Whether you’re single or in a relationship, it’s important to celebrate September as Sexual Health Month by taking care of yourself. With over 15 years of medical experience, Dr Melissa (Mel) Irvine, DNP, has channeled her experience and knowledge to help singles and couples understand the importance of sexual wellness and how it affects their health. overall, their relationships and their quality of life.

“With a focus on ‘love, bonding and intimacy’ for 2021, it’s important that we recognize that it starts within ourselves,” says Dr Mel. “How are you going to have a successful relationship if you don’t like and understand each other, let alone how to make yourself happy? “

Many patients Dr Mel sees deal with the physical, mental and emotional aspects of what often turns out to be hormonal imbalance or a lack of education and sexual knowledge that presents itself in their daily lives as marital problems, a lack of privacy and shame.

Some of the more common signs and symptoms to look out for are fatigue, decreased energy and libido, irritability, anxiety, depression, frequent bladder infections, hair loss, disturbances sleep, orgasm changes, erection changes, vaginal changes, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, brain fog and hot flashes.

“Women in this situation are very anxious because they feel like something is wrong with them,” says Dr. Mel. “And in fact, the challenges they face are often simpler than they think, and we are working together to solve them. “

Dr Mel sees patients of all genders, but finds it especially important for women to understand their bodies and address their sexual health. “The changes happen long before menopause and once menopause has passed they keep getting worse. This is the reality of every woman, regardless of her age. Without even realizing it, women fall into this lack of desire because we are given excuses to explain how we feel: you are busy, you have children, you have a husband and a career, ”explains Dr. Mel. “I can tell when a woman has a disability as soon as I do a pelvic exam. Changes in a woman’s anatomy occur over a long period of time. This is so important, and not just for sexually active women, because as women age and their immune systems change there are risks of very serious infections. “

In addition to physical changes, Dr Mel says hormonal fluctuations lead to depression and anxiety for many. “A lot of times the answer is to give an antidepressant. And what that will do is numb you, ”says Dr. Mel. “Every year so many people are put on these antidepressants, and no one has even bothered to check their hormones.”

Hormone levels begin to decline in both men and women as part of the aging process. Dr. Mel focuses on balancing three essential reproductive hormones: estradiol, progesterone and testosterone, for men and women to optimize overall health and quality of life. However, she believes there is a huge difference in care between men and women, as hormone therapy is considered high risk in women.

“There aren’t many providers willing to do this, but I’ve heard from so many women that as soon as they take hormones their marriage is saved, or that they feel so good now and don’t even realize how miserable they were. It’s not just about love, bonding, and intimacy with a partner. it’s for your life in general. For your health and well-being.

Dr Mel sees patients through Revitalize Health Clinic and Spa, 14320 Metropolis Ave, Fort Myers. For more information or to make an appointment, please visit drmelirvine.com, or call 239-351-5663. She will also be speaking at eXXXotica, the nation’s largest and longest-running consumer and adult education event, taking place September 17-19 at the Miami Airport Convention Center.

About Dr Melissa (Mel) Irvine, DNP

Dr Mel has worked in the medical field for over 15 years and is a certified nurse practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brenau Women’s College, Gainesville, Georgia. She received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her doctorate from Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Mel is passionate about empowering and educating women so they can be their own advocates and make the most informed decisions about treatment options and quality of life. As a provider of sexual medicine, 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 brought her to San Diego where she completed a preceptorship with the leading provider of sexual medicine in the United States, Dr. Irwin Goldstein. She is an avid learner and regularly attends training courses and educational conferences to keep abreast of the latest and most innovative treatment options available.

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