With the celebration of the holidays, and time off from work, December is a month for reconnecting with loved ones, cuddling, and intimacy. In fact, it’s a month with generally higher pregnancy rates. According to Dr. Melissa (Mel) Irvine, DNP, far too many experience silent nights over the holiday season because of medical or physical conditions that prevent or limit intimacy. With over 15 years of medical experience, Dr. Mel offers solutions for improving holiday libido.
“The work world slows down and so do work pressures, as everyone focuses on connecting with family, friends, good times, and food and drink,” says Dr. Mel. “Sexual desire and activity is higher as everybody’s in the mood for giving,” laughs Dr. Mel.
It’s the feel-good season, and many of us are spending cozy, comfy cuddle time together to enjoy age old traditions, Hallmark movies and feeling thankful for all we have – including each other. Whether couples are up late cooking and wrapping gifts, or singles are mingling at holiday parties, Dr. Mel says, everyone deserves to feel good and feel at ease engaging in sexual intercourse with their partner.
Dr. Mel offers a variety of solutions and treatment options that include hormone therapy, counseling, and medications. Dr. Mel channels her experience and knowledge to help singles and couples understand the importance of sexual wellness and how it affects their overall health, relationships, and quality of life.
Low libido is something that affects a lot of men and women. “Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder is a very common problem that can result from a combination of things,” explained Dr. Mel. “Life circumstances, juggling family and work, unhappy relationships, fatigue, low self-esteem, drug or alcohol use, anxiety, depression, health concerns, and hormonal imbalances can all play a role.”
Low sexual desire ranges from 27% of premenopausal women to 52% among naturally menopausal women and about five percent in men, increasing with age. In the U.S., ten percent of women are bothered by their low desire.
Dr. Mel says there are options, and it is very important to be open about your symptoms and to not give up on finding solutions with the right medical provider who will first approach any possible underlying problems, such as checking hormone levels, lifestyle and mental and emotional stressors.
“If you’re still feeling a bit humbug, sometimes counseling can really help in making your spirits bright,” says Dr. Mel.
Once fundamental contributing factors are addressed, treatment plans can be discussed and reviewed. FDA approved medications like ADDYI (Flibanserin) and Vyleesi may be prescribed. “Vyleesi is an injection, referred to as a ‘date night medication’ as it can take a couple hours to kick in and can last for up to 16 hours, says Dr. Mel. “I may add Oxytocin, known as the love hormone, that makes you want to cuddle and spikes naturally in women after giving birth.”
Some treatment plans don’t include medication. Dr. Mel suggests that partners may need to keep things light and exciting and reconnect in fun ways. Intimacy and sex can help melt away holiday stress and make the holidays brighter than Aunt Edna’s TV yule log
Dr. Mel accepts new patients through Revitalize Health Clinic and Spa, 14320 Metropolis Ave, in Fort Myers. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please visit drmelirvine.com, or call 239-351-5663.
About Dr. Melissa (Mel) Irvine, DNP
Dr. Mel has been in the medical field for over 15 years and is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Brenau Women’s College, in Gainesville, Georgia. She received her Master of Science in Nursing at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and her doctorate degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Mel is passionate about empowering and educating women so they can be their own advocates and make the best-informed decisions regarding treatment options and quality of life. As a Sexual Medicine provider, she takes pride in providing high quality personalized care to meet the sexual health needs of both men and women. Her interest in Sexual Medicine took her to San Diego where she completed a preceptorship with the leading Sexual Medicine provider in the U.S., Dr. Irwin Goldstein. She is an avid learner and regularly attends educational trainings and conferences to stay up to date on the latest and most innovative treatment options available.