Ladies, we need to talk about our vaginas.
The truth is that most of us feel too embarrassed to talk about vaginal health let alone menopausal dryness. Many of my readers have probably suffered from vaginal itching, soreness and dryness at some point in their lives but only one of out every three women seeks medical help and there is a still a taboo attached to the topic.
Vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms of the menopause but ironically one of the least talked about. I have spoken to so many women and the majority are just putting up with their symptoms and suffering in silence. That can have a really negative impact on self-esteem and intimate relationships. A woman approached me the other day and said that she was 48 and had a younger boyfriend. She was very conscious about feeling dry during sex which has brought me to talk about the silent suffering that so many women are going through.
Vaginal dryness is caused by the fluctuating levels of estrogen in our bodies. As the level of estrogen drops, the tissue around the vagina can become thinner, dryer and inflamed, losing its moistness and softness. Every woman is different and these changes can take months or years to develop. Many women first notice dryness during sex as the vagina may shrink a little and expand less easily making intercourse uncomfortable or even painful.
We are living longer and as a result many of us will spend a third of our lives being post-menopausal. Vaginal dryness is a lasting symptom of the menopause that carries on into post-menopause and so we have to take care of our intimate health and show our vaginas some TLC!
My Top Tips
Dryness can be a very difficult subject to broach especially with your husband or partner. But communication is key to understanding, even if it is uncomfortable at first. Once you both get past the initial awkwardness, the conversation can be very rewarding as you talk about how are you feeling and the effects your symptoms may be having on your relationship.
Use a lubricant
I would recommend using a lubricant like Sylk. Sylk is the only natural lubricant made from bio-sustainable New Zealand kiwi vine extract. This gives Sylk its naturally super silky texture. Due to falling estrogen levels, the vaginal tissues are very sensitive. Sylk is kind and gentle to delicate tissues. It is also water based, pH friendly, non-drying, hormone and paraben free. You can buy Sylk at all chemists for £8.99 or buy direct from www.sylk.co.uk.