Updated: Jun 16
We all know that healthy sex life is important for a happy relationship. But what if you're not feeling as great as you'd like in the bedroom? Don't worry - there are ways to improve your sexual wellness with functional medicine. Functional medicine focuses on treating the root cause of problems and can help address issues like low libido, inability to orgasm, and erectile dysfunction.
Martha Minnich is one of our nurse practitioners. We talked about sexual wellness and how we approach sexual wellness in our office. In this post are the talking points we shared.
What is sexual wellness and why is it so important?
Martha says: “I view sexual wellness as having a positive, respectful attitude and a viewpoint of yourself and your body as well as your partner’s. Sexual health affects us physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. So to me, it's a very important aspect of our lives.”
The physical response of the ability to orgasm is something that most people never think about. Orgasms are important. When you have one, you get a release of hormones, in particular, oxytocin. This hormone is important because it makes you feel close to others. It promotes feeling of affection. You also get a release of endorphins, which are part of your feel-good hormones, so it gives you a sense of wellbeing. We should all be able to have an orgasm.
The Functional Medicine Approach to Sexual Wellness
According to Martha, it’s important to note as we age, sexual health can decline. For some people, this starts in their 20s and 30s. It's relevant to consider this and figure out what's going on with your body.
Some people will report vaginal dryness or dyspareunia, which is painful intercourse. Men can have erectile dysfunction. A woman can have laxity of the pelvic muscles of the pelvic floor, urinary incontinence, or loss of libido.
Moreover, people can have the inability or limited ability to have an orgasm.
In functional medicine, we typically dig deeper than primary care. Sexual health isn’t regualrly addressed in primary care or even in some of the subspecialties. By doing a thorough health history assessment and physical exam, we are able to find the root cause of your concerns. Of course, if we find it necessary, we have access to the very best in specialty lab testing as well.
This means we can find out why this is happening, versus just band-aiding symptoms. Sometimes we find the root cause lies in inflammation, and oxidative stress. Sometimes it can be some genetic or anatomic things that we can look at. Then we look at the best treatment options for you. At Vitality, we utilize innovative therapies and treatments that can help people to have better sexual health and sexual experience.
Some of the therapies and treatments that we offer here at Vitality Wellness and Medspa include peptides, PRP (platelet-rich plasma), which is used for vaginal and penile rejuvenation, hormone therapy, O-Shot, or FemiWave for laxity and lubrication.
More about the PRP Treatment
PRP treatment has a very low side effect profile. We're taking your blood and we're spinning it down and separating the serum. What we give you back are the granules that are loaded with platelets, growth factors, and stem cells. This helps your body develop a new and better network for vascular support. This will then cause an improved blood flow to the genitals so that you have improved sensitivity, and an improved ability to orgasm.
The PRP procedures are helpful for men as well. They help with sensitivity and erectile issues. For women, it can help with sensitivity, and with urinary incontinence.
As far as the discomfort is concerned, PRP is not an uncomfortable procedure. We will use a numbing cream for 20 to 30 minutes. The procedure itself takes less than 20 minutes. After years of experience, Martha notes that both of those procedures (PRP for men or women) work best if you plan on getting a series of three. The first PRP procedure helps to fix some of the damage that was done. The next two procedures help to rebuild the area.
PRP is amazing as a standalone therapy. Nonetheless, the patients that get the exceptional experiences are people who have also come and had their hormones looked at. When we combine PRP with hormone therapy, we will see a much more profound response.
Hormone Optimization = Health Optimization
Now, when we say hormone optimization, it's a broad category. In reality, it's a health optimization, but hormones are a big part of that. We are looking at your Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D levels. We are also looking at your hormone levels, including insulin, DHEA, A1C, thyroid, testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
As we age, we breathe in toxins and ingest pesticides in our foods. Even if you're eating an all-organic diet, we're taking in carcinogens from the environment. When you look at the root causes of some of the problems that we have from a sexual standpoint, a lot of times it's from hormonal imbalances or damage to our DNA in our cells.
We help people tune up their nutrition, start exercising, and get their bodies moving. Then we replace the hormones. We will look at testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, and DHEA levels, and we replace where there is a deficiency.
In the rare case that we do hormone replacement and the patient doesn't have an optimal response, we will look at more specialty testing to figure out what's going on. These tests allow us to hone into exactly what your body needs for optimal results.
This is the cool thing about this type of medicine- it’s like a jigsaw puzzle. If you're willing to put the time in, we can figure out what's going on and get you feeling amazing.
What to expect from hormone therapy
Signs of hormonal imbalance is different for men and women. One of the main reasons men come to see us for hormone optimization is because they are not happy with their sexual performance.
We also hear that men are noticing they've gained some midsection belly fat, they’re feeling tired or their sense of masculinity, assertiveness, and confidence has been affected.
For women, on the other hand, especially the perimenopausal women, the number one complaint is loss of libido. They just have no desire for sex whatsoever. They're exhausted all the time and they’re gaining weight. All this stress is making their adrenal glands work on overdrive.
While hormonal imbalances show up differently for men and women, it’s not uncommon for a patient to note that they didn’t realize how terrible they felt until they feel great!
Robust sexual health is good for your mind, your body, and your relationships. It's just not talked about enough.
Sexual health is an important aspect of overall wellness, and it’s something that should be taken seriously. Functional medicine takes a holistic approach to sexual health, looking at all the factors that may be impacting your libido and performance.
If you’re interested in exploring this type of treatment, we would love to chat with you and answer any questions you have. Schedule a discovery call today so we can discuss how we can help you reach your sexual wellness goals!
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If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health, please contact us for a discovery call to see if our approach would be appropriate for your situation.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional