I'm Not in the Mood: What Every Woman Should Know About Improving Her Libido

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The "hormone of desire," testosterone, acts on the brain to stimulate sexual interest, sensitivity to sexual stimulation, and orgasmic ability in both sexes. The amount of testosterone circulating in a woman's blood declines by about 50 percent between her twenties and fifties. The most common complaint associated with this decline is a seemingly unexplainable decrease or loss of sexual desire and enjoyment. In I'm Not in the Mood, Dr. Reichman reveals the effectiveness of small doses of testosterone in reviving ...
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1998 Hard cover First edition. 1st Printing New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 194 p. Audience: General/trade.

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I'm Not in the Mood: What Every Woman Should Know About Improving Her Libido

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Overview

The "hormone of desire," testosterone, acts on the brain to stimulate sexual interest, sensitivity to sexual stimulation, and orgasmic ability in both sexes. The amount of testosterone circulating in a woman's blood declines by about 50 percent between her twenties and fifties. The most common complaint associated with this decline is a seemingly unexplainable decrease or loss of sexual desire and enjoyment. In I'm Not in the Mood, Dr. Reichman reveals the effectiveness of small doses of testosterone in reviving sexual desire and pleasure for women. Questions answered and topics discussed include: Why and when do women make male hormones? Where do all our male hormones go? Behavior, life changes, and medical problems that affect our libido Medications that affect our libido Will creams, pills, lozenges, patches, or shots help? When you should see a psychiatrist, psychologist, or sex therapist How to discuss libido issues with your doctor How to reach your biologic sexual potential
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Improving Your Libido

Judith Reichman, an OB/GYN and the medical correspondent for the "Today" show, is the first to point out that she's not a sex therapist. But as she writes in the prologue to her new book, I'm Not in the Mood, her practice caring for women's health had become more and more focused on the myriad effects of the changes in hormone levels that women experience as they age. One of the effects her patients most often noticed, and asked for help with, was diminishing libido. But it wasn't until syndicated TV talk-show host Christina Ferrare announced on her program that she had lost her libido, and that Dr. Reichman (whose book I'm Too Young to Get Old: Health Care for Women After Forty was a national bestseller) had helped her get it back, that the real fun started: An "Oprah" appearance later, Reichman was confirmed as the country's new libido doctor.

Whatever reservations she had had about this designation were swept away by the stories that began to pour in. Letters and phone calls came from women around the country — from the 46-year-old, married for 20 years, whose doctor recommended finding a new partner to rev up her faltering libido, to the breast-feeding mother of two toddlers, her sex drive scuttled by sheer exhaustion, whose doctor told her to buy some lubricant and grin and bear it; from the 34-year-old who was told that she was lucky to be alive after a hysterectomy and that the loss of her libido was trivial, to a 50-year-old on hormone replacement therapy whose doctor told her that the decline she was feeling inhersexuality was a normal part of getting older and she'd get used to it. Reichman writes that learning of the "denial, dismissal, and discouragement" that women who seek help from their doctors are so often confronted with spurred her on to try to set the record straight on libido. And so in I'm Not in the Mood she looks at sexuality and libido from a medical point of view, exploring the role of hormones, the interaction between the physical, psychological, and social aspects of sexuality, and even the effects that illnesses like cancer and common over-the-counter and prescription drugs can have on libido.

Reichman emphasizes that "there are few cures in medicine with the exception of antibiotics, but there is help and improvement." She thoroughly explores the role that testosterone plays in female libido (natural levels decline markedly in the female body between ages 20 and 50), and recommends small doses of the hormone as one very promising potential solution. She provides full information on pros and cons of testosterone therapy and the specifics on a number of treatment options. Reichman also gives advice on evaluating how close to your biological sexual potential you are functioning; on talking to partners, doctors, and sex therapists; and on available herbs, medications, and products like lubricants that can have a beneficial effect. A complete resource list is included as well. With I'm Not in the Mood, Reichman goes a long way toward accomplishing what she believes is the most important part of being a doctor: "helping women understand their bodies so that they can make sense out of all the medical information, misinformation, sense and nonsense with which we are bombarded."
— barnesandnoble.com

Laura Schlessinger
"Real-life vignettes, understandable medical information, and humor make this important book on women's sexuality a winner."
Cristina Ferrare
"I wish I had this book three years ago. Finally, a medical book that you can understand and that gives you answers then and there. . . . Dr. Reichman speaks franklly and with humor. It's like she's talking to you."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688165154
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/21/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.61 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Reichman, M.D., is a gynecologist who practices and teaches at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA in Los Angeles. She appears regularly on NBC-TV's Today show as a contributor on women's health issues. She cowrote and hosted two acclaimed PBS series, Straight Talk on Menopause and More Straight Talk on Menopause. The author of two bestsellers, I'm Too Young to Get Old and I'm Not in the Mood, Dr. Reichman lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

Part One: The Sexual Facts

Chapter One

The "Why" of desire:

What make us want sex? Is it only that we, like other animals, possess a primitive need to mate and propagate? Or are our sexual urges, like ourselves, more highly evolved? What is libido? Is it purely physical attraction, or is it fed by fantasy -- those wonderful day (and night) dreams that make us feel aroused? What prompts us to engage in sexual stimulation? Must we have a partner? Need it be someone we know, or can it be an idealized model in formal attire at the Academy Awards or, better yet, in a bathing suit in the Bahamas?

The answer to these questions is yes...yes...and, oh yes! (And we haven't yet even gotten to the subject of orgasm.) Libido is a product of our psychological, social and physical development. It is where our bodies meet up with our culture, our instincts -- and what our parents and teachers taught us.

All these libidinous issues have kept the psychologists and sociologists very busy. But what about the biologists? Our sexual urges start in ancient centers in our brain that are fundamental to the propagation of our species. Hidden in the recesses of our hypothalamus and limbic system are intricate hormone receptors that bind with and are turned on by estrogen, progesterone, male hormones, prolactin, endorphins and possibly pheromones. These and other brain cells don't get their information just from hormones but also from chemicals called neurotransmitters, which form our link with the outside world.

Alas, our need for sex is not as simple as our need for chocolate (although the latter is sometimes as important to our mood and sense of well-being). We can't forget that our sexual appetite, like our pre-menstrual cocoa craving, is driven by fluctuations of our hormones. And if they neither fluctuate nor are present, our sexual brain centers are deadened and our appetites are dulled.

Our stages of sexual response:

Most of us would consider libido to be synonymous with desire, but this is just part of the larger picture of sexual response. When scientists do their necessary categorization of sexuality (and let's face it, you can't have science without charts, tables and categories), they talk about sex in terms of stages: desire, arousal and orgasm (climax), followed by physical and mental relaxation, also known as resolution. So in the interest of science, let's follow this outline.

DESIRE

Desire, or at least an overwhelming interest in sex, begins at puberty. This transition is governed by our hormones and we'll explore it in greater detail in Chapter 3. Suffice it to say that sweet little girls become boy-crazed adolescents thanks to the same male hormones that convert little boys (and politicians) into sexually driven beings. Even in the midst of this pubescent male-hormone surge, psychological factors play a critical role. Studies have shown that whether girls act on their fantasies and begin to have intercourse depends on their peer group -- who they hang out with -- and their religious background. (Unfortunately for parents, their influence is less important.)

Copyright (c) 1998 by Judith Reichman

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2000

    This book should be titled 'How Medical Conditions Affect Your Sex Life'

    Contrary to what the title suggests, this book is not for readers who's only problem with sex is that they are 'not in the mood'. The book focuses almost entirely upon the effects of medical conditions and procedures, particularly menopause and hysterectomy, on sexual desire. If this is you, you are in luck; you may find the material helpful. The book also does not pertain to young couples, or pretty much anyone under the age of 40. It caters to a very narrow audience. The title is misleading, and i was disappointed to find that no categories applied to my situation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2005

    Not a 'medical condition'

    Thank goodness this book is available, because, no matter how old she is now, every woman will eventually go through menopause. And it is not a medical condition, it's a fact of life. Meanwhile, our hormones are diminishing every day, regardless of menopause. This book offers a good intro to the topic. In particular, husbands and partners should read it, because loss of libido can ruin an otherwise good relationship.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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