Here’s the real score: Menopause is inevitable. No matter how many gallons you drink in the fountain of youth, menopause, including all its symptoms, will wage war against you. By the time you reach that 4-0 mark, your hormones will surely start to go berserk, which can result in mood swings, hot flashes, depression and weight gain.
That’s not all. One of the biggest concerns among menopausal women is how they will function down there. Aside from the lack of libido, one of the major issues is vaginal dryness, or vaginal atrophy.
Yes, the difficulty getting wet, which can make you scream in pain, not pleasure, when your man forces the issue.
Vaginal atrophy is an inflammatory condition that results in the shrinking and drying of the vaginal lining. It is a common symptom of menopause, which damages your overall quality of life, including your sex life.
Before you feel bad about yourself, keep in mind that this condition affects 60 percent of post menopausal women and refuse to talk about it with their doctors, due to embarrassment.
If you are nearing menopausal stage, then don’t worry. The lack of moisture is perfectly normal in that stage. Still, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about it. Here are six easy things you can do when you’re dry down south – and still enjoy sex.
1. Use Lubricants
This is the easiest, no-brainer way to solve the dry season down there. Lubrication is very important for easier penetration.
If you can’t make yourself wet, which is not impossible, since you’re in the menopausal stage, then having a lubricant on your bedside will come in handy.
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It makes your vagina moist and at the same time, make any lovemaking session easier and less painful. It reduces the friction associated with dryness, too.
However, be careful in choosing vaginal lubricants. Anything oil-based is a big no-no. As much as possible, stick to water-based lubes, since it is less likely to cause any allergic reactions, or silicone-based products, if you want it to last longer.
Don’t be embarrassed to shop for lubes at your local drugstore, since many women buy it, too. Many couples love to have sex, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of in the store.
When you use lubricants, make sure to use vaginal moisturizers, too. It can make the vaginal tissues and its surroundings stronger and more pliable. This can also help keep your area down there moisturized, and decrease the symptom of dryness.
2. Do Pelvic Floor Exercises
Yes, you read that right. Many people think that doing pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels are only for women who recently gave birth.
Yes, it does help, but that’s not the whole essence of this exercise.The truth is pelvic floor exercises like Kegel and core Pilates are important in keeping your genital area strong.
At the same time, it makes sex fun and more pleasurable because the muscles down there get some exercise, too. If you have urinary incontinence, pelvic floor exercises can be useful.
The first thing you need to do is to find your pelvic floor or PC muscles. Imagine peeing, but you just can’t give it a go because you’re on a public bus and stopping seems impossible.
When you squeeze certain muscles down there, you are actually using your pelvic floor muscles. Now that you found it, it’s time to keep it moving.
For starters, tighten your PC muscles and hold it for six seconds. Relax. Do this 25 times for three times a day. Once you get used to it, do this exercise for 50 times and gradually add 25 more every week.
Yes, it may not be the type of workout you are aiming for, since you are not sweating, but believe it or not, pelvic floor exercises make a big difference in your genital health. Plus, you can do them anytime and anywhere, making it really convenient.
3. Alter Your Lifestyle
Did you know that your lifestyle says a lot in determining your body’s health? If you have been smoking and drinking for the longest time, then in one way or another, some area in your body will suffer. Yes, that might include what’s down there.
The truth is, you need to do certain lifestyle changes to help alleviate vaginal dryness. By lifestyle changes, this means staying hydrated as much as you can.
Water and other caffeine-free drinks help maintain overall health and well-being, which includes your sexual health.
Aside from drinking at least eight glasses of water everyday, it is also important to watch what you eat.
Adding soy to your diet can help in vaginal dryness, thanks to its lignans and isoflavones content. Also, legumes, flaxseeds, edamame beans are recommended to combat dryness down there.
Did you know omega-3 fatty acids are helpful too? Believe it or not, omega-3s found in cold water fish and olive oil can also help increase lubrication down there. Plus, unsaturated fats are good for you too, so increasing this is a must.
Aside from what you eat, watch out for what you do with your body. Douching, bubble baths, and use of any oil-based products can lead to dryness down there.
4. Have Sex
Good news ladies. Just because it is drought season down south, it doesn’t mean you can no longer have sexy time on rare occasions you’re in the mood. As crazy as it may sound, having more sex is advisable in managing your dryness issues down there.
Having some action in the bedroom is an effective way to boost blood in the vaginal area and nourish your vaginal cells.
However, it’s not going to be very easy, so you need to communicate with your man regarding this.
As much as possible, lots of foreplay, masturbation and gentle stimulation can help you a lot in between the sheets.
Take your time and don’t rush. Remember the lubrication tip? Now is the perfect time to use it to keep the area lubricated. Experiment on certain positions to see what works for you best. If you feel any pain or discomfort, tell your man about it.
The important thing is to communicate. Talk to your man, explain to him your issues down south and together, look for ways to make sex even more pleasurable – despite being on menopausal stage.
5. Go Herbal
The effects of holistic changes may take some time to kick in. If you want somewhat faster results, then you can consider alternative medicine.
Acupuncture, homeopathy and massage are some of the holistic ways to go about this.
However, herbal treatments are known to be effective in helping women with vaginal dryness issues, without too much monetary commitment.
You can take herbs as is. However, it will be difficult to find certain herbs in local health stores plus, you might miss out on the effects of other herbs that can help you down there. The best way to treat vaginal dryness is by taking either or a combination of the following two types of supplements:
Phytoestrogenic Supplements – This type of supplement has certain compounds that act and functions as estrogen. Since it complements estrogen deficiency, this type of pills can offer relief against vaginal dryness. The danger in using this is that it might prevent your body from producing hormones naturally and on their own.
Hormone Regulating Supplements – No, there are no hormones in here. Rather, this type of supplement provides nutrients to your endocrine system to stimulate the natural production of hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and other vital hormones. The good news is, this type of pill is a safe and effective way to address vaginal dryness.
You can combine both types of supplements for best results.
6. Consider Hormone Therapy
What if the first five techniques didn’t work, what do you think is your last resort? When all else fails, the last thing you can do is to try the medical approach. Yes, it is effective but it is also expensive and at the same time, poses high risks.
In this situation, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, is your best solution. There are many forms of HRT to choose from, including creams, tablets or in ring form. Whatever you choose, these three forms do the same thing. They supply enough estrogen to your body to thicken the lining of the uterus and increase lubrication down there.
Although effective, studies show that HRT has harmful side effects,
such as increasing your risk of certain cancer types like breast and ovarian cancer, as well as heart disease.
The good news is, there is an alternative that works the same with lower risk of side effects. This is called vaginal estrogen therapy. It comes in the form of a ring, inserted into the vagina.
Before you try everything written on this list, you need to remember that several medications and techniques can cause side effects, so don’t rush in and try out everything. If you want to know what really works, then a combination of any of these techniques will do.
More importantly, take care of yourself. Adjust your lifestyle to its healthiest levels, take supplements if it helps, and resort to medical means only when all else fails.