Personally I prefer to refer to menopause as "the Change" because not all aspects of leaving the reproductive part of life are negative.
There are benefits such as: • No more messy periods to deal with.
• No more worrying about unwanted pregnancy • Women who experience heavy or painful periods finally get relief.
The Not So Positive Side of Menopause There is however, a downside to menopause.
You may experience some, or all of the following symptoms: • Hot flushes • Irritability • Vaginal dryness • Pain during sexual intercourse The Role of Estrogen At menopause, less estrogen is being produced in your body compared to the levels that you had when you were fertile.
In fact, a post-menopausal woman commonly produces only about 30% of the estrogen that she once produced.
Unfortunately, this lack of the female hormone, estrogen causes changes in the vagina - including dryness.
Less lubrication being produced by the vagina means more friction in the vagina during penetrative sexual intercourse.
This increased friction can quickly become painful.
Some Medical Options for Menopausal Vaginal Dryness Oral Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Until very recently, most doctors have commonly prescribed oral HRT (hormone replacement therapy in a pill form).
Oral HRT dramatically improves menopausal symptoms, but unfortunately oral HRT has been linked to an increased risk of many types of cancer.
Breast cancer rates and ovarian cancer rates are significantly greater in HRT users.
Many doctors are aware of the increased cancer risk, and advise using the minimum dosage of HRT that can successfully relieve the symptoms and only use it for the shortest period of time.
Estrogen Vaginal Creams Another medical option is estrogen cream that is applied by smearing in the vagina.
Because estrogen creams are applied locally rather swallowed (which then affects the whole body), they are somewhat safer than oral HRT pills.
Unfortunately, estrogen creams also increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
The common advice is to use them infrequently or as little as possible.
Viagra for Women Studies have been done by Pfizer, the makers of Viagra that show that taking Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) before sex can help to increase lubrication in women who suffer from vaginal dryness during sexual intercourse.
Please consult your doctor for advice if you are considering any of the above medical options.
Non - Medical and Natural Approaches for Menopausal Vaginal Dryness Personal Lubricants The simplest way to treat vaginal dryness is to use a personal lubricant (also known as a sexual lubricant) such as those you find in supermarkets, chemists and pharmacies, adult stores and online.
There are even natural ones made from kiwi fruit available.
The Role of Diet A healthy diet consisting of plenty of fresh foods, vegetables and plenty of good, natural fats is helpful in restoring moisture to skin cells everywhere - including in the vagina.
Natural Herbal Supplements You may also want to try natural herbal supplements such as Evening Primrose Oil or Black Currant oil, which contain concentrated gamma linoleic acid (GLA) which can help to balance the female hormones.
Bio-Identical Herbal Hormone Replacement Therapy Consulting a naturopath who specialises in bio-identical (herbal) hormone replacement may bring you amazing relief.
Many women have had wonderful results from a naturopathic option such as personalised 'herbal HRT'.