“My forties were pretty much a blur. I gave birth to my twin sons at forty-five, and after breast-feeding for six months, my periods returned on an annoyingly irregular basis. Apparently I was in pre-menopause, right on the heels of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding—what a treat. I started natural estrogen and progesterone as soon as I could to control the symptoms, since I’d heard from my very vocal girlfriends just how horrible those symptoms might get. I’d already experienced a few hot flashes in bed that drove me to fling my legs out from under the covers in all crazy directions just to cool down. When dressing for the day, I’d wear layers so that I could strip them off easily. Hence, I became addicted to wearing decorative shawls!

I’ve always felt that humor was important in dealing with female health-related issues—a little humor, combined with open, honest discussions with a trusted doctor. I’ve been blessed to have such a doctor, one who is not only brilliant, but also encouraging, tactful, and skilled in getting me to open up about some very private issues. I’m not sure that would have been the case with a male doctor.”

-Jane Seymour Actress & Artist

 

First, may I present the biggest change for the Mature V, The Big M—Menopause. In this chapter I hope to address the many, myriad questions that you may face with your Mature V—the emotional as well as the physical and psychological—so that you do not have to be sidelined as you enter this next, exciting chapter of your life. Medically speaking, menopause is a natural condition in which your ovaries stop producing the estrogen that your body and vagina have, up until menopause, relied on. When estrogen production stops, so does your menstruation. Since
the main function of estrogen is to support the development of the female body and the female secondary sexual characteristics, it only makes sense that when estrogen is gone, every part of our body that makes us female is affected, some worse than others.


Chapter Photos

Vaginal dryness during menopause
Vaginal dryness during menopause
Vaginal dryness during menopause
Vaginal dryness during menopause

Vaginal dryness, also known as vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA).

Vaginal dryness during menopause
Vaginal dryness during menopause
Vaginal dryness during menopause
Vaginal dryness during menopause

Vaginal dryness, also known as vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA).

Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA)
Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA)
Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA)
Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA)

Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA)

Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex

Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) combined with infrequent sex causing a smaller vaginal opening.

Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex

Many women suffering from vaginal atrophy have usually do not had regular vaginal penetration. Lack of penetration, combined with VVA, can result in a shrinking of the vaginal opening, which may be combated with the use of a vaginal dilator.

Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex

Many women suffering from vaginal atrophy have usually do not had regular vaginal penetration. Lack of penetration, combined with VVA, can result in a shrinking of the vaginal opening, which may be combated with the use of a vaginal dilator.

Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex
Small vaginal opening due to VVA and infrequent sex

Many women suffering from vaginal atrophy have usually do not had regular vaginal penetration. Lack of penetration, combined with VVA, can result in a shrinking of the vaginal opening, which may be combated with the use of a vaginal dilator.

Vaginal tear
Vaginal tear
Vaginal tear
Vaginal tear

Vaginal tear with intercouse