There’s nothing worse than pretending to be asleep or exhausted out of fear of sex and the thing is, you’re not alone.
Called “wasting away” or ” gradual decline in effectiveness or vigour due to underuse or neglect”, vaginal atrophy or dryness is a silent epidemic affecting up to 50% of menopausal women. Even more shocking is that less than 4% women seek effective therapies to address the problem.
But first, let me show you why sex has become a scary thought…
Reduced estrogen levels are the main cause of vaginal dryness. Vaginal walls become thinner, restricting blood flow and it can feel itchy and dry causing pain or light bleeding with sex.
Estrogen helps keep the vaginal tissue healthy. It promotes lubrication, elasticity and normal acidic balance in the vagina. All, natural defences against vaginal and urinary tract infections.
Taking the pill takes away your sex life.
Birth control pills usually suppress ovarian function resulting in lower circulating blood estrogen levels than before you started the BCPs. This ovarian suppression also lowers your circulating testosterone. Say, buh bye libido. With decreased sex drive, the internal mechanisms for vaginal lubrication, blood flow and sexual arousal are gone.
This Sahara-like dryness can also be a side effect of:
- Antihistamines & decongestants
- Anti depressants
- Calcium channel blockers & beta blockers
- Child birth & breast feeding
- Cancer treatment
Here’s how you can rebuild your vaginal walls and restore pleasurable sex.
Mucilaginous plant foods and herbs such as aloe, chia and in particular (wait for it!) okra can bring you well-lubricated benefits. Okra is packed with vitamin A, beta-carotene, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and copper to balance the vaginal walls. Eat it raw or cook as a side.
Aromatic fennel has long been used to ease digestive stress. With antioxidant, estrogenic, anti-inflammatory properties, it has shown to be an effective therapy for vaginal atrophy in post-menopausal women.
Now, I see you sitting there thinking, ” Ok, Kiran but you love cooking. It’s not that easy for me.”
I get you. Start here.
Contract. And relax. Kegel exercises, twice a day bring more circulation down under to thicken the vaginal wall. Takes 5 minutes to contract and relax.
Lubricants can offer a short-term solution but tread with caution. Often chemicals in them may cause further irritation, dryness and discomfort. Instead, a few drops of Vitamin E oil mixed with coconut oil or Vitamin E suppositories can act as an effective moisturiser.
Sea Buckthorn Oil A 2014 study showed sea buckthorn oil as a potential alternative to estrogen therapy for vaginal dryness. It’s rich in flavonoids, vitamins, and essential fatty acids such as omega-7 to improve vaginal lubrication.
Let me leave you with this.
Use it or lose it
So…yeah…indulge in activities that get the blood flowing to keep your vagina young – including sex, sensual massage and plain old exercise.
I’ve more to say on this and all things menopause, so stay tuned…
Until then, pick one of the above to get started with + your vagina (and partner) will thank you for it!
(Let me know in comments below what you picked)