July 7, 2016
Sometimes Love Hurts -
And Why it Doesn't Have to

Over half of postmenopausal women report sexual dysfunction. Recent studies have postulated this number to be even higher as many women are reluctant to report symptoms such as lack of desire and/or discomfort due to vaginal tissue changes. While there are many additional aspects to a relationship outside of the bedroom, researchers point to the importance of a healthy sex life as a key marker for a happier, healthier life. As the average life expectancy lengthens, odds are most women will live 20-30 years past menopause. What does this mean for the majority of postmenopausal women?

A woman entering menopause experiences a wide range of hormonal fluctuations, but estrogens, in particular, affect vaginal health. Low levels of estrogens are known to be associated with a decrease in blood flow and lubrication; it is less known that they also play a role in maintaining a healthy pH. Estradiol is a proliferative hormone and helps maintain thickness and suppleness of tissues. Estradiol also plays a role in maintaining the pH of vaginal tissue. As vaginal epithelial cells shed and die, they release glycogen which is hydrolyzed to glucose. Glucose is then further broken down into lactic acid by lactobacilli which contributes to an optimal pH. When estradiol production slows and vaginal epithelial cells thin, the sloughing process diminishes and the pH rises, resulting in lower levels of protective lactobacilli and the potential for growth of pathogenic bacteria. This can result in an increase in vaginal infections and/or inflammation, contributing to discomfort and lack of desire.

The good news is that these changes are reversible. Estradiol and estriol creams are safe and effective treatments that can be applied intravaginally, and are a better choice than vaginal lubricants and moisturizers due to their ability to restore the integrity of the tissues. Current research is exploring complimentary treatments to estrogens, including the addition of lactobacilli for restoring vaginal pH, treatment for vaginal atrophy, and preventing recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. There is even research that demonstrates the positive effects of topical vitamin D treatment on vaginal atrophy.

Women don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. Salivary hormone levels are easy to test and treatment can be tailored to fit an individual’s needs. Scroll down to watch a short video from Labrix' Director of Clinical Services Robyn Kutka ND on the topic of sexual dysfunction in women, and also consider attending Labrix Advanced Workshop in Las Vegas in February, where this topic and many more will be covered in depth over a 3-day weekend of learning and networking. Visit labrix.com to learn more about Labrix Advanced Workshop and more. Register today!

References:
  • Gupta, P., Özel, B., Stanczyk, F. Z., Felix, J. C., & Mishell, D. R. (2008). The effect of transdermal and vaginal estrogen therapy on markers of postmenopausal estrogen status. Menopause, 15(1), 94-97. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e318148b98b
  • Lommen, E., & Mead, J. H. (2013). Estriol; the ‘Good’ Estrogen Advances and Updates in its Clinical Uses. Journal of Restorative Medicine J Restorat Med, 2(1), 45-52. doi:10.14200/jrm.2013.2.0103
  • Mac Bride, M. B., Rhodes, D. J., & Shuster, L. T. (2010). Vulvovaginal Atrophy. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 85(1), 87–94. http://doi.org/10.4065/mcp.2009.0413
  • Shen, J., Song, N., Williams, C. J., Brown, C. J., Yan, Z., Xu, C., & Forney, L. J. (2016). Effects of low dose estrogen therapy on the vaginal microbiomes of women with atrophic vaginitis. Sci. Rep. Scientific Reports, 6, 24380. doi:10.1038/srep24380
  • Unlu, C., & Donders, G. (2011). Use of lactobacilli and estriol combination in the treatment of disturbed vaginal ecosystem: A review. Journal of the Turkish German Gynecological Association J Turkish German Gynecol Assoc, 12(4), 239-246. doi:10.5152/jtgga.2011.57
  • Yildirim, B., Kaleli, B., Düzcan, E., & Topuz, O. (2004). The effects of postmenopausal Vitamin D treatment on vaginal atrophy. Maturitas, 49(4), 334-337. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2004.02.008

Labrix Clinical Spotlight Series:
Sexual Dysfunction in Women

Labrix' Director of Clinical Services Robyn Kutka discusses clinical approaches to identifying and treating sexual dysfunction in women as a part of our Labrix Clinical Spotlight Series




Labrix Core Training

Join the hundreds of practitioners who have attended Labrix live training events and learn more about these exciting opportunities directly from a Labrix attendee and Dr. Jay Mead, Medical Director and co-founder of Labrix.



Labrix
Core Training:
Portland
Portland, OR
August 6, 2016

Labrix will be conducting its annual Core Training in Portland, OR. Registration is $150 and upon completing this one day training, you will receive a $100 credit on your testing account. Register for Portland Core Training today.


Labrix
Core Training:
Chicago
Chicago, IL
October 8, 2016

Labrix staff physicians will be in Chicago on October 8th to present Core Training. Registration is $150 and upon completing this one day training, you will receive a $100 credit on your testing account. Register for Chicago Core Training today.

IWHIM
Portland, OR
July 8-10, 2016

Dr. Lommen and Dr. Robyn Kutka from Labrix will be speaking at the Institute of Women's Health & Integrative Medicine conference in July. Swing by our booth to find out what's new with Labrix in 2016.


CDID
St. Louis, MO
July 28-31, 2016

Labrix co-founders Dr. Mead and Dr. Lommen will be speaking at the at the Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders in St. Louis, Missouri, this summer.


AARM
Hilton Head, SC
September 16-18, 2016

Labrix will be in South Carolina for the Restorative Medicine conference on September 16-18. Come chat with our booth representative and learn more about testing with Labrix.