Gals: If you decide to go for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the patch is better than the pill when it comes to your sex life. "HRT, when administered via a patch, allows a woman's body to better utilize the androgens she already has, resulting in improved libido," says researcher Subir Roy.
Many post-menopausal women report their interest in sex drops, as their testosterone levels decrease. HRT replaces some of the dwindling estrogen and progesterone, to combat hot flashes and the other physical side-effects of the menopause.
But the method of delivering HRT can affect testosterone levels as well, according to the researchers at the University of Southern California. They studied 26 post-menopausal women for 8 weeks who were starting HRT treatment either orally or using a skin patch. The patch group reported significantly more orgasms, more arousal and increased sexual fantasies. The women using the patches also had higher levels of androgens, including testosterone, in their blood. Oral HRT increases the levels of sex-hormone binding globulin, which causes lower free testosterone levels.
In order to boost flagging libidos, doctors have tried using testosterone skin patches."But administering testosterone or androgen therapies in women is very tricky," Roy says. "We often see unwanted side effects such as excessive hair growth and acne."So ladies, when you consider HRT, remember: you have a choice.
If only we had a choice about whether to have a girl or a boy, we might be willing to give up sex sooner. There are lots of myths about this, including special times of the month to have sex, special positions and diets. But there are few sure-fire scientific suggestions.
Dr. Laura Riley at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston says, "There is no 100-percent way to choose the sex of your child."
Dr. Luigi Mastroianni, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania, says the various techniques that promise to produce a specific sex are "nonsense." He says, "I think they're a waste of time. There's no evidence you can influence the sex of a baby by doing any of those things."
The Genetics and IVF Institute in Fairfax, Virginia takes a more scientific approach. They have developed the "microsort" procedure, which identifies and separates male and female sperm by the presence or absence of X and Y chromosomes. The sex-identified sperm are then used for artificial insemination.
At a cost of $2,500 per try, it takes an average of three attempts to achieve successful conception. The reported likelihood of conceiving a female is 50% to 90%, and a male from 50% to 70%.
Dr. Riley isn?t sure this technique is worth the effort and expense. "There's a 50-50 choice of having a boy or girl, so you're talking about high odds anyway. People need to be more concerned about having a healthy child, instead of the sex of the child," she says.
But one thing does seem to work: A recent scientific study shows that environmental factors can sometimes influence the sex of a child at conception. Scientists found that couples who smoke around the time of conception have a greater chance of producing a female than those who don't.
The ratio of male to female babies has substantially declined over the past few decades, and male sensitivity to environmental pollution may be the cause. If you want to give birth to a boy, stop smoking and move someplace where you can breathe clean air.
In case you have an Indigo, be prepared. Read ?The Indigo Children? and ?An Indigo Celebration? by Jan Tober and Lee Carroll, click here.
To learn about HRT patches, click here.
To learn about choosing the sex of your child,click here.
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