Welcome to the Vagina Revolution!

By Susie Finesman | Originally Published Sep 27 2018  In The Groove

Dr. Sherry A. Ross OB-GYN, author and women’s health expert is also the flag carrier of “The Vagina Revolution” and author of “She-ology,” a great primer for learning more about our intimate health. What follows is just the beginning of an ongoing conversation because we think she’s an awesome advocate for women’s health.

First of all, Dr. Sherry, can you tell us why our vaginas need a revolution?

Our vagina’s don’t actually “need” a revolution but the conversation could sure use a radical makeover. When it comes to vaginal and sexual health, women over 50 have been operating with misinformation, half-truths and an overall lack of science for way too long. For example, there are so many ways of thinking about and dealing with perimenopause that most women have never heard of.  We’ve successfully indoctrinated women to see their gynecologist once a year for a Pap smear, but the average office visit is now 7 ½ minutes –when do you ask your doctor about all the other issues: night sweats, dryness, loss of libido or low sex drive? These questions shouldn’t be unspoken but when do you get to ask them—in the two minutes after your doctor says “Now scooch” down a bit…. a little bit more?”

Is there anything specifically different about my 50 plus age-defying vagina?

Perimenopause and menopause and it’s hormonal havoc cause a variety of disruptive symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, depression, anxiety, abdominal bloating, water retention, vaginal dryness and weight gain to name a few, but the aging process affects everyone differently with one certainty: after menopause, you will have a lot less estrogen. Less estrogen means less hydration which causes vaginal dryness.  This is pretty much the standard and delicate, dry vaginal tissue often leads to painful sex, tearing, and burning which can lead to easy access for STI’s and who wants that? This is why we shouldn’t be shy about adding some lubricant or a sex toy to the mix.

I mean, we are older but we are also smarter—who couldn’t use a little assist? I know many of you can agree with me, it’s so much harder to have an orgasm as we get older!

OK. Dryness—that’s a good over-coffee conversation. Is there any relief to be had?

Actually, plain old coconut oil is a great moisturizer and antidote for external dryness. If you put coconut oil in your bath it’s good news for all of your skin at the same time. I’m also a fan of Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash instead of drying soap. I mean, washing your feet and your vagina with the same bar of soap might not be the smartest two-step. And when traveling, carry some vaginal wipes—they are gentle and you can also use them to clean your hands – just not the other way around.

What about women who aren’t having a lot of sex? Is there a physiological downside to closing up shop? | | | Next → |

Posted in: Let's Talk Women's Health

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