When I experienced hormone-induced menopause (TWICE), one of the things that I was most horrified by was this little thing that we try not to talk about. Basically, I had to change my vajayjay’s name to Sahara Sally because LAWD. If my love pocket was a book, it would’ve been called Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'fore I Diiie (because mother Maya thought of EVERYTHING!).
The bottom line? This thing was happening to my body and I didn’t understand why. Or what to do about it. Thankfully, I’m better educated these days and I’m sharing because who needs sandpaper privates?!
With the decrease of estrogen women experience all kinds of not so fun things. Hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness. It’s basically the teen years without the hope for first kisses or prom.
Estrogen helps the vaginal tissues stay moist and elastic. It also helps keep it strong. That moisture protects the vagina, like a little forcefield, from infections.
When the estrogen decreases, you can imagine what happens. The tissues produce less moisture which leads to the tissues becoming dry and the vagina losing elasticity. And it’s not just about dryness during intercourse, it’s about keeping your body healthy.
What Can You Do?
Don’t be embarrassed! That’s the first thing. I hate that as women, it seems that we are always hiding something that our bodies do. Periods, childbirth, breastfeeding, you name it. Let’s end the stigma and start talking about what is going on with our bodies already.
Yes, diet affects everything and it’s especially important during menopause. Not only can it help you sleep better, and stay in better shape but eating omega-3 fatty acids during menopause can help stave off vaginal dryness. Making sure you are generally hydrated is also a good idea.
Yes, keep those Kegels going, friends! It’s use it or lose it time for real. But don’t forget regular exercise during this time. It can help provide a bit more balance in the hormones which will mean you’ll have a bit more estrogen to keep you lubed up and ready.
HRT – Hormone Replacement Therapy
Talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy. This can sometimes mean vaginal rings or creams that can assist your body where it needs it the most. Each person is different so, a conversation should definitely be had with your physician about this one.
Who said moisturizers are only for your face? Your temple of love can also do with some amazing products to help keep it rejuvenated, moisturized and healthy!
Moisturizers are great even when not engaging in intercourse. Some of the symptoms of dryness include itching and who wants to deal with that in the middle of a busy day? Moisturize, ladies.
Speaking of intercourse, lubrication is important when you are engaging in sex. Why? Well, did you know you can damage vaginal tissue if it’s not properly moist? Add this to the list of why one needs to stay healthy during menopause. We want to come out of this with healthy minds, bodies and vajayjays (who can embroider this on a pillow?).
There are so many things to keep in mind during this time period. I know for me, I felt the least womanly when I was experiencing dryness. The most important thing to remember during this time? Communication!
Communicate with your partner. Let him/her know what’s happening. I know it can be weird but, the more you explain, the better your experience will be. It’s not romantic or sexy but it’s life. Talk about it ahead of time and be prepared. Keep a little bag o’ tricks by the bed with fun little lubricants that you can share during intimate time and be open about your feelings.
This is a major milestone for women. Making sure that those around us are aware of our experience is as important as staying informed and knowledgeable about what’s going on with our bodies and brains.
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