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Sexual health is an important yet often overlooked part of total health.

Some believe sexual decline is a natural part of aging, but it doesn’t have to be, says Dr. Lynn Frame, an obstetrician and gynecologist practicing at Utica Women’s Specialists.

“I ask every patient how their sex life is,” says Frame. “There are effective treatments available. I have patients enjoying an active sex life well into their later years.”

Sexual dysfunction can be a sign that something is wrong, especially in younger women. Sexual health should be a part of a yearly well women exam.

“Don’t be too embarrassed to bring it up to your doctor and your partner,” says Frame.

Hormone replacement therapy can be beneficial for postmenopausal women experiencing pain during intercourse or a decreased sex drive. Conditions like endometriosis can cause pain during intercourse. Also, social and emotional issue can impact sexual health. It’s important to look for the root causes of the problem, Frame says.

“The important thing to remember is help is available,” says Frame.

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