LOW SEX DRIVE, HSDD, OR LOW DESIRE
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is a deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. It is the diagnostic term for what we commonly know as low desire or low libido or just plain “not wanting to have sex”. There is so much press around HSDD as physicians, sexual health specialists, sex therapists and pharmaceutical companies debate the balance between physiological and psychological sources of low desire.
Before coming to Maze Women’s Sexual Health I was lost. After 6 years of consulting doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists I had gotten nowhere closer to finding my lost libido. Maybe it was due to lack of exercise, maybe a repressed childhood trauma, maybe some physical issue that doctors couldn’t diagnose or maybe it was all in my head and I just needed to will myself back to how I used to feel. All this advice, yet nothing seemed to work.
I saw an interview with Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus and checked out the Maze website. Was it possible there might be an avenue I hadn’t yet explored? I sent an inquiry via email and looked over the information I received in the mail. It looked promising but I didn’t reach out right away. I guess I just hadn’t hit rock bottom.
Then, after 9 months without intimacy my marriage was strained and I needed to do something, anything. I realized I had admitted defeat over what seemed like an insurmountable problem and my husband, who I love so dearly, was also paying the price for my surrender. It wasn’t fair to either of us and I wasn’t ready to give up! I called Maze Women’s Sexual Health and set up an appointment for the next week.
I showed up in the office for that first visit without hope and in tears. I was welcomed warmly, and after describing my symptoms I found it impossible to believe that these women could put their finger on a highly probably diagnosis in less than an hour! They seemed so certain, textbook case, I showed all the symptoms. After the blood work proved their hypothesis I became a believer and after a month or so of treatment my husband did too.
Now, after a little more than a year of treatment I can say without hesitation that Maze changed my life and my marriage. Things aren’t perfect, not yet anyway, but I’ve gotten a valuable part of my life back on track and have something I didn’t have for years; hope.
What this experience has taught me is that a woman’s sexual satisfaction is no more complicated than a man’s and I now have access to a team of highly trained professionals who are committed to that satisfaction for every woman, no matter how dire her circumstances or how hopeless her case may seem at the outset.
Take the step and make the call, Maze Women’s Sexual Health views women’s issues in a completely different way than anywhere I’ve ever been. They are both warm and clinical, pairing science with support. They are involved with cutting-edge research and clinical trials, and if they can help me they can help all women.
– P –
I had lived with a low libido for many, many years. It periodically resulted in huge arguments between me and my husband. Believing that it was something which was ‘in my head’ I always vowed to try harder. Things would be much better for a while but then I would realize that we had slipped back into an old pattern and I would try to ignore it. Eventually we would argue…I would vow to try harder…things would get better for a while…and the cycle began again.
I sought help at Maze when the problem was seriously threatening our marriage. I had mentioned the problem to my doctor in the past, but wasn’t really given anything definite to do and there was no follow up. I eventually mentioned it to my gynecologist; she felt that I needed help from professional therapists and put me in touch with Maze Women’s Sexual Health. I checked out the website, read about other patients who had been helped there and realized that I wasn’t unique and that there was someone out there who could really help me.
I was a little anxious about calling to make the first appointment, but knew it was something that had to be done if I was to save my marriage. I need not have worried. From that first phone call the office staff has always been friendly, reassuring and professional. I have never felt awkward booking or attending appointments.
I went to my first appointment in a state of desperation and incredibly upset about my situation. Bat Sheva and Melissa very soon put me at ease and before I knew it, I was talking about things I had never talked to anyone about before, not even my husband. At all subsequent appointments I have felt equally comfortable even though we have talked about very intimate things. In the past I would be embarrassed to talk about such issues or avoid them altogether, but with them it was fine. I think I realized that I wasn’t saying anything that they hadn’t heard before, so there was no need to be self-conscious.
I soon discovered that my problem was not ‘in my head’ but was in fact a physiological problem. Blood tests proved this, including showing that my testosterone level was very low. I have been taking medication to address the deficiencies, and after much consideration have begun applying testosterone gel to raise my levels.
Additionally, I have done a lot of talking and listening at my appointments. I felt I was receiving all around therapy, not just given drugs to make me better.
