The health questions you're TOO SCARED TO ASK
Woman & Home Feel Good You|May 2020
We start the conversations you can continue with your doctor
MIRIAM HABTESELLASIE

Got a health question that makes you go ‘eek’ every time you contemplate posing it with your GP? You’re not alone. While as women we’re normally used to sharing what’s on our minds, numerous surveys show we clam up as soon as the topic turns to our bodies. As an example, one showed that just over 30% of women in the UK* would be uncomfortable talking about their vaginal health with a male healthcare professional, while another revealed that half of women hadn’t consulted their doctor about menopausal symptoms**. But the good news is that we’ve done some of the hard work for you by going directly to the experts – intimate health specialist Dr Shirin Lakhani and GP Dr Robert Berry – to get answers to your most burning health issues.

I DON’T FEEL IN THE MOOD FOR SEX WITH MY HUSBAND ANYMORE – HELP!

‘A loss in libido can be down to both physical – including the natural hormone changes that occur as a result of the menopause – and psychological issues, all of which can be addressed,’ explains Dr Lakhani.

‘Physical factors such as prescription medicines, too little or too much exercise, alcohol and drug abuse can be the cause, as can psychological issues such as depression, stress or relationship issues.

‘Speak to your GP about how to address the physical causes or to get referred for the psychological ones.

‘Medication such as HRT or BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) can help if the cause is hormone changes due to the menopause. Similarly, counselling or stress management may be recommended if it’s a psychological issue. Either way, it’s important to remember that we should be able to enjoy a healthy sex life well into our 80s, so please don’t suffer in silence.’

I KEEP FORGETTING THINGS.

‘This is something we usually attribute to age. The concern comes when it’s happening to a younger person. While conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s are known to affect cognitive function, other causes should be considered before making such a diagnosis,’ says Dr Berry. ‘Pseudo-dementia [a group of symptoms that resemble dementia but are due to other conditions] and vitamin deficiencies are potential causes that can often be simply corrected.’

I CAN’T STOP SNAPPING

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