5 Things Your Doctor Didn't Tell You About Sex

By Lauren Streicher, MD

If you are like 97% of women, your annual visit has come and gone and for the third year in a row, despite the fact that your doctor asked you if you had any other concerns or questions, you just couldn’t bring yourself to spit out that one question you really wanted to ask. You just wish it wasn’t up to you to bring up that you can't have an orgasm , sex hurts like hell and what about that funny odor? No wonder you have no libido and no little pink pill is going to fix it.

Well, problem solved.  Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever, speaks to women about the physical, hormonal and medical aspects of maintaining all aspects of peak sexual health with up to date information (OK, the now out of date libido section says that flibanserin might get approved! humor, and best of all, no stirrups.

The goal of Sex Rx is help you achieve “SexABILITY,” my term for the ability to enjoy fulfilling, exciting sex by working with, if not overcoming, your body’s unique challenges. Just because you didn't get a solution to your problem at your last doctor visit doesn't mean there isn't one.

For example, did you know…

1. Your diabetes may be getting in the way of your ability to have an orgasm. Your doctor asked about decreased sensation in your feet, but he or she didn’t mention that your clitoris might also be a little numb from vascular or neurologic changes that commonly occur with diabetes.

2. Your vibrator won’t mess with your pacemaker. No way do you want to tell your cardiologist that you are terrified that sex with your regular partner “Bob” (AKA Battery Operated Boyfriend) will cause a pacemaker malfunction. Rest assured, clitoral or vaginal vibration will not unpace your pacemaker.

3. Your birth control pills can dry up your vagina. You know that menopause is years away, yet lately, even though you are totally in the mood, your vagina is more like the Sahara desert than the waterfall it used to be. While it’s not typical, around 3 percent of the population has this distressing side affect from hormonal contraception.

4. A headache with an orgasm may be a sign of a serious problem. You mentioned your bad headache to your doc, but neglected to mention that, oh, by the way, the really bad headache is simultaneous with an orgasm.  That’s one you want to check out sooner rather than later since 4 to 12 percent of patients with a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage report that a severe headache at the time of climax was their first indication of a problem.

5. The recurrent vaginal infections may be because you use Vaseline as a lubricant.Vaseline makes your chapped lips feel so much better that it stands to reason it would be the perfect product to keep your other lips moist as well. Unfortunately, Vaseline has been shown to double the chance of bacterial vaginosis, the most common cause of odor and irritating vaginal discharge.

 Sex Rx speaks to all women who struggle with physical or hormonal issues related to sexual function — menopause, incontinence, stress, chronic lack of sleep — as well as medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. No it won't help you fix your broken relationship, but it will help you fix your broken vagina.

Updated August 21, 2015. Original published Apr 9, 2014 EveryDay Health

Men Reveal Their Biggest Bedroom Turn Offs

by Lauren Streicher, MD


No one is more self-critical than a woman who is about to expose herself (literally) to a new sexual partner. Time and childbirth are not kind to the hips and thighs and many women spend hours obsessing about cellulite and saggy breasts. Too many women avoid intimacy altogether because they are so self-conscious of their less than perfect bodies.

I have news for you. With few exceptions, he doesn’t notice and he doesn’t care. How do I know? I asked.

Last year over 3000 men and women took my SexAbility Survey and answered questions about sexual response, preferences and habits. Most of the survey answers are in my book, Sex Rx, but one question did not make it to the book. I asked the guys, “What is your biggest turn off during sex? “As you can imagine, there were all kinds of comments, (tattoos, peasant like night attire, dandruff) but two general themes kept popping up:

Theme 1: The over whelming majority of remarks were not about the size or shape of a partner’s breasts, thighs or belly, but were about hygiene. That’s right, responses to “what turns you off” were dominated with statements like, “if she smells bad”, or ”if she has bad breath.” And then there was my favorite comment – ” a smelly forest is no fun to play in.”

Theme 2: The second largest number of gripes from the men had nothing to do with appearance, but rather with a lack of response on the part of the woman during lovemaking. The guys complained that women would too often “lose focus,” “drift away,” “not participate,” “not reciprocate” “not react,” or even worse, ”fall asleep.”

So, did you get that ladies? You don’t need to wax your legs, highlight your hair and liposuction your thighs to make him happy. Simply take a shower and brush your teeth. If there is a persistent vaginal odor despite meticulous hygiene, get to your doctor and find out why. Above all, let him know that you like what he is doing. Show a little enthusiasm – reciprocate!

I can already hear your comments. “Are you kidding? What about his bad breath? His gross toenails? The fact that he expects me to have an orgasm just because he has walked in the room? Or worse, doesn’t notice or care if anyone other than him has an orgasm!”

So now it’s your turn. When I did the first SexAbility survey, I never asked the women about what repelled them about the men in their beds. I thought only women would read Sex Rx and didn’t need that advice. Well I was wrong. A lot of guys are reading Sex Rx  (forward thinking guys that want to understand women) and they are dying to know what they are doing wrong. So take a few minutes to take this survey  about the things that turn you off the most. Next blog, I will reveal your answers.

Origianlly published 7/03/14 doctoroz.com

Dr. Lauren Streicher Will Teach You to Love Sex Again

This interview appeared in Chicago Magazine, april 2014

Your new book, Sex Rx, addresses female sexual dysfunction. How common is it?

It [affects] 40 percent of women and 60 percent of postmenopausal women. The number one mistake [they make] is accepting sexual dysfunction as normal.

What causes it?

Number one is low libido. It may be [due to] medication; it may be depression. It may start out that you’re having painful intercourse. Then of course you’re going to have decreased libido, because people don’t want to do painful things.

And what typically causes the pain?

Sometimes it’s endometriosis, and sometimes it’s genital dryness. [If] someone doesn’t lubricate, that very often is because of hormonal issues: menopause or birth control pills. [Also] you need a good blood supply to the vagina in order to have normal lubrication, and women with diabetes and heart disease often have a decline in their blood supply in that area.

How do you fix it?

It may well be if [a woman] uses the right lubricant, she’s going to be fine.

And if not?

Women are nervous about taking hormones. [But] local vaginal estrogen is safe for essentially everyone to use. We’re using this in women with breast cancer because the systemic absorption is so low that it doesn’t even increase their blood levels beyond the postmenopausal range.

Are there any recent breakthroughs that women should be aware of?

There’s a device called InTone that reproduces what a pelvic floor physical therapist does. There are a number of new products, like nonestrogen products for treatment of vaginal dryness, [that] most women are not familiar with.

So sometimes a prescription is necessary?

Would you say to a man who couldn’t maintain an erection that he shouldn’t consider Viagra? Right now there are 25 drugs approved for male sexual health, and other than the vaginal dryness drugs, there are zero approved for female sexual health. That’s a real problem.

Any promising drugs in the pipeline?

Flibanserin has been shown in the medical literature to have an impact on female libido. It is going back to the FDA [for approval] in a couple of months.

You say that most doctors are not up on these solutions. Why?

[Knowledge] is highly variable depending upon where somebody trains. At Northwestern, [sexual health] is not a part of the residency. I’m trying to change that. It sadly all comes down to funding.

Your book is incredibly thorough. I mean, you have a section on kosher lubes and on vajazzling.

Some of that I put in just to have fun.