February is Valentine’s month and the shops are full of flowers, cards and gifts.
Love is literally all around and that leads most of us to think about sex. The desire for it, the lack of it and, perhaps if you’re menopausal, the pain of it.
Menopause can be a difficult time sexually and Valentine’s can just pile on the pressure. Falling hormone levels can affect your sex drive as well as causing your vagina to become thinner, dryer and inflamed, which can cause discomfort at any time, let alone during sex or masturbation. You may also be experiencing problems with low mood. All these things can impact on our relationships and enjoyment of sex. Many women are too embarrassed to talk about these issues which, if left unresolved, can lead to a breakdown in relationships and loss of self-confidence.
Empowering women to talk about menopause and getting that conversation started with friends, partners and GP’s was the reason behind The Sylk Talks Menopause event, which I recently hosted. I was so inspired to see so many women opening up and sharing their experiences about the huge impact menopause can have, particularly on relationships and sex lives. The event really encouraged women to talk frankly about their intimate issues; we even had a song about vaginal dryness by the gold lycra-clad Scummy Mummies!
Love-making is such an important part of a relationship and there are some simple things you can do to help improve it. Dr Louise Newson, who was also on the Q&A panel at the event said, “Some women I see in my clinic haven’t had sex in 2 years. Symptoms like vaginal dryness and low libido are very common and affect the vast majority of women but can be easily resolved. Simple treatments like vaginal lubricants can make all the difference to a woman’s comfort and sex life.”
Don’t let vaginal dryness ruin your Valentine’s Day or any other day. A female-friendly, plant-based lubricant that I like is Sylk Intimate. It’s hormone and paraben free so you can use it alongside HRT and it’s also pH friendly so it helps to keep bad bacteria away. It’s also water based and can be used with condoms. It’s available on NHS prescription, over the counter at all chemists and most health professionals recommend it. You can buy here.
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