I immediately began to feel different, initially because of my changed state of mind and soon after due to the effects of the medication. In spite of a blip or two requiring tweaking of the drugs or the chance to talk things through, I have never looked back. Whenever I had any questions, doubts or problems I knew that I could contact the clinic, get an appointment within days or a reply via email or phone call within 24 hours. Knowing that was always reassuring.
I now feel great. My relationship with my husband is better than ever. We have a very full sex life, which I now actually enjoy! I think I still surprise my husband at times.
The most important thing I learned from my experience was that my problem was not just in my head and really couldn’t be satisfactorily resolved simply by trying harder. At my first appointment, Bat Sheva told me not to worry, that in eight month’s time I would be in a totally different place. She was absolutely right. I am, and I love it!
I would recommend others to seek help in a heartbeat. I confess that I was concerned initially about the cost of the treatment, but it has been worth every cent and I wish I had made the investment years ago.
– Karen M –
Around this time last year I became a patient at Maze Women’s Sexual Health. At that time I was 20 years old, suffering from lack of desire, and had been told by about 6 doctors previously that it was “all in my head,” and that I “just had to wait until I found the right man.”
Needless to say, that was not the answer, and after I found Maze Women’s Sexual Health, the incredible staff changed my life.
In fact, they had such an amazing impact on me that I am now wondering how I can get involved in doing something similar.
I would love to help other women the same way that the incredible people at the center helped me.
– C, Age 21 –
The last time I was in the office I told Dr. Marcus that she will be remembered for her contribution to Female Sexuality the way that Margaret Sanger was with birth control.
I read the article and I could not agree more. It took a great deal of courage for me to pick up the phone and make that first appointment.
I had spoken with a psychotherapist at length about the problem itching. discomfort and pain in my vagina; loss of desire that had nothing to do with my attraction to and love for my partner and finally my inability to achieve orgasms after being someone who previously had no sexual problems and certainly no problems achieving and orgasm.
As I was in a new relationship my therapist said it was just a matter of getting comfortable with a new person. I know my body and I knew she was wrong. I tried the ‘herbal cures”, specifically Thandia from Native Remedies. Three months and I felt no difference.
I have been on Dr. Marcus’ s treatment regime for less than a month. The vaginal dryness and discomfort ended the first week. My level of sexual desire has returned almost to the level it was before I noticed a change and this weekend I had an orgasm that was as good as some of the ones I had at 30.
So, I am a firm believer that there is no “magic pill” but a complex mixture of supports that Dr. Marcus has developed for each patient. You saved my sexuality and thus my relationship which is a huge part of my ongoing happiness.
– M, Age 66 –
When I look back at my sex life 5 months ago, it makes my head spin. Frankly, I really didn’t care about having sex…at all or ever again. The truth is I wouldn’t have come except that my husband was so hurt by my lack of interest. The last year or two had been awful for us sexually. We were having sex once every three weeks and that was only because I was forcing myself to do it. My sex drive seemed to have disappeared. It was getting harder and harder to have orgasms, and it got so that I didn’t even want to be touched or kissed. It was starting to have a major impact on our relationship, and so I knew that I had to do something.
I came to Maze not really having a lot of confidence that they could help me. My doctors in the past had dismissed my concerns or told me that there was no reason for my lack of libido. I really felt like I was beyond help and that no one would be able to find a way to change things.
The first thing we did was review my history, my feelings about sex, how I felt about it before I married my husband, etc. Then they recorded any medications I was taking – including birth control, anti-depressants and anything else that might have an impact. I don’t know how many times I covered my face and said, “I can’t believe we’re talking about this!” But it didn’t take very long to feel more comfortable with the whole idea, and we laughed a lot together.
Now it’s five months later…and I learned not only that there was an explanation for my lack of desire, but that there were things we could do about it! We changed birth control forms (that was tricky and not so much fun but necessary), changed anti-depressants, and found a vibrator to help me with orgasms. The changes, and the encouragement of the people at Maze, gently nudged my husband and me back into the bedroom.
I am so grateful that I found Maze — the difference they have made in our life is incredible. My husband and I are having sex about once a week and it’s great sex. We’re experimenting, we’re having fun and I’m having great orgasms. You know what? Sex makes your marriage better!
– C, Age 40 –
I was beside myself. I had gotten married 6 months ago and I just seemed to have no sex drive. Honestly, I didn’t have too much before we got married but it seemed like it got worse when I thought it would get better. My husband was patient, but confused and a little bit hurt.
Someone who moved to my area in Milwaukee had told me she had been a patient of Maze Women’s Sexual Health, but I lived halfway across the country so that did not feel like a practical option. One day I looked up Maze, (mostly for curiosity) and I realized that they had an out of town consultation option. That sounded like a great idea to me. I scheduled the appointment, filled out all the paperwork and faxed it in to Maze.
The phone appointment was great. I spoke with Dr. Marcus who asked me a lot of questions. Some that I wasn’t even expecting. She asked a lot about my general history, past sexual experiences, my current relationship and what medications I was currently using.
She then explained to me what Maze would be checking for if I had come to see them and gave me specific suggestions about how my gynecologist could consider treating me.
A week later I had a 2 page letter in the mail with specific recommendations for a local doctor to use: blood tests to look at, medications to consider if appropriate, some books or DVD’s that could prove helpful.
Luckily I have a really great OB who was truly interested in helping me. She took the letter, actually called Maze to ask a bunch of questions and started treating me.
I really am doing much better now. I can’t say my sex drive is exactly where I want it to be yet, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction.
– MV, Age 24 –
Low Sex Drive and Menopause
I feel like a sexual, whole woman again!
I had been experiencing low libido over the course of about a year. Before coming to Maze Women’s Sexual Health, I saw a doctor who specialized in anti-aging medication and bio-identical hormones. She started me on hormone replacement treatment, but my libido issue wasn’t her number one priority (it was mine!!), and I knew I needed to find a doctor that would take my problem more seriously.
While searching the Internet I came across a magazine article that mentioned Maze, and I became immediately interested in seeking help there because I knew if anyone could help me, they could.
I felt a little nervous calling, but hopeful. It was not a hard thing to do- I was desperate! At my first appointment I was told there was help for me, and I literally cried. Finally I felt validated, and hopeful. I felt cared for by people who specialized in my problem, and it was comforting and calming.
Once my blood work was done and hormone levels checked, I was treated with testosterone replacement and Wellbutrin. After about 5 weeks on the testosterone, I began to notice small differences. Upon starting the first small dose of Wellbutrin I noticed a dramatic improvement in just a week. After only 2 months I began to see real changes.
It has been nearly a year, and I still look forward to my visits. I feel Tara and Barbara have given me my sex life back. And while it is not what it was prior to menopause, it has dramatically improved. I feel like a sexual, whole woman again, and am happy with my intimate life.
I thought my situation was hopeless, but there was help, and all women owe it to themselves to try to get their problem resolved. It is worth whatever you have to put into it, because life is short, and there is no need to be miserable if help is available.
– MM, Age 54 –
I went into menopause abruptly at age 46 — my period disappeared and never returned. Even though I had once had a robust sex life, gradually I felt sexually numb, dry and neutered. When I remarried at age 50 my new husband was patient and loving. He would gingerly initiate sex hoping I would show some interest but I just couldn’t fake it anymore. It was upsetting but it seemed we would just have to accept it. Then one day I read an article about Maze Women’s Sexual Health in the New York Times that featured Bat Sheva Marcus. I felt, at last, maybe there is something I can do. With some hesitation, I made an appointment. My husband was skeptical but I just wasn’t ready to give up sex without a fight.
From the first visit Bat Sheva and Melissa at Maze were so helpful. First, they did some tests, and sure enough my hormones were practically undetectable. They took a thorough sexual history, with no judgement and listened to my questions and allayed my anxieties about whether or not I would ever feel sexual again. Through trial and error we tried various combinations of hormones, other forms of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and although we thought the problem would be solved in a few months, it took over a year. But they never gave up, and neither did I. This fall, 18 months after starting the hormone therapy I had sex with my husband 7 times in one weekend — all on my own initiative — and it was wonderful. I am 53 now and while I didn’t feel thirty again, but I sure felt like I was forty! My husband, who was resigned to a bland sex life, is thrilled and I feel like myself again. I learned that it takes time for your brain and body to kick in, but the many months of therapy were worth it.
I encourage other women to visit the Center if they are feeling dry, menopausal, and uninterested in sex. Some of my friends scoffed at me – they still do. Who needs sex at our age? You should age naturally! Just let it go! Well I care about sex and so do Batsheva and Melissa. And they will persist and experiment until you feel better. I always had faith this treatment would work and I am glad I stuck with it. Don’t listen to your friends, or even your husband. Listen to your own body!
