This post was originally published on 15/02/2019 and updated on 13/02/2020.
Get some va va voom back into your life!
On Valentine’s Day… For some of us instead of visions of kisses, cuddles and hugs, we find ourselves cringing at the thought of just being touched. Does that sound familiar?
In my recent survey on Women’s Attitudes at Menopause, a large portion of the women sampled were not even talking to their best friend, let along partner, about what’s going on below the waist. More than half of the women complained of vaginal dryness and half stated that they were unable to achieve an orgasm during sexual intercourse. Those who engaged in sex often found it uncomfortable and at times painful only making the effort to please their partner aka “mercy sex”. If this sounds like your situation, the good news is that you can act to get your mojo back on track.
What’s Going On Below The Belt - How Menopause Affects Sex
Did you know that having sex regularly helps clear your brain, keeps your metabolic rate up - burning calories each time you have an orgasm and it makes you feel good. So obviously you want to do more of that. To achieve better sex, you must understand what your body is going through and how it impacts this part of your life. And the more sex you have, the better your lubrication will start to become.
Many women regard their loss of libido as part of their fading youth, although this can be one of the earliest symptoms of menopause, often happening way before you’d be expecting it1! Tiredness, lack of energy and mood swings from menopause can further underscore that belief. At the same time, your body is experiencing falling levels of oestrogen which result in the lining of your vagina becoming dry and uncomfortable. As the vaginal tissues dry out, penetration can become painful and, in extreme cases, they may tear and bleed. If you are also suffering from night sweats, it’s not surprising that you don’t feel very sexy.
Before perimenopause, we had plenty of circulating oestrogen, so we took for granted that lubrication would appear as a matter of course. The presence of oestrogen ensures that there are plenty of new cells producing lubrication, allowing for the elasticity of the tissues lining the vagina. However, as we enter perimenopause our oestrogen levels drop causing the production line at the cell factory to diminish and as a result our tissues dry out. The dryness can produce pain as the thinning brittle tissues can tear easily. In some cases women even experience burning sensations and bleeding.
But as horrendous as it sounds, we can effectively turn the factory lights back on and get the production line up and running once again.
Solutions for vaginal dryness
There are several things you can do for vaginal dryness.
Phytoestrogens - Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret
I recommend consuming phytoestrogens little and often throughout the day. Phytoestrogens are plant chemicals that are similar in structure to human oestrogen and are typically consumed in the form of isoflavones. Consuming 100 mg of isoflavones per day, little and often, has been shown to help to fill the receptor sites so that the brain is fooled into thinking that there is, once again, plenty of circulating oestrogen and they have a positive effect on vaginal dryness2.
Taking an all-natural Omega-7 supplement
Taking an all-natural Omega-7 supplement can help resolve your vaginal dryness without adding unnecessary chemicals to your body. Omega-7 is derived from the sea buckthorn plant. I recommend Pharma Nord Omega 7 SBA24 Sea Buckthorn Oil. This supplement literally nourishes and repairs the vaginal tissues to get the lubrication going again.
Try a natural lubricant
Using natural oils such as Vitamin E oil, coconut oil or even sweet almond is a great idea!. I like to recommend Yes! Organic vaginal gel for my patients which helps to reduce the discomfort by acting as a lubricant in the short term and comes in both water and oil-based versions. You can use the water-based version and your partner can use the oil version once your vaginal tissues are ready for action.
Allow your tissues to heal
I strongly encourage women to repair their vaginal tissues before they attempt penetration. In lieu of the actual act, have a massage or oral sex, anything that is playful and fun - but do something. Also communicate with your partners. Once they realise this is only a transition and it will be okay again, you will find a great deal of support.
As you can see, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can get your mojo back on track and find your sexy self again. If you are interested in learning more on this subject or anything associated with menopause, please join my virtual class where I explain this transition of life and what you can do to come out better than you were before. I hope to see you there!
View the video below for more information!
1Gracia CR, Freeman EW. Onset of Menopause Transition: The Earliest Signs and Symptoms. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 2018 Dec; 45(4): 585-597.
2Dizavandi FR et al. An overview of the phytoestrogen effect on vaginal health and dyspareunia in peri-and post-menopausal women. Post Reprod Health 2019 Mar;25(1): 11-20
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