Health and Sexuality: Tips from Dr Kat

    We all know that information is power. Studies show that women are more likely than men to be surprised by sexual challenges as a result of aging. For many women, concerns associated with aging and menopause can range from wrinkles, to energy levels, to healthy sexual function.

    Here are my top five tips for supporting your health in order to feel sexy and vibrant as you age.

    Reduce stress. We all know that stress can wreak havoc on our energy level and our appearance. Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks throughout the day to get some fresh air or just simply step away from the computer, sit quietly and breathe. Herbal teas such as Passionflower and Valerian can help to ease tension. L-theanine can support mental alertness while promoting relaxation.

    Menopause Support. Menopause is inevitable, however you can help support your body for a smooth transition. I recommend continuing to make sex a priority. It can help you feel more connected to your partner and your own body. Plus it boosts immunity, improves mood and benefits cardiovascular health. I also recommend experimenting with products that are formulated with herbal ingredients that help relieve occasional menopause-related symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, nervousness, moodiness, sleeplessness and vaginal dryness. This may include products that contain hops extract. Hops extract contains plant estrogens that may bind to primary estrogen receptors in the female reproductive system, and may help smooth out some of the rough spots as your body adjusts to declining estrogen levels during menopausal years. This can be especially important when it comes to sexual function. Black cohosh extract works with neurotransmitters (and other support mechanisms) to help address mood symptoms.

    Protect Your Cells. Get antioxidant protection against premature cellular aging and oxidative stress with vitamins and supplements that support energy production. Be sure to get plenty of water and eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries, dark chocolate and nuts. Getting antioxidant protection may help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and combat aging by protecting telomeres. Telomeres are a part of our DNA at the ends of our chromosomes. These telomeres protect the genetic data that enable our cells to divide. Telomeres have been compared to the plastic tips on shoelaces because they prevent chromosome ends from fraying (losing their base pairs). Each time a cell divides our telomeres get shorter, which makes maintaining telomere length important to help protect DNA. Maintaining the proper functioning of our DNA is important to support overall health and well-being.  

    Get Enough Sleep. A good night’s sleep makes everything better. Be sure to unwind at least 20 minutes before going to bed. Turn off all electronics, and relax with a soothing herbal chamomile tea. If your body needs a little extra help nodding off, melatonin has been shown to promote optimal sleep quality.

    Maintain a Healthy Diet. Avoid processed foods and sugar and be sure to eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Cut back on alcohol. And take time to thoroughly savor your meals. The more satiated you are, the less likely you will over indulge.

    Engaging with menopause on a holistic level can enable you to enjoy the most out of life. Simple adjustments in how you live and what you put into your body can help support you through this transition.

    Dr. Kat Van Kirk* is a clinical sexologist/marriage and family therapist, yoga therapist, author and media host. She is currently serving as an expert consultant to Twinlab, and recommends looking for trusted products and brands such as Twinlab nutritional supplements and Alvita single-herb teas. You can find out more by visiting

    *Dr. Kat is not a medical physician. Please consult your doctor before you begin any new health regimen.