During the 2020 Women of Wellness Luncheon, Dr. Amanda Miles answered questions from the audience. Since that event, she received some additional questions and she wanted to share those responses with you:
1. Do you have suggestions of medicine, supplements, or herbs for women to use (as men would use Viagra) to increase female libido?
A: Female libido is very much tied to our emotions (unlike our male counterparts!) so if we are stressed, tired, bored, or having troubles in our relationship, our libido will be low. I tell my patients to schedule a date night regularly to focus on your relationship, to read steamy romance novels and to flirt with your partner. Other than these natural remedies, there aren’t many things on the market that have been proven to work well. Also, pain or discomfort with intercourse can negatively affect your libido, so if you are struggling with any of those symptoms, we can help! There are several prescription options that we can try to address many of these things.
2. If you are middle aged and know you are done having children but aren’t having any health problems, do you recommend having a hysterectomy to prevent getting pregnant or continue using some form of birth control? It’s my understanding birth control isn’t good to use long term.
A: Birth control comes in many forms and has been studied extensively. The latest research shows that it is safe to continue and will not increase your risks of breast cancer and may even help prevent ovarian cancer! That being said, there are options other than “The Pill” that last longer and are as effective at tying your tubes. There are many options out there to help control periods and optimize your female health.
3. What do you think about taking hormones after menopause? I am in menopause and haven’t had much trouble with annoying symptoms other than some weight gain and vaginal dryness. Am I missing out on a benefit; do hormones help keep you younger or prevent aging in any way?
A: Hormones can have many benefits when dealing with hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Some women may also experience vaginal discomfort and painful intercourse, which is easily addressed in the office. There are also many non-hormonal treatments for these issues. Some hormonal treatments can slightly increase your risk for things like blood clots and heart attacks, while some do not. Unfortunately, nothing has been proven to prevent aging yet, but many of our treatments can help women go through the changes of menopause feeling more like themselves!
4. When you are over 70 and had a hysterectomy, is it normal to have gotten a release by your OB/GYN? Would you consider having a question and answer talk with a group of women who fit that category?
A: Deciding to stop seeing a gynecologist is a personal decision between a patient and her OB/GYN that varies widely. However, many female issues can still arise in this age group and we are always happy to address them!
5. What type of check-ups do women who have had a hysterectomy need to have? Do they need them annually?
A: Women that have had a hysterectomy still need an annual check-up with their gynecologist. There are so many other parts of you that we need to monitor with continued exams (such as checking for skin cancers of the vulva)!
6. What are the signs or symptoms of post-partum depression?
A: Postpartum depression can present differently in everyone. Many symptoms can also overlap with sleep deprivation. We usually assess our patients with a questionnaire that focuses on whether or not our patient can enjoy the things she usually does, if she is worrying excessively, if she has felt panicky/scared, felt sad, felt overwhelmed, had difficulty sleeping, or has thoughts of harming herself. If you are concerned about whether you have postpartum depression, please contact your provider right away so you can take a questionnaire and discuss treatment!
7. Do you have to have a primary care physician or can you use your OB/GYN as a primary? Do you need to see both?
A: This really depends on your age, health problems, and risk factors. I recommend to all of my patient that they have a primary care physician because you never know when you will need one and it is good to establish a relationship before you do.
8. What types of more natural therapies do you recommend for mood swings related to perimenopause?
A: Sunshine, sleep and exercise are great for the mood changes that come with perimenopause.