-part approach
to choosing a birth control method, based on assessing each woman’s unique
needs and prefererences.
Birth control method comparison
chart. A compilation of currently available choices, this chart
lists the pros and cons of the various methods and can serve as a useful guide to
your birth control decisions.
IUDs and other non-hormonal
methods for birth control. For women considering non-hormonal options
for birth control, there is new information available on the safety and effectiveness
STD signs, symptoms and
testing, reviewed by Barbara Carrellas, AASECT and David L. R. Houston,
MA. STD’s are one of those global “facts of life”
as old as humankind — but that doesn’t mean we should draw the covers
up over our heads in dread or throw caution to the wind — neither approach
will serve us. The best preventative is knowledge — and a good place to start
for anyone concerned about their risks is by learning common STD signs and symptoms,
as well as what’s involved in testing (see our full article on safe sex for
tips on prevention).
What to expect with a pelvic
exam and pap smear. Routine pelvic exam and Pap testing is the
number–one way to protect your reproductive health. Don’t let fear of
the unknown put you at unnecessary risk.
colposcopy, ECC, endometrial biopsy, and genital wart treatment.
An overview of some common evaluation procedures women undergo following abnormal
Pap test readings, as well as treatment options for genital wart removal.
Treatments for vaginal
dryness - natural estrogen products and more, reviewed by Dr. Sharon
Stills, NMD. This comprehensive article details the variety of treatments
available for vaginal dryness, one of the top complaints of women in or near menopause.
Learn how these treatments work and how to use them.
Relieve your hormonal
imbalance symptoms today