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Director, Charlottesville Sexual Health and Wellness Clinic, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder
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3 Mayflower Lane
Founded in 1996, The Sexual Health Network, Inc. "TSHN" is a leading provider of credible sexual health information and education on the Internet. Through its highly visible website, SexualHealth.com, and a team of more than 50 dedicated, credentialed and worl... more.
Sex Files Columnist
Erectile Dysfunction Community
Danish Family Planning Association
Center for Intimacy After Cancer Therapy
Charlottesville Sexual Health & Wellness Clinic
University of Copenhagen , Denmark
About the Center for Intimacy after Cancer Therapy
Annette Owens, M.D., Ph.D., Certified Sexuality Counselor, Director, Charlottesville Sexual Health and Wellness Clinic, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of The Sexual Health Network.
Editor, Sexual Health four volumes
HSAB.org - Who We Are > Our Advisors
Dr. Annette Owens, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of The Sexual Health Network.
She originates from Denmark... Read More
Sexual Health Report Video Series by Dr. Annette Owens - HSAB.org
The Sexual Health Report videos are virtual conversations with Dr. Annette Owens, who is the Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of The Sexual Health Network.
In these video clips, Dr. Owens shares her years of research and experience while providing helpful suggestions on how to improve sexual life and relationships.
Sex and Arthritis | My Online Wellness
The pain, stiffness, and fatigue caused by arthritis can interfere with a person's sex life or even bring it to a halt, says Annette Owens, MD, PhD, a sex counselor and cofounder of the Sexual Health Network.
Some people with severe arthritis give up hope of having an active sex life. Owens has seen that attitude before. "It's easy to cut sex out of your life if you think it's too much trouble," she says. She also knows that many people are more resilient than they realize. If patients miss having sex, with a little creativity, patience, and planning, even people with severe arthritis can rediscover the pleasures of that kind of intimacy, she says. Planning for pleasure Owens specializes in helping people with disabilities and chronic diseases enhance their sex lives. Ignoring the condition -- whether it's multiple sclerosis, cancer, or arthritis -- isn't the answer, she says. Instead, people need to pay close attention to the strengths and weaknesses of their bodies. In the case of arthritis, partners can experiment with positions that put the least amount of pressure on sore joints, Owens says. For example, if one or both partners have chronic soreness in the hips, they can try lying on their sides during sex. If a woman has sore hips or knees, she can lie on her back with her knees together. Whatever position couples use, strategically placed pillows and cushions can add a lot to pleasure and comfort, she says. A little bit of planning may make sex much easier, Owens says. "Foreplay" can include a warm shower, bath, or heating pads to loosen stiff joints. Couples can arrange to have sex at the time of day when the person with arthritis feels most limber and energetic, and they should have a cold pack handy in case joints feel a little sore or stiff afterward. "People complain about wanting to be spontaneous," Owens says, but they eventually see the value of planning ahead. Owens likens preparing for sex to getting ready for a vacation. "The planning alone can be enough to get you excited," she says. Once the schedule has been set, people with arthritis can time their medications so that their lovemaking coincides with the peak of relief, Owens says. In many cases, as Owens puts it, "practice makes perfect." Even after taking every possible precaution, some people may find that regular intercourse is still too painful or uncomfortable. But that doesn't mean they should give up on intimacy altogether, especially if they long for more romance in their lives. Physical contact -- whether it's cuddling, a light massage, or sexual stimulation with the mouth or fingers -- is good for both body and mind, Owens says. Couples may also want to experiment with vibrators or other sexual aids. Some vibrators are specially made with easy-grip handles for people who have lost function in their hands, she says. It's not uncommon for people with arthritis to lose interest in sex, Owens says. Some may think that their arthritis makes them less attractive, a mind-set that can easily kill desire. Others may have simply forgotten how sex makes them feel. "If you never have sex, then you don't know how much you really enjoy it," she says. Patients who have lost their sex drive -- whether they're too tired, too anxious, or merely out of practice -- may benefit from talking with a sex counselor, she says. (To find a licensed counselor near you, visit the Web site of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists at http://www.aasect.org). In many cases, a few good lovemaking sessions are all it takes to rekindle desire for the long term, she says. Above all, people with arthritis shouldn't hide their concerns about sex, Owens says. Interview with Annette Owens, MD, PhD, a sex counselor and cofounder of the Sexual Health Network
The Center for Intimacy After Cancer Therapy Inc. | Green Roof Giveaway
Annette Owens, M.D., Ph.D., Certified Sexuality Counselor, Director, Charlottesville (VA) Sexual Health and Wellness Clinic, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of The Sexual Health Network.
Editor, Sexual Health, four volumes.