– M, Age 53 –
My sex drive diminished drastically during my first pregnancy 23 years ago. It also remained that way after the birth of my child. Looking back, I believe it was hormonally related. I allowed this to go on until recently since it seemed we were always busy, and my husband was patient so there was no rush. I did find the ability to force myself to have sex and when I did I enjoyed it, once I got into it…but I never desired it and I didn’t initiate it either. I went through menopause sometime in the last 2 years and then intercourse was painful and lubricants didn’t seem to help me. This was new, disturbing and uncomfortable.
I spoke to my sister, who is a physician, about my low sex drive and discomfort. She mentioned to me that I should ask my physician about prescribing testosterone cream. I spoke to my OB/GYN about this and he recommended I go to Maze Women’s Sexual Health. Around the same time, my husband had seen an article in the newspaper about Maze and its successes. I decided to give it a try. It was difficult to make that first phone call but I am very glad I did.
The Maze staff is very professional, kind and discreet. They are warm and easy to talk to and extremely knowledgeable. I felt well taken care of and was very hopeful after the first visit. During the initial consultation, I spoke with a therapist (Rachel) and then had a thorough physical exam by a PA (Tara) who prescribed a cream for vaginal use on a regular basis, as well as a high quality lubricant. This alone immediately helped my comfort level during intercourse. My husband said he could feel the difference as well. They gave me ideas for helping to get in the “mood.” They prescribed testosterone cream to use and within 8 months, I got my old sex drive back and then some!
I feel the Medical Center for Female Sexuality took a very well-rounded approach to my treatment. They changed my life for the better and my husband and I are thrilled!!
– A, Age 53 –
Low Sex Drive and Childbirth
Sex with my husband was great until after the birth of my second child. After my second child, I never got my libido back and didn’t feel normal. Sex was the last thing on my mind. I mentioned this to my gynecologist and she assured me that it was normal, but it didn’t feel normal.
Another year passed and I got to the point where I didn’t want my husband to touch me. Intimacy was physically and emotionally uncomfortable. When I went to the gynecologist this time, she gave me the number for Maze Women’s Sexual Health. I wasn’t ready to contact them, still thinking that it was just stress-related and would probably pass.
Another year passed and now I just felt sexually numb below the waist. I would fight with my husband about my lack of interest. When we would have sex, it started hurting, making sex even less desirable. I had absolutely no sexual pleasure.
This was the point when I felt things were unbearable and I went to Maze. From the first meeting, Bat Sheva made me feel very comfortable. I hadn’t opened up to anyone but my gynecologist and I found Bat Sheva and Melissa very easy to talk to.
I had a physical exam and my blood test found that I had an extremely low level of the combination of hormones that create sexual desire and pleasure. Now it all made sense; it wasn’t just in my head. Melissa and Bat Sheva discussed different options with me and decided to start me with hormones and medication. In addition, they gave me a vibrator to help with stimulation. While the vibrator might seem strange, my husband and I were open to it and it definitely helped.
I started to feel much better and even discussed coming off the medication. Unfortunately, during this time, I wasn’t as diligent about using the hormones as I should have been. I started using the cream every other day or even every third day. Over the next few months, I noticed my sexual pleasure was the same, but the desire for it had decreased somewhat. Melissa ran another blood test and my hormones were low again. I started using them religiously again and my mood stabilized.
Today, things are much better with my husband and me. I am still using the hormones. My husband and I still use the vibrator and have noticed it helps tremendously. My husband has said quite often, “I feel like I have my wife back,” and I feel like myself again.
– C, Age 38 –
I was really depressed by the time I came to Maze Women’s Sexual Health. I had been suffering from lack of libido, lack of energy, vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse for years and I felt like there was nothing going on with me sexually. Things weren’t going well with me and my husband, but I just didn’t know where to turn or how to fix it.
I was desperately searching for help. I found discussions of hormone replacement on the Internet, but it wasn’t a treatment my medical practice was comfortable with. I found Maze for women on the Internet and got a referral from my physician. I have to be honest; I didn’t go with a whole lot of confidence.
During the initial appointment, I met with Bat Sheva and Melissa and the first thing they told me was that I was totally normal! Perhaps the worst part for me was that I had been feeling all alone, like I was strange and unusual. Bat Sheva and Melissa told me that there were many people like me and it was common to lose your libido after the birth of a child.
