As women age, many health issues can be overlooked– largely because they go undiscussed. Dr. Dana Cohen, a respected physician, author and authority in women’s health is here to help us break the silence on the most important health challenges for women over the age of 40– and she wants men to be an important part of normalizing these conversations for their partners.
Dr. Dana Cohen, a nationally renowned internal and integrative medicine specialist whose multi-disciplinary approach has helped transform the lives of many women using a variety of conventional and complementary therapies will shine a spotlight on important, but often overlooked health issues that matter most to women aged 40+ and their partners who want to support them, but don’t know how:
• Misconceptions in Menopause
• “Menopause Starts in Your 50s”: Some believe menopause begins in the late 50s, but it can actually start in the late 40s or earlier. Additionally, understanding when perimenopause ends and menopause officially begins can empower women to seek timely medical advice and support.
• “All Women Experience Severe Symptoms”: Menopause symptoms vary widely, and not all women experience severe hot flashes, mood swings, or night sweats. Lifestyle and nutrition choices can help reduce the severity of these symptoms.
• “Menopause Means the End of Intimacy”: Many people believe that menopause signals the end of a satisfying sex life. The truth is that it’s a transition and not a stop sign for intimacy, and there are ways to maintain a healthy and comfortable sex life during this stage in life, which can be both informative and reassuring.
• Hidden Viral and Cancer Risks
• Safe Sex Practices Still Matter: While women may assume that the risk of STDs diminishes with age, the importance of safe sex practices and regular STD testing is crucial. Potential consequences of untreated STDs can lead to life-threatening diagnosis like cervical cancer.
• Regular Screening Remains Essential: Many women may think that they no longer need cervical cancer screenings after a certain age, such as Pap smears and HPV tests, which are essential as cervical cancer is a lifelong risk. Early detection can lead to prevention and peace of mind.
• HPV Doesn’t Discriminate by Age: Contrary to popular belief, HPV (Human Papillomavirus) can affect women of all ages, including those aged 40 and above and vaccination alone may not protect you. Additionally, women should note that they can be infected by HPV early in life and not know it because high-risk HPV (the cancer causing kind) has no symptoms and can lie dormant until the immune system begins to decline. At that point, the immune system can no longer suppress the infection and it can resurface, manifesting as cervical cancer or one of the five other HPV-related cancers. It should not be assumed that someone’s partner has been cheating and is the cause of a new HPV diagnosis. Boosting your immune system is vital to clearing infections and potentially preventing cervical cancer. Recent studies have highlighted a concerning increase in cervical cancer cases from human papillomavirus (HPV), prompting a call for proactive measures. Amid these findings, a breakthrough in the battle against HPV has emerged. Two studies published in the Frontiers in Oncology journal have showcased the potential of AHCC supplementation to bolster the immune system’s ability to clear high-risk HPV infections more swiftly than conventional methods. AHCC has also been studied for its effectiveness with supporting a strong immune system during cold and flu season and against the COVID-19 virus, so for all my patients, I recommend AHCC as part of their daily supplement regimen for ongoing protections against multiple threats to the immune system.
• Uncomfortable Bedroom Conversations
• Vaginal Dryness and Discomfort: This is a common issue that can affect women as they age, however it’s a natural part of aging and can be addressed with various treatments, such as moisturizers, lubricants, or non-invasive medical interventions.
• No Being “In the Mood”: Many women experience changes in their sexual desire as they age, which can be concerning for both partners. Changes in libido are normal and can be influenced by various factors, including hormonal shifts and stress. However, there are ways to maintain intimacy to strengthen relationships.
• Pelvic Weakness and Pain: Pelvic health concerns, such as discomfort or urinary incontinence during intimacy, can be embarrassing to discuss, but are essential for overall well-being. Certain exercises and new therapies can improve pelvic health and enhance comfort in the bedroom.
Listen to Dr. Dana and Mark here: