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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan
Sexual Dysfunction #483
On the Regular version of today’s show …
Dr Amy Killen joins me to discuss several of the myths that people face when it comes to aging and sex and sexual dysfunctions.
Learn more about Dr Amy on her site – https://dramykillen.com/
On the Xtended version …
Dr Amy and I continue the conversation and move into the solutions that many people may not know about when it comes to addressing their sexual function.
Enjoy the show!
Intimately Us: The fun and flirty app for married couples that want to spice up their sex life and deepen their intimate connection. Find it in any App Store or at https://intimately.us/
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Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, passionatelymarried.net.
You've turned on Sexy Marriage Radio, where the best sex happens in the marriage bed. Here's your host, Dr. Corey Allan.
Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio, where... Pam, I don't know if you know this, but we have a new app out that we've partnered with.
Pam Allan: I do know that, surprisingly. I'm in on that one at least.
Corey Allan: And it's been great because over the course of the last week and a half, several of the clients I've had, or a couple of the guys in the Mastermind Group have talked about, "Hey, I just downloaded that and we're going to test that out and bring that to the marriage and..."
Speaker 1: I've had coworkers downloading it too. It's been kind of fun.
Corey Allan: Yeah. It's a lot of fun because the results and the responses that we get are really positive. Obviously we'll give the caveat of downloading this app does not solve the gridlock issue with the lower desire all of a sudden now totally being onboard. But Intimately Us, our new app that you can find in any of the app stores, it is aimed at trying to... It's steered towards the higher desire while not trying to scare off the lower desire. And it's an inviting, you can set the stage and the level of spiciness and gear it towards sex and intimacy because those two things are so important in married life. Which brings us to Sexy Marriage Radio, which is what we do each and every week is try to talk about this kind of area of your life and the issues that you can have, the struggles that people have, the successes that they have because people need a place to ask their questions if the dinner table or family gatherings or life group or neighbors or coworkers aren't the right place.
Pam Allan: Right. And quite often people don't have that freedom for that to be the right place.
Corey Allan: That's true. And typing something into big brother Google, who knows where that may lead you, depending on what the question is.
Pam Allan: Please don't do that.
Corey Allan: So what we want to do is go where you want to go and the way you let us know what questions are on your mind that you would like answered or topics that you want covered, call our voicemail line (214) 702-9565 or email us email@example.com where all of them are read. Some are replied to directly, some become show topics or are answered directly in the queue. And if you've got something really pressing, call the voicemail line, that gets you to the front of the line and jumps right in to get your question right on the air. We can even disguise your voice if that's a concern that some people may know, "Oh, you have sex? I can't believe you called in and asked the question?"
Pam Allan: Oh wow, that lines it. But there's some people with legit reasons they want to do that.
Corey Allan: Totally understand. And we want to honor that, but still go where you want to go. So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a conversation that I had with Dr. Amy Killen. She is an MD that was a ER doc, and then transitioned into more restorative health and just aging components of life, but also recognized such a prominence in the need to deal with our sexual health. And so...
Pam Allan: And so a focus in sexual health and the aging-
Corey Allan: And restorative health.
Pam Allan: ... restorative health. Okay.
Corey Allan: Right. And any time we can get MDs on the show, I'm going to pick brains. I'm going to ask a lot of questions.
Pam Allan: Absolutely. We appreciate them coming on.
Corey Allan: Yes, because they have training and insight into a lot different than my schooling. Obviously, it's a whole nother realm of what they do and knowing the body and the inner workings and everything. And so she and I in the regular version, we're talking about some of the different myths that we have when it comes to our sex life, particularly when we age and then what do you do about those things?
Pam Allan: Great info.
Corey Allan: But if you want to know even more, what you do with those things, then coming up on the extended content in Sexy Marriage Radio Today, which is deeper longer and we go real specific and there's no ads, you can subscribe at passionatelymarried.net/smracademy. Dr. Amy and I continue the conversation, but get further into what are the solutions for some of the things that we all face as we age or even earlier in our life because there are some fascinating medical science out there at our fingertips that my hope with this conversation through the whole show, but for sure in the extended content is to arm members of the SMR Nation to be able to bring these things to their doc to find answers if you can't work directly with Dr. Amy or somebody else. If you're a little more of a rural or some of the areas that that's not going to be as well known. Well, now you're going to have some data you can arm yourself with.
Pam Allan: Right. It's important to know when and where to ask the questions. Right?
Corey Allan: Right, and that's what's coming up on today's show.
Pam Allan: Perfect.
Corey Allan: Well, today on Sexy Marriage Radio, it's not a lot of times where we actually get a doc on the air. And by doc, I mean, MD, not the doc that's the PhD like myself and my daughter will say, "Yeah, but you're the doc that can't really do anything, Dad." That's the beauty teenagers. But joining me today is Dr. Amy Killen. And I am so excited to have her on with us because you bring some serious weight, girl, with what you're doing in the world of sex and sexuality. And so to start off, I'm figuring you can tell the audience more here's what I do. This is kind of my specialty. Because you have a broad range, but just introduce yourself real quick and then let's jump right in because I got a lot of questions for you.
Amy Killen: Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you for having me, first of all. Yeah, I'm a medical doctor. I actually come from emergency medicine background. I was an ER doctor for 10 years first, and about seven or eight years ago decided that I needed to spend some more time learning about how to actually be healthy in my own person as well as my marriage and that way I could help other people be a little healthier and kind of prevent some of the problems that we see coming in the ER every day that are largely preventable. So I became really interested in integrative medicine and preventative medicine and sort of anti-aging medicine, if you will, and eventually moved all the way into doing that.
And what happened was I was seeing a lot of patients in my practice, working with them from a nutritional standpoint, from a hormone standpoint, those kinds of things. And I found that they would come in in this state of distress. They're not motivated, they're gaining weight, they're depressed, everything is falling apart. And we would start them on some protocols and some regimens and do some things and then three or four months later, they'd come back and be like, "Okay, I'm doing better. I actually have some control about my life. I'm starting to lose weight. I feel better, et cetera. Now, can you help me with my sex life?" And this happened over and over again so much so that I was like, "There's something to this." After they kind of became... They got through the survival stage of health, if you will, they got kind of a foundation of health established and then they wanted to sort of take it up a notch and work on their sex life or their skin. I do a lot of skin as well. So sex and skin is kind of what I do. crosstalk
Corey Allan: Those are sometimes interchangeable aren't they, right?
Amy Killen: Right. There's actually a lot of similarities to them. So yeah. So for the last seven years I've been primarily working with patients to try to optimize sexual function and/or skin health using a combination of integrative medicine, so things we could do to help prevent problems from happening, as well as things like regenerative medicine, some of the cool new tips and tricks that are out there. The tools that we have now that we could actually kind of turn back the clock to some degree to help keep people happy and sexually engaged. So that's what I do.
Corey Allan: I love because what you're kind of describing is, I'm not an alternative doc, but it's like I'm staying up with where technology is too. I don't have to just stay hard and fast in some sort of a medical school rule. That I can keep up with what's going on and then integrate that into helping people just live better and have more vibrancy in life.
And so this steers straight into where I just want to start with you, Amy, is the idea of when you're talking about the overall state of our sexual health, what are the things that you keep coming across that are just wreaking havoc that we're not even aware of? Because I mean, my experience has been with the clients that I see coming through is ED is an issue, and it's not just a later life. Premature ejaculation is an issue, and it's not just an early life, right? If you put at the ends of the spectrum, that's kind of the stereotypical side of things, it seems. But then on women, there's a huge desire issue, discrepancy, even a preponderance of vaginismus that has come across several people. We've got several shows on this as well, but it's just, what do you see when you're coming at it through a medical lens with the people that come see you?
Amy Killen: Yeah. I think you totally nailed the things that I see the most. I see erectile dysfunction in men of all ages. Definitely over age 35 or 40 it's much more common, but even younger guys sometimes have it and there obviously are a lot of different causes. I see a lot of women with a low libido and it's kind of become normal for them and people don't even really tell me about it unless I ask specifically because they're so comfortable with it that that's just how it is.
Corey Allan: It's just a given.
Amy Killen: This is how it is. Yeah. And then for women also problems with just arousal, orgasmic problems, things like that are also something I see, especially in postmenopausal women. And so I deal with specifically with sort of age-related declines and functions. So a lot of my patients are in the 35 to 40 plus range, and they've seen changes of some sort in their body, in their interest and in their sex lives. And so that's kind of my patient population. I deal specifically with the medical things that I can do. So I'm not dealing as much with the emotional, mental, spiritual, all the other things that obviously are playing very heavily into a healthy sex life.
Corey Allan: Okay. And so let's come at this from both extremes then, right, because you can have this element of... I think you would have a keen viewpoint on, okay, so someone comes in and they're experiencing these issues in their sexual health and their sexual function. And so at that point you're dealing with the treatment, something to try to address the problem. But what about the other side of this too for the people in the SMR Nation that are listening that they could be thinking of this as this is a preview of coming attractions, but it's not yet. So what's some preventative stuff, because I think you have an interesting take on that as well. And so let's start with the treatment first and then let's dovetail it into the preventative because I think both matter. And I think you and I both agree if we could just get people to be much more engaged in preventative treatment stuff, we're going to save a lot of grief and money and time and resources down the road, but people just don't pay for preventative most of the time.
Amy Killen: Yeah, it's true. It's funny, I think that we learned about sex ed when we were in, I don't know, sixth grade or something. And then again in high school and all they teach is how to avoid diseases and how not to get pregnant. And they don't really teach you about how to keep that system up and running and well-tuned throughout your adult life. And I think no one really teaches that. So as far as treatments go, if you already have a problem, then obviously we have to address that problem. Specifically, figure out what's causing it. There are a number of different things. For ED, for instance, I look at your hormones. So I look and make sure testosterone is high enough because that is something that we have... We actually have a population of men in the last couple of decades especially where our testosterone levels have gone down as a population. And that is one of the things that has contributed to at least low libido and [crosstalk 00:13:01].
Corey Allan: Okay. Do you know of a reason why overall testosterone is going down?
Amy Killen: I think it's a multifactorial. One, we're not as active. We're not exercising as much. We're not lifting as many heavy things. We're overweight. We're sitting around too much. We're eating a lot of junk food, that we're eating more sugar, which is not good for testosterone. We also have a lot more stress. And when you have higher cortisol, your testosterone is basically the opposite of your cortisol. And we're not sleeping as well. When you're sleeping is when we make testosterone and growth hormone and things like that. And those of us who have poor sleep, which is a lot of people, you just don't make those hormones. And then the last other thing is there are a lot of environmental toxins, things that we are putting on our bodies, in our food. Lotions, potions, a lot of these things are actually disrupting our endocrine system in a way that is harmful. So it's a lot of things.
Corey Allan: Absolutely. Well, if the magazines were actually true that there was one thing to solve the problems because there's just one thing that's that causes the problems, only one magazine would ever be sold because that's the last one. Right? They solved it all. So it is always multifaceted. I totally agree. So when you're talking about treatment, where else do you go?
Amy Killen: So testosterone is one. I also want to make sure that with both men and women that they're getting enough nitric oxide. This is really important for blood flow. So when you think about blood vessels, which blood vessels are going to be obviously taking blood flow to the genitalia for both men and women, we've got to have that. And nitric oxide is the main chemical messenger that tells those blood vessels to basal dilate, which means to open up, to bring the blood flow in. And what happens after about the age of 40 is that we can't as much nitric oxide as we used to. So you're making about half as much when you're 40 as you did when you were 20. And medications like Viagra, for instance, they work by essentially preventing your body from breaking down the nitric oxide that it has for a little bit longer. So it just keeps it around longer.
However, if you're not making enough to begin with, those medications don't even work. So for a lot of older guys, the Viagra stops working and that's one of the causes is they just don't have enough nitric oxide. So you can supplement that. There are some supplements that you can do for that. You can stop using antiseptic mouthwash, which goes a long way towards helping you be able to take nitrates in from food. Exercise, getting sunlight, all of these things can help actually just boost your own nitric oxide levels, which are going to be really important for erections and things like that.
Corey Allan: So if I'm willing to have the risk of bad breath, I might have the chance of better erections. That's kind of what you're... That's the correlation?
Amy Killen: No, you should brush your teeth, just don't use Listerine every day.
Corey Allan: Okay. That's fair. I mean, because that-
Amy Killen: Do brush your teeth, please.
Corey Allan: Because to me the equation, Amy, goes, if I've got bad breath, I'm really not going to need an erection because it's not going to be near inviting. So...
Amy Killen: I am not telling people to stop brushing their teeth. I'd have all the dentists out there yelling at me if that was the case.
Corey Allan: No, I totally see what you're saying. And I'm glad that went there just because this is some of the stuff that the science and the nuances of our body that it is so fascinating to me that the way our society has shifted is we're an over-medicated society. That's just kind of a given.
Amy Killen: Sure.