They talked about my medication and told me that sometimes antidepressants can affect libido. They also performed a number of blood tests and discovered my hormones were low so they started me with a couple of different hormones. Bat Sheva suggested a number of books that might be helpful.
I tried Levitra and Viagra, but they didn’t help at all. In the end, the hormones made the difference for me. The healthcare professionals at Maze also helped me see that there were other options for treating my depression. I really see the work I have done with them over the past three years as an entire journey. Together we looked for a group of solutions (some medical, some having more to do with my relationship) that would work.
Now I have lots of energy and lots of interest in sex. I feel as normal as I have felt in years-since before I had kids. I feel better about my body. The Center opened me up to be more confident. I can have confidence in sex. For a long time I felt like I was not normal. I can’t tell you how great it feels to be normal again!
– J, Age 36 –
After having my baby, suddenly I had very little sex drive or sensation. I had never had the problem before, and the only doctor I had seen for any issues was a physical therapist for my pelvic floor. I started seeing a new gynecologist, and after telling him that I was suffering with low sex drive and lack of sensation, he referred me to Maze Women’s Sexual Health.
I was eager to get started after going through this for so long, and had no problem calling up and making my first appointment. Meeting with the staff at Maze Women’s Sexual Health was a relief. They all made me feel like they really wanted to help me solve this problem.
The staff conducted blood tests on me to see if there was a physiological side to what was happening to me…there was. We decided together on a topical treatment based on the information they saw from my blood work. I started on daily treatments of estrogen and testosterone, and bi-weekly treatments of estrace. It only took a few weeks for my problems to begin to resolve!!
As I continued to move forward with the treatments, my husband and I also decided to add counseling to our progress. Although I felt great, we had some work to do as a couple to really get things back to normal.
My advice to anyone is to not be shy about changes that happen to your body. You would be surprised how many women are in the same boat. Don’t be afraid to take control of what is happening – only you can make the changes. You must be proactive.
– SG, Age 39 –
Ever since my daughter was born I didn’t want sex. It was no good. I had noticed that my libido had gone down after the birth of my son four years ago, but we were still having some sex. But after my daughter was born two years ago, it was awful. It was like some light switch had been turned off and not only was I not wanting sex — I really avoided it. I felt terrible. My husband is wonderful. He’s a wonderful husband and a wonderful, wonderful father. And he deserved better than this. When we were first married we had sex a few times a week and everything was fine. I really liked it — although I wasn’t having orgasms.
But now everything was different. I was pushing myself to have sex twice a month, but it was not fun, I wasn’t enjoying it. On top of it, I felt like I was getting moody and snappy at everyone, especially my husband. And, even worse, I was feeling like I was avoiding any kind of kissing or touching, because I was afraid he’d think I wanted sex, so we were hardly touching each other. I hated the way I was acting and I missed enjoying my sex life, but I just didn’t know what to do.
When my OB suggested I go to Maze Women’s Sexual Health I was a little bit intimidated. Talking about my sex life was not my favorite thing. But they made me feel really comfortable. They were great. We talked a lot about my lack of desire and how it was affecting my relationship with my husband. But they also made suggestions about how I could feel more turned on, and how I might have orgasms when I had sex. I had only had two orgasms my entire life!
Things changed pretty quickly. We had to try a few different medications because I had some odd reactions to one, but within 4 months I started to notice big differences. My mood was so much better and I wanted to have sex again. It was amazing to me — and to my wonderful husband. We’re back to having sex a few times a week. I’m having orgasms most of the time now and I feel great. I recently asked Maze if I could transfer care to my ob/gyn since I’m stable on the medications and they were great about it. They sent all my records to my local ob and even offered to speak with her on the phone if she had any questions. My whole experience with Maze was really positive one. The whole family is just happier.
– S, Age 35 –
Low Sex Drive and Hormones
Last night I kissed my husband’s ear and he did not move. He wasn’t in the mood and I was!
