From ‘female Viagra’ to leaky bladder, 4 ’embarrassing’ questions women shouldn’t be afraid to ask

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FEATURE — For any number of reasons, some of the women who come into my clinic are skittish about questions relating to sexual and excretory health. But they really shouldn’t be. Here are my answers to some of these frequently avoided, but nevertheless important, questions:

1. Is there a “female Viagra” that actually works?

No. There are very expensive medications that may improve female libido a very small amount — at a very high price. Viagra doesn’t technically affect libido anyway. It’s just piping in more fluid than it lets out. Fluid mechanics on a local level, pure and simple.

Women’s libido medications deal with brain serotonin levels, and I am not very impressed by the data.

2. Is there a pill for a leaky bladder?

There is a pill for an overactive bladder but not for a leaky one. But if you want to try a cheap remedy for mild stress incontinence, consider going online to Ebay or Amazon and getting an incontinence pessary. They are cheap and easy to use, and if there are only a few activities that cause problems, they might keep you out of the operating room.

3. Is there a treatment just for vaginal symptoms of menopause without having to take systemic estrogen?

Yes. It’s safe and effective. And unnecessarily expensive. But that’s a different story.

4. What if my doctor doesn’t bring up these questions and doesn’t even bother to look “down there” anymore?

If this is the case, find someone who does. These issues are important to your quality of life and as important as any other body system. There is no question you can ask that is going to embarrass your doctor. I could literally write volumes on the things I’ve been asked and seen. It’s all in a day’s work.

Don’t be afraid to ask, though. You might be surprised how easy the solution actually is.

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