By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: January 25, 2013
This is my Valentine to Midlife Women. You know who you are. Women of a “certain age,” coming to terms and attaining an understanding of the ways of life and the ways of the world. Understanding that attractiveness, sexiness, sensuality and substance do not need a teddy, slim midriff, and lineless skin. Understanding that your power is in your brains, your empathy, your sensuality and your solidity. Realizing that now is the time for YOU!
You have a cadre of good friends for whom you are available, and are available for you. What a healing wonder is female friendship! You have the understanding and the support that your opposites of the male persuasion frequently eschew.
There now exists, should you desire to avail yourself, modes of safe (and even protective) estrogen hormone therapy to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and senescence and help maintain skin tone and vaginal moisture and pliability. Should you have the financial ability, there are an amazing array of skin and body comfort/revisions at your service, from non-invasive skin and collagen adjustments including Pelleve and laser, minimally invasive (Botox, fillers, lipo), and more invasive (facial, abdominal, genital surgical adjustments.)
Now is the time FOR YOU, Time to evaluate what you eat, understand the necessity of a regular exercise program (“…you don’t have to like it, you just have to do it”) and, most importantly, time to truly understand the immense value to your calm, your joy, your strength, appearance, and your immune system of some sort of real and regular mindfulness and stress reduction regimen. Understand the value to your psyche, your sleep, your calm and your sexuality that attention to “…lifestyle” will give.
Hormones? Sexuality? Estrogen and testosterone therapy? I have many essays, blogs and links on my website, www.DrMichaelGoodman.com. Check out the literature available on www.menopause.org. Google “mindfulness-based meditation and stress reduction” programs, followed by the name of your city. Your journey is only half done; you’ll see: the best is yet to come!
You may be old(er), but ya ain’t dead yet. Add life to your years!!
- Reading material I recommend “Not Your Mother’s Midlife” and”40 Fearless Women” by Nancy Alspach and Marilyn Kentz and of course my book, “The Midlife Bible, a Woman’s Survival Guide.” There are many other good books too numerous to mention.
- Stress reduction No reason why you can’t operate in this new paradigm. It won’t come to you. Like exercise, it is work, but work with an immense payback. The glass is “half full.” You don’t have to “…take it to the races…”
- Hormone therapy Present studies, and re-evaluation of the original “Women’s Health Initiative” (WHI) studies prove the safety and advantages of low/mid-dose estrogen therapy, if started “near to menopause” (best within 5 years, but OK if initiated up to 10 years after final menses.) Safer if given transdermally (through the skin.) And remember, testosterone is a female hormone also- ask a seasoned menopause practitioner if it is for you…
- Sex “Use it or lose it” applies here. If you have no present partner, there are many ways to pleasure yourself and keep things healthy and functioning “…down there…” This is a time for vaginal estrogen, possibly testosterone, a healthy perusal of the erotica section of your local bookstore, and online visits to such sites as www.grandopening.com, www.sexualhealth.com, www.sexualityresources.com, www.goodvibes.com, etc. If you are partnered, what about your partner’s function, what about his erection? A little slow ‘n slack? A good andrologist can help, making sure his lipids, blood sugar, and cardiovascular functioning are cool, checking his free testosterone and introducing him to the world of pharmacologic erector sets.
- Enlist the help of your partner Re-evaluate your relationship (??with the help of a therapist…) Develop a plan for how you both intend to enjoy the upcoming midlife years. Gently, but clearly, bring him on board as it relates to your desires and needs in the upcoming years. My book, “MEN-opause: The Book for Men” may be of assistance. Perhaps tell him what a chemise is and where he might acquire one for you to show off to him.
- Pay attention to yourself, your body, your spirit. Go shopping When was the last time you bought yourself a sexy dress? Shoes? Membership in the new yoga studio around the corner? In a workout facility?
You CAN teach old dogs new tricks! Happy Happy! Joy to you this Valentines Day… and beyond.
About the Author: Dr. Goodman is Advisor to Red Hot Mamas and has been practicing women’s healthcare since finishing his OB/GYN residency at Stanford University in 1972. Following a transition from his full-time OB practice in 1988, he began devoting his career to Women’s Integrative Health and emerged as a pioneer in the development and advancement of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. Learn more about Dr. Goodman and our other Red Hot Mamas advisors.