Meet the founder of MiddlesexMD,
Dr. Barb DePree
I am Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., a women’s health provider for more than 20 years, and a menopause care specialist for the past seven. I was recently named the 2013 Certified Menopause Practitioner of the Year by the North American Menopause Society for “exceptional contributions” to menopause care. In particular, the award recognized the outreach, communication and education I do through MiddlesexMD and my work as director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, Holland, Mich.
In my practice, I see women of my own generation, women who are more independent, educated, and assertive about their health than any generation before.
But you know what? Most of us are still reluctant to talk with our doctors about our sexual experiences.
And, as a doctor, I know that few medical practitioners receive the training they would need to help women — particularly those in menopause — with their sexuality.
But our generation is going through a big change. Sexual desire and function decrease with age in both sexes, and more markedly for women. Natural aging and hormonal changes slow down our sexual response, leaving some of us feeling we’ve lost of a vital part of our lives and relationships.
Misinformation about these normal changes, along with a lot of mystery about what is ‘expected’ sexual behavior at our age, can interfere with a couple’s ability to maintain a fulfilling sexual relationship.
So we have a puzzle. We want our sexual well-being, but we don’t know how, when, or who to ask for help. And the advice we go looking for often leads us into places we find uncomfortable, or may misguide us entirely.
I started MiddlesexMD, essentially, to share practice-tested, clinically sound information with women my age. We provide information and guides for working with your partner and caregivers; while we have a small team of writers, I review all content for medical accuracy. And we offer products that we've tried and know will help us work with the physical changes we are experiencing. Together, it's a recipe for good sex at menopause and beyond.
I want this site to be a tasteful and comfortable environment where we can understand and explore, and perhaps even share tips for our optimal sexual health and pleasure.
MiddlesexMD receives its funding from private investors, many of whom are women who are over 40. We do not host or receive funding from advertising. Our team of medical colleagues, business women, writers and researchers, are dedicated to the idea of sexuality for life.
Won’t you join us?
Learn how your body's changes affect your sexuality.
Understanding what's changing can help you keep sex enjoyable.
Enhance comfort by caring for your vaginal and vulvar tissues.
Compensating for lower hormone levels means taking care of yourself.
Increase sensation in genital tissues.
Taking more time, energy, and attention can re-awaken our sensations.
Maintain tone in the pelvic floor muscles.
Exercising these muscles encourages circulation and strengthens orgasms.
Build intimate relationships.
Having emotional bonds is essential for good sex after 40.
- We believe that as we age, women, whatever their lifestyle or preferences, have the right to fully enjoy their sexuality.
- We know that great sex makes us feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- We understand the profound changes in our biology that come with peri-menopause and menopause. We know that these biological changes can change the way we experience sex.
- We understand that sex comes with a learning curve. Just as we did when we were developing our sexuality, we need to learn again what our bodies and minds need to keep sex pleasurable.
- Many of us will benefit from products that encourage and support sexual health, and we need a comfortable place to learn about and to purchase safe and trusted products.
- We want our privacy. We need to be sure our explorations and purchases are private.
- As medical professionals who are focused on the care of midlife women – and as midlife women ourselves — it’s our privilege and our duty to provide reliable and current information that will help us embrace these changes.