Corey Allan: And we've now have leaned more towards this will solve the problems. When in reality, if I would just reset and recenter my existence and get back into living life outside more, engaged with things more, a little more disconnected from things. Sleeping more and engaging with people more, that really helps set things back in order, which to me doesn't that also scream that's why vacations feel so regenerative because that's kind of what I do on that one week or two week vacation time is I get back to the way it was supposed to be.
Amy Killen: Yeah, absolutely. You're getting exercise. You're getting sun. You're close to your partner. You're getting sleep. Your stress is down. All of those things are benefiting your hormones, they're benefiting your blood flow. Everything that we need to have a healthier sex life. So those are absolutely key.
Corey Allan: Okay. And so with ED, that's one. What about if a woman comes in, let's pick one, where's the treatment? And then we'll kind of wrap up this conversation with the preventative side of it.
Amy Killen: So for women, you can certainly, same types of things. You can also do other things like vaginal lasers, vaginal radio frequency treatments where you're actually trying to stimulate the repair of the vaginal tissues. I also use platelet rich plasma or PRP and do injections into the genitalia in both men and women where basically we're injecting growth factors from the patient's own blood into those areas to try to encourage improved blood flow, nerve regeneration, sensation, things like that. And then the last big piece is shockwave therapy or acoustic wave therapy, which is great for men and women. GAINSWave is sort of a brand name people know. But basically it's applying sound waves. The doctors do it in their office to these tissues for both men and women to encourage blood vessel formation, blood flow, nitric oxide forming basically as a repair technique that is pretty amazing, especially for ED, but also can be used in women.
Corey Allan: That's fascinating. I love hearing some of the things that's much less invasive that's out there now. And that's the stuff that man, unless we got people like you, that's not getting advertised very often.
Amy Killen: Yeah. People don't hear about this because people don't want to really talk about it for some reason, that people get nervous and... or they get... There's a lot of things around it, but I think it's really important. And I'm glad to be on here with you.
Corey Allan: I totally agree. I mean, sex needs to be the conversation people are having, especially with the people you're doing it with. That you need to be having those heart to hearts about this is what's going on with me. Here's the struggle. Because if nothing else, I think of those as... Those are pathways into better intimacy because if I've got something that maybe didn't work the way I hoped it would, we can still do some things that actually would create more intimacy and bond, that it's not about the physical then, it's about the deeper, profound connection that we can have.
So, all right, let's go to the other end of the spectrum then. This is the people in the SMR Nation that are listening. They're like, "Okay, I don't put myself in that I need the treatment category." What are some of the things you keep coming across that man, if we would just incorporate a couple of these things or all of them and be preventative, we can really push any kind of issue further down the road, if ever?
Amy Killen: So when we think about sexual dysfunction, especially for men, but also for women, one of the main causes is lack of blood flow and problems getting the blood where it needs to be. So atherosclerosis or plaque formation in the arteries, as well as just dysfunction in some of the cells and the penis. And all of this has to do with how you're living your life. So anything that's going to lead to plaque formation in your arteries. So things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, not exercising, eating too much sugar and not really watching your diet. Smoking is awful for sexual function. So it's not getting enough sleep. All the things that we know our grandmother told us to do, these things all are going to influence how our vascular system, our blood vessel system ages. And because we need blood flow to the sexual organs and because they are affected before we see effects on the heart or the brain or other systems, we really need to focus on our daily activities to encourage our vascular system to be healthy over time.
Corey Allan: Okay. And that just cracks me up, Dr. Amy, because I'm sitting here thinking, "Imagine if grandma would have actually said, 'here's the things you need to be doing and here's why. Because then you can sweat out the sheets like me and grandpa do on a regular basis.'"
Amy Killen: It's true. I always imagined whenever I see cigarettes, you have like the cigarette boxes. I feel like they should have on the front of the box they should have a picture of a flacid penis on there. And they should just say, "Smoking leads to erectile disfunction" because it totally does.
Corey Allan: That's a completely different campaign that might actually impact a whole lot more people.
Amy Killen: I think it could work. I really do.
Corey Allan: Okay. So I mean, it is interesting because all we're talking about here is just some of the basic, I just need to look out for my health. I need to just be healthier and that's going to dovetail into better sex and more functioning that can happen.
Amy Killen: Yeah. All the things that are risk factors for developing heart disease, cardiovascular disease are the exact same risk factors for developing a lot of the sexual dysfunction and sexual diseases, all the ones that are blood vessel based, which is a lot of them.
