Infertility, Intimacy and “Homework Fatigue”

The inability to conceive can take a couple on an emotional roller-coaster ride. In addition, infertility has also been shown to be a risk factor for female sexual dysfunction.

A case-control study was conducted with 119 infertile woman and 99 healthy female controls without infertility between the ages of 18 and 45.  It was found that the group of infertile women had a lower score in desire, arousal and a lower frequency of sexual encounters. It followed that their satisfaction was also lower. Why does this happen?

When the goal is pregnancy, there is only a 24 hour window of opportunity each cycle.  That is, the egg is viable for 24 hours while the sperm is viable for 72 hours.  Sex on demand eliminates any spontaneity.  The focus of sex becomes conception, rather than pleasure. All this can lead to pressure to perform and conceive which may lead to less satisfaction.

Infertility can also affect a woman’s sense of herself and her sexual identity.  Males accordingly may be affected and become depressed, experience performance anxiety, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.

Now add in the effects of certain fertility medications. Although the effects are short lived, these drugs may have to be used repeatedly. They suppress ovulation for IVF cycles and can cause decreased libido along with vaginal dryness and pain.  Drugs like Clomiphene (Clomid) are used to induce ovulation but can cause nausea, breast tenderness, hot flashes and mood swings.  This is certainly not a great way to “bring sexy back!”

What to do?  Talk with your doctor.  There may be alternatives to certain medications. Talk with your partner. Just being aware of possible concerns may help.  If necessary, seek the counsel of a therapist who is knowledgeable about sexual issues.  When lovemaking has to be an assignment, remember how pleasurable impromptu sex can be, that it isn’t always going to be about procreation.

Keep your eyes on the prize and realize that you can turn that roller coaster ride into the tunnel of love!

Snow, Fire and STDs?

You might have heard the expression – “Just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s no fire in the furnace!”  Advanced medical techniques and new drugs have made it possible for us to live longer and it’s no doubt that most of us would love to stay healthy into our golden years. That includes keeping those embers burning brightly in the intimacy department.

The creation of drugs for erectile dysfunction have helped to keep those “home fires” stoked. However, along with the increased chances of sexual activity there is an alarming uptick in sexually transmitted diseases within a demographic not usually associated with such behavior.

For more information, click here.

An Evening of Sexual Innuendo, Art and Song 2/21/13 at the Lido Gallery in Birmingham

 Please join us!

 Whether you have been the seducer, the seducee or a participant on both sides of this subject, you are invited to a stimulating evening exploring science and the arts on Thursday, February 21 at 7 p.m. at The Lido Gallery, (33535 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, MI 48009, between 14 Mile Rd. and Maple Rd).

This entertaining event will weave together the alluring elements of music, art, literature and medicine, and Dr. Renee Horowitz, founder of the Center for Sexual Wellness in Farmington Hills will be the featured speaker. “An evening talking about sex and seduction in the engaging atmosphere of the Lido Gallery promises to be not only a lot of fun, but thought provoking as well,”  said Dr. Renee Horowitz, who has been a respected obstetrician and gynecologist in metro Detroit for over 25 years. She is a frequent contributor to television and radio programs and has been quoted in Good Housekeeping, Esquire and Metro You magazines.

The Lido Gallery exhibits art and sells a wide variety of unique gift items, from household accessories to jewelry and specialty foods. The gallery also hosts lectures as well as a Poetry and Music Series highlighting local talent as well as notable artists.  Detroit music icon Mitch Ryder, songstress Jill Jack and celebrity performer/author Angela Bowie have all appeared at the Lido Gallery.

Owner Diane DeCillis is a well-known supporter of the arts as well as a poet.  “We are so fortunate to be a meeting place within such an active and talented arts community. It is a pleasure using the Lido Gallery as a showcase for the meeting of artistic minds,” she said.

Light refreshments will be served.  This event is free and suggested for adults only.

Climax Creams and Orgasms, Oh My!

Recently, Dr. Renee Horowitz was quoted in Esquire Magazine. See the link below for the entire article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Stacey Grenrock Woods

Published in the October 2012 issue

Do climax creams make women’s orgasms better?

They work wonders on nail fungus, I can tell you that much. “Female sexual enhancement products,” as they prefer to be called, can, it seems, make women’s orgasms better. They do this by increasing the blood flow to the genital area, which makes arousal less of a hassle. Many are made up primarily of botanical oils or extracts, but some, like K-Y intense, use propylene glycol, a component found in some face creams that, in my experience, really gets you off. “Men can use them, too,” says gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Renee Horowitz. “It’ll increase the sensation.” You might want to spread a little on your toast in the morning.

Read the entire Esquire article.

 

Don’t Douche It!

To douche or not to douche, that is the question.  There is sometimes a division between generations of women when it comes to this debate.  While douching was a regular hygiene practice in the 1920s until the 60s (and actually thought of as a form of birth control… which it is NOT), the common consensus these days is simple: Don’t Douche It. 

Unlike your floors, your laundry or your kids, your vagina is one of the few things in your life that is actually going to clean itself.  We’re not suggesting to skip any showers, but douching is overkill (and can actually be harmful as it can eradicate a woman’s natural bacterial culture).  Women shouldn’t use perfumed products (internally or externally) around the vagina as they may actually contribute to the risk of vaginal infections. 

More on signs and symptoms of vaginal infection next time.

Nookie after New Baby?

You’ve just welcomed a bundle of joy.  When can you welcome your sex life back?

Once your doctor gives you the all-clear to get back between the sheets, you still may have some hesitance.  That’s totally normal.  After birth there is a drop in estrogen levels.  Estrogen plays an essential part in vaginal health. Without it, the vagina becomes thinner and easily irritated.  On top of that, you have just given birth and may have had an episiotomy or a tear that has caused some discomfort.  Most importantly, although you’re partner will probably be very eager, take it slowly.  Use lubrication and moisturizers (a moisturizer is something that you would use daily or every other day, regardless of sexual activity; a lubricant is something you would use with intercourse).   If you are breast-feeding, the estrogen levels will be slower to return.  You can ask your doctor for a low dose of estrogen to be given vaginally.  

With time, any pain should resolve and of course if it doesn’t, see your doctor.

Is Sex During Pregnancy OK? (Spoiler: Sure Is!)

A lot of first-time expectant mothers inquire about sex during pregnancy.  Sometimes they’re nervous about doing the deed.  Othertimes their partner is gunshy.  Regardless of where your hesitance comes from, you should know that most of the time sex during pregnancy is totally fine! 

There are a few caveats (people at risk for pre-term labor, etc.) but as long as you’re having a healthy, normal pregnancy, go ahead and get busy!  Once the baby gets here (if you’re like most new mothers), sex will be the furthest thing from your mind.  Better get it while the getting’s good.

Dr. Horowitz explains more on Fox 2 News in Detroit.