For some people this would be frustrating. For me it was amazing! Finally, our sex life is equal. We have an equal investment in pleasuring each other. With almost equal interest in sex — it is no longer just about his needs and my succumbing (reluctantly). The mere fact that I was interested did change his mind, and a wonderful evening ensued, but it was a pivotal moment for us. The last few months have changed our, and my, life. God had given the world the gift of sexuality and pleasure, and it was a gift that I never received, never really understood. I now know that I was missing out on huge piece of the beauty that exists in this world and missing out on a more meaningful and spiritual connection with my husband. I am eternally grateful to Maze Women’s Sexual Health for helping me find this gift.
For about 14 years now I have been told constantly that things are in my head. Stomach cramps — must be stress, acne — must be stress, extreme exhaustion — stress, canker sores — stress, breathing issues — stress, and most recently, no interest in sex — stress and depression.
But recently, for the first time in my life, someone found a real reason something was going wrong. And I could not be happier.
My life in general is amazing. I have a loving doting husband, two beautiful children, a wonderful home, and a fine job. And yet, depression, being overweight, exhaustion and a low sex drive have plagued my life. With some strong encouragement from my husband, who is tired of feeling physically and sexually rejected, I went to Maze Women’s Sexual Health. And, for the first time, someone checked my hormone levels. No one before had ever thought to stick a needle in my arm and actually see what was going on in there. They just made me pop pills and sit in front of therapists and talk and talk and talk. None of which did much except put band-aids over the problems and cause me to doubt myself more and more. With each passing day I would feel less competent, less self-confident, and more sure that I was just crazy, that many of the simple pleasures in life were out of my grasp and this was my destiny.
But yesterday that all changed.
Yesterday 2 doctors sat me down and showed me my lab results. My hormones are a mess. My thyroid is inactive and I have almost no testosterone. There is something wrong with me! I cried the whole way home for the office, grateful to God that there is an end in sight.
The journey ahead will be difficult, hormone therapy will be tough and I’m not so excited about the potential side effects. But it will all be worth it.
– M, Age 29 –
I came to the center first time about a year ago. I was starting to feel like my desire was decreasing and I didn’t like the way it was making me feel. My wonderful husband was always great about it. No matter what, he made me feel beautiful and loved. Originally, when we were together we were having great sex almost every day. Now it was down to once every 3 weeks and I certainly wasn’t feeling a strong urge even then. I was doing it mostly for him. I was feeling really badly about myself. I was 46 and just too young to be losing my sex drive.
I found the center online and to be honest, it was a little hard to make an appointment and go. But they were great and made me feel really comfortable. They suggested some hormones and some other medications. Initially I met with them once every few months. The process was slow but steady. After 2 months I noticed I was more “willing” to have sex, then a few weeks later I started feeling like I actually wanted to have sex every once in a while.
It was at this point that the practitioners at Maze Women’s Sexual Health suggested some practical things like scheduling sex so we make sure we make time for it, or erotic reading to get me in the mood. They were great about making suggestions and not making me feel pushed into anything, and they listened to my reactions and came up with ideas that I thought might work for me.
After about 6-7 months I started to feel “back to normal.” I wanted to have sex. We are having sex regularly (although with our busy lives and complicated schedule it’s not as often as I would wish.) I feel like I have my libido back and it feels terrific.
– D, Age 48 –
I first noticed a decrease in my libido starting about 12 years ago. At the time I was single so it didn’t matter. About 9 years ago I met my husband and by then the decrease in my sex drive was getting progressively worse. As of about 4 years ago, I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in sex and didn’t have any kind of sexual desire. I believed it had to do with changes in my hormones.
This caused a lot of problems and put a big strain on my marriage. My husband thought that I was not attracted to him and that I did not desire him. He was very frustrated and took it very personal and said I didn’t care about his needs. He would want me to wear sexy clothes and watch sex movies which I really hated. I didn’t have problems having an orgasm but the thought of having sex and getting started was not very pleasant.
On several occasions I had mentioned my lack of sex drive to doctors but all I got was talk about the many things that could affect a women’s sex drive such as stress, resentment towards your partner and what have you. I also received treatment from a gynocologist but she was not able to safely prescribe the proper dose of testosterone. I found out about Maze Women’s Sexual Health from a sex therapist that I went to as a last resort.
I was a bit apprehensive about calling Maze since I wasn’t sure what to expect or how I would feel discussing such a personal matter with someone else. It has been the best thing that I have done. On my first appointment I met with Bat Sheva and Melissa. They explained how the whole process worked, took a sexual history, gave me a physical exam and drew blood. I felt very comfortable talking with them and they made me feel at ease. It was like sitting down talking with a girlfriend. On my follow-up visit a few weeks later, they told me that my testosterone level was very low. I was prescribed a testosterone gel to put on my thighs and a low dose antidepressant.