Corey Allan: Okay. And that's interesting because I'm coming off of, you don't know this about me, but I'm coming off of a three, four weeks ago my father was actually in the coronary ICU for six days because of congestive heart failure. And it was finally diagnosed because he just happened to already have an appointment scheduled. And so he shows up at the doc and the doc's immediately, "You're going in an ambulance and you're in." Because I mean, they took 20 pounds of fluid off of his body. I mean, it was bad, right? Hey, the dude's got a serious pain tolerance, I guess. I have no clue how he went that long.
But I go up there and I'm helping out just being involved. And as I'm hearing conversations as he's recovering, and he's doing great now, he's telling me about his brother has this issue. His father died of this issue. And I'm all like, "I think I'm calling a heart doc when I get home." And so lo and behold, I did and had my appointment just the other day and all good except cholesterol, a little high. I'll own that. But everything else is all good. But it's like, "Okay, good." But, but now you're giving me even more motivation to look out for it because it's not just living longer, it's actually being engaged in life longer.
Amy Killen: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, exactly.
Corey Allan: Okay. So any other last kind of things that you see that just needs to be said to people that are just, they're concerned about this issue and it matters because it is something they want in their life, but coming from your lens, that would just kind of encourage to watch out for. Wherever you want to go with that.
Amy Killen: I think that just making sure that people understand they actually do have a lot of control. You as a person have so much control over what happens with your sex life, with your sexual health. You have control in prevention of almost all problems, not every single one, but most of them. And you have a lot of control now, especially with the new technologies out there in actually treating these things and the treatments go well beyond the Viagra and the pills and things like that. We can actually, in a lot of cases sort of regenerate that tissue and make it act and behave a little bit more youthfully. So you have a lot of control and it's just up to you to exert that control.
Corey Allan: Yeah. That's the biggest issue, right? That's the cog right there. That means I got to start changing some of the different things in the foundational ways I do my life and how I conduct myself. Well, Dr. Amy, thank you so much. Where I want to go just as this nice little tease for everybody that's not a part of the extended. Where we're wanting to go there with you is to talk more about okay, now that we're into the later stages of life, that there are things that just kind of everybody assumes are going to impact you. And you have the view that some of those are actually myths and there's some solutions that we can offer up that really do help, which will probably overlap with some of our conversation we've had now, but we can go even a little bit deeper.
So before we head there, though, I want you to give just a chance for everybody in the SMR Nation to, how do they find you if they want more information? Because I know you piquing interest. And had I not already found you and done a whole bunch of this stuff ahead of time, I would have been like, "I'm seriously going to check this out." So how do they find you?
Amy Killen: So my website is dramykillen.com. So just K-I-L-L-E-N dot com. I'm also very active on Instagram if anyone... I do a lot of education on Instagram and it's Dr. Amy B. Killen on Instagram, Facebook as well. I also have a YouTube channel, which is Amy Killen MD, and I try to post educational videos and such on there.
Corey Allan: Perfect. You have a tremendous cause that you're fighting and I love it because it truly is just trying to help people enhance all aspects of their life and live younger, I guess is a good way to think of it. Right?
Amy Killen: That's good. Yeah. Perfect.
Corey Allan: Well, Amy, thank you so much for the time thus far. This has been great.
Amy Killen: Thank you.
Corey Allan: I am repeatedly amazed at medical science.
Pam Allan: Oh, man. Yeah.
Corey Allan: And how-
Pam Allan: Thank God for doctors.
Corey Allan: I mean, remember, we weren't alive in this point, but remember when the field in some regards started with voodoo, leeches, all these things.
Pam Allan: No, I don't remember that I hear stories.
Corey Allan: Well, I remember being treated with leaches all those many years ago.
Pam Allan: I'm sure you do.
Corey Allan: But it's just so fascinating how there are different avenues within the medical field, in the science field that are truly starting to try to find answers to these things that we face because who would have thought the struggles that we face as we age, the longer we age and still want to have and live a full and vibrant life, there's issues.
Pam Allan: Right.
Corey Allan: And so I'm hoping that from today's episode, if nothing else, members of the SMR Nation recognize some of the stuff I bought into isn't necessarily true anymore and there's help available. If I'll just start asking questions and seeking answers that I could find a laser or sound waves or... I mean, there's a lot of different things that it's not just taking a pill.
Pam Allan: It's incredible technology and ideas behind it.
Corey Allan: It totally is. Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If this has sparked something in you and you've got questions, let us know, (214) 702-9565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Wherever you are, whatever you've been doing, thanks again for spending some time with us. See you next time.
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