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Posted Nov 29 2009 10:00pm

Babyboomers Several studies, including one published in 1999 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, have indicated that sexual dysfunction is more common in women (43 percent) than men (31 percent).

And it's worse for middle-aged women.  A survey of 31,581 women published in 2008 in Obstetrics & Gynecology found 44.6 percent of those age 45 to 64 reported a problem with desire, arousal or orgasm, compared with 27.2 percent of women age 18 to 44.

Boomers are visiting the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute, which treats about 200 women a week, mostly from the Philadelphia-New York City corridor, but some from as far away as Canada, South America and Britain.  Half the patients seen by the staff of 20 are boomer women.  A lot of them have husbands and boyfriends who've been given a recharge via Viagra.

Not_having_sex Since 1998, men have had blue Viagra pills, and for many years, doctors prescribed hormone replacement therapy for women to ease menopause symptoms and improve sex drive.  But in 2002, hormone therapy was linked to small increases in breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes.  Since then, Susan Kellogg, who has a doctorate in human sexuality and is a nurse practitioner, says, "We've had to be more creative."

The typical boomer patient they see, she said, "is a woman 52 to 54, a year or two after menopause, and she's saying, 'I can't do it, I can't keep up,'" and 10 to 15 percent point to their male partner's use of Viagra.

"Viagra has brought women out of the closet on this," Kellogg said.  "It's given them a way to talk about it.  Suddenly he's got a sex life again and she's crying in pain.  No one's talked about the impact of Viagra would have on her, which is why it's important to work with the couple.  She needs to understand what she's going through is normal."

Source: The New York Times, November 29, 2009

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