About three weeks after I started the treatment, it was as if my body woke up. My body started tingling, I was having sexual fantasies and wanted very much to have sex with my husband. Having sex is wonderful now and I feel great. Now I’m constantly looking for and wearing sexy clothes to turn on my husband and he’s just ecstatic over the change in my sexual libido. I even initiate sex a good part of the time and look forward to our sexual encounters. I find that I’m a lot more affectionate towards him and the relationship is a whole lot better.
I meet with Bat Sheva and Melissa every couple of months to discuss how things are going and so that they can monitor my testosterone level. I wish I had known about them a lot sooner. There is nothing about the process that is uncomfortable or unpleasant and there is so much to be gained from seeking help from Maze Women’s Sexual Health. I feel like a normal woman again. My husband and I are both very happy and thankful for Maze. It is good to know that there is help out there.
– C, Age 57 –
At 36 years of age, I had absolutely no sex drive…I could take it or leave it. Sex was more of a stressful and obligatory event for me because I was so insecure about my body and I had never been able to get aroused or orgasm with a partner. Essentially, since becoming sexually active at 16 years of age, I never understood what the big deal was about sex- I actually dreaded it! I detested getting naked in front of anyone and was self-conscious that something was wrong with me – I was convinced that my anatomy had to be distorted or flawed in some way since I could never get aroused.
I was anorexic and bulimic all through high school, which causes testosterone levels to drop. On top of that, I had been taking medications for years (Yaz, birth control, and Effexor, for anxiety and depression), which can both contribute to a low libido.
I was too embarrassed to see any doctors for my problem until I looked on the internet and found Maze Women’s Sexual Health. In calling the Center, I was very self-conscious at first, but the receptionist was incredibly friendly and reassuring that I ended up actually feeling really positive about it because I was taking a step towards caring and loving myself enough to finally address this embarrassing issue.
For my first visit, I was a bit nervous walking into the office, but the entire staff could not have been more welcoming, understanding and genuinely interested in helping me to resolve my problem. I first filled out a very thorough questionnaire to help describe what my problem was, then I met with Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus for a full hour to identify/discuss possible underlying psychological influences. Then I had a vaginal examination done by one of the Physician Assistants, Tara Ford RPA-C, to check for any physical/anatomical limitations. I had some blood drawn for lab testing. The two-part initial appointment makes complete sense since a woman’s sexual health is not solely based on physical anatomy, but largely (especially in my case) the psychological component of sexuality!
I had a one month follow-up appointment to review all of the test results and to discuss my optimal treatment with both Dr. Marcus and Tara Ford PA-C. They went over the results very thoroughly and devised a treatment strategy that we all agreed on. I was able to ask questions very comfortably and get everything answered in a way that I could understand.
My treatment plan consisted of psychological counseling along with adding/changing a few medications. It turned out that my testosterone level was extremely low (contributes to a low libido), so I started on topical testosterone gel. I changed both my birth control pills and anxiety/depression medications (certain ones can contribute to reduced libido over others). Dr. Marcus even took the time to speak with my long-standing therapist to help facilitate us addressing my Body Dysmorphic Disorder and other psychological influences.
I actually noticed a slight increase in libido and arousal within one month! It was amazing — I finally felt like a woman with a sex drive!
I feel amazing…I know I am on the right path. I am becoming more comfortable with my sexuality each and every day. I have actually been able to get aroused and orgasm with a partner a few times now! It has been life-changing and I am incredibly grateful to be on my road to rectifying my sexual dysfunction- thanks to Maze!
I learned that it is so important to be honest with yourself and proactive with your own sexual health…it is okay to ask for help from the right people- the expert professionals. You don’t need to suffer — you have every right to live with a happy, healthy and fulfilling sex life. Don’t waste any more time being embarrassed or frustrated by your issue, Maze is here to help you!
Life is too short, make each day count! Don’t waste time suffering and limiting yourself from enjoying your sexuality. The entire staff could not be more professional and dedicated to helping all women be in control of and satisfied with their own sexuality/sex life. My only regret is that I didn’t seek their help sooner!
– A, Age 36 –