Dear Doc | Maintaining my sex drive after menopause
Q Doc, I need to ask you a question about menopause. I think I am going to reach it pretty soon, and it has me worried about my sex life.
To be frank, for a woman my age, I have a very active sex life. I am divorced, having been married twice. I have a regular boyfriend, but I must confess to that I do take other lovers. I am in the hospitality industry, and quite often, I find it helpful to spend the night with overseas visitors.
What has me worried is - will I be able to continue my fairly 'vigorous' sex life after menopause? I fear that I will no longer be able to do it, or that I will 'dry up'.
As it relates to HRT, does it make a woman sexier? And how do I take it?
A Well I am here to offer medical advice and not advice on morality. But I will remind you that having sex with people from overseas does carry the risk of catching certain germs which are common in other countries. So when you sleep with these men from overseas, do be careful. I would strongly advise you to use either the male condom or the female condom on each occasion. It may be a good idea to have a stash of female condoms in your bedside cabinet, for your own protection.
As it relates to menopause, there's no reason why you should not continue to enjoy sex after menopause. Many women have been able to enjoy great sex after 'the change'.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is good, particularly for dealing with hot flashes or vaginal dryness. But you must follow your own doctor's advice, in order to reduce the risk of side effects.
Contrary to popular belief, HRT does not generally make women sexier! But if it is successful in getting rid of unpleasant menopausal symptoms (like hot flashes), you may feel more like doing it. How do you take it? It is produced in various forms: oral tablets, skin patches, gels, and implants.
So I would say that the future of your love-life is pretty good, and you may still be having sex many years from now. But please be very careful about sleeping with business acquaintances.
How did I get 'the clap'
Q Doc, I am a very desperate man - my doctor has told me that I have the clap!
Now I have not cheated on my wife. I have not been with another woman years before we got married!
Does this mean that my wife has been unfaithful to me, and I caught the clap that way?
A Sorry to hear about this worrying situation. 'The clap' is of course gonorrhoea, which is one of the most common STD.
Now, before you start blaming your wife, I must draw your attention to one point - the doctor maybe wrong.
Gonorrhoea is not easy to diagnose. In fact, the diagnosis cannot be made accurately, without the help of a laboratory. There are few doctors who have sufficient lab equipment in their offices to enable them to make this diagnosis. But, generally, a doctor has to send a specimen (like a swab) off to the hospital path lab to do the necessary tests. Did this doctor do that?
If he didn't, then I don't think that we can assume that you really do have gonorrhoea. My best suggestion is that you should talk this matter over calmly with your wife. Then the two of you should go to a clinic close by and ask them to test you both.
If they do find gonorrhoea, then I am afraid that you must face up to the fact that your wife has probably cheated. But I hope that the clinic will find that you just have some other form of inflammation in the urinary tract, but that it is not due to a sexually-transmitted disease.
Peppermint cream for the vagina?
Q My husband has been looking on the Internet, and has got the idea that we should use some kind of 'peppermint cream' in the vagina during sex.
Would this be a good idea? Or is it dangerous?
A Peppermint-flavoured vaginal products are widely used internationally. The idea is that they produce a pleasant tingly feeling for both partners. Some manufacturers claim that this increases female sexual desire.
I note that there are now over 100 million websites selling these products quite cheaply.
The drawback is that some men and women do develop an allergy to peppermint. This can make your genitals very sore and itchy.
Am I the father?
Q I recently had sex with a married woman in Clarendon, and I know that it was the day before her period.
Now she has texted me to say that she is pregnant. And she thinks that I am the father. What is your opinion?
A Well, women do sometimes conceive on the day before their menses are due. But it is not all that common.
If this woman has also been having sex with her husband, there must be a strong possibility that he is the 'baby father'.
Your first step should be to establish that the woman really is pregnant. Urge her to do a test. You should also find out if she had been having intercourse with her husband during the relevant month.
But I fear that this may come down to doing a paternity test in nine months' time.
What is a 'Nuva'?
Q My Doc, has advised me to put something called a 'Nuva ' into my vagina whenever I am having sex.
But what is that, Doc?
A This device is actually called the 'NuvaRing.' It is a little contraceptive circlet, and it contains two hormones, which work to help prevent pregnancy.
However, you don't just put the ring in immediately before sex. You keep it inside you for three weeks at a time, then take it out and have a week's break. After that, you put in a new one.
This method of contraception is pretty good. But it carries much the same risks as the Pill. These include thrombosis (clotting).
So you should not try NuvaRing if you are over 35 and smoke. And you should have a physical exam from your doctor before you start using it.
Doc, he likes kiddie porn
Q Doctor, last Christmas I 'fell heavily' for a man and he wants us to get married.
But this week, I have discovered that he looks at 'kiddy-porn' on the Internet. When I asked him about this, he laughed, and said it was 'just a bit of fun.'
What must I do, Doc?
A This is an evil man. You should end your relationship NOW. And if you have any children, you should keep them away from him at all costs!
You should also notify the police about his activities. It is good that you found out the truth about this man before it was too late.