- Women’s Health
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- Nurse Barb
There’s lots of reasons why sex might be painful after you turn 50. For many women as estrogen levels decline during midlife, their vaginas become much more dry and don’t have the same elasticity or ability to stretch.
What you might notice
Most women know that doing Kegel exercises can help prevent leaking urine, but many are surprised to learn that being able to isolate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles can also enhance sexual functioning. Really! Strengthening these muscles has the potential to improve sexual sensation, satisfaction and orgasm in women.
It’s never too late
Many of my patients throw in the towel, so to speak, and shrug their shoulders, figuring there’s not much they can do now, and those days are behind them, settling for watching episodes of Outlander.
Studies have confirmed what real women experience – pelvic floor concerns tend to lead to more sexual complaints, from low libido and problems with sexual arousal to inability to achieve orgasm.
“Unfortunately, many women feel that decreased sexual function is an inevitable part of aging,” said Leslie Rickey, MPH, MD, Associate Professor of Urology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Fellowship Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Yale School of Medicine. (more…)
Sometimes it seems that everything in our bodies suddenly changes after 45. Almost overnight, there appear to be more frequent trips to the bathroom, waking us from sleep and driving women to map out their days based on the proximity of clean bathrooms.
Then, there’s the worry about coughing, sneezing or laughing and the possibility of a little leaking urine and needing to wear pads for protection. Leaking and incontinence describe the same thing.
In addition, many women also start noticing a slight discomfort and dryness around the genitals and in the vagina, and a new need for lubricant when intimate.
If these are some of the changes you’re noticing, you’re not alone. Millions of women at mid-life find that their bodies are changing in ways that few people talk about.
Everyone has questions about whether it’s ok to have sex in pregnancy, if intimacy will lead to labor or bleeding and whether it’s normal to be lots more interested or completely turned off. The trouble is, very few of us are comfortable asking our health care providers and so rely on friends or the internet (more…)
When you buy your ticket on the hormonal roller coaster, affectionately known as menopause, I have some bad news: Sorry, you probably won’t be making a stop at splash mountain. Nope, menopause brings lots of unexpected twists and turns and one big secret, your Va Jay Jay will be a lot dryer.
Ok, using correct terminology, the vagina gets a lot drier and less able to expand and stretch and, well, have fun.
Can You Say Sahara?
Yes, there will be more wrinkles, but you knew that. What many of my patients are surprised by is how dry their skin is, especially in their vaginas. The once healthy, pink, soft and flexible, stretchy accordion-like folds begin to thin out and are less flexible. And, what’s worse, now that you don’t have to worry about pregnancy, all of a sudden, your ability to lubricate recedes like a middle-aged man’s hairline. (more…)
How it Happens
We all have a little yeast on various areas of our skin. They just hang out and usually don’t cause any trouble. Yeast is a type of fungus (I know, ick!), but they’re everywhere, and opportunistic little fellas. Meaning that when our immune systems are out of whack, they take the “opportunity” to overgrow, and multiply and make more little yeastie beasties. (more…)
I was talking to 2 friends the other day, who both had double mastectomies for advanced breast cancer. Kim and (not their real names) had complete reconstruction and neither one had been able to save their nipples.
They were both talking about how difficult it is to have one nipple that’s horizontal and points straight ahead like a headlight, and the other that’s off in it’s own direction, like a wandering and wayward child.