- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- 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
Many women I speak to are surprised to learn that they can take birth control pills in their 40’s and early 50’s as long as there are no contraindications. Many women who are in Perimenopause, that is the time when there are a lot of menstrual irregularities, the start of hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, will benefit from taking a low dose birth control pill to help with their symptoms as well as provide contraception.
Fertility after 40
While fertility rates do decline after 40, if a woman is still having her period, even if it’s irregular, she can become pregnant. Contraception is advised if a woman does not want to become pregnant.
There are as many different experiences of menopause as there are women. For some women, menopause arrives like a gentle breeze with barely a feeling of warmth or any other bothersome symptom, while others experience menopause like a Class 5 Tropical storm with overnight drenching hot flashes and night sweats, mood changes and a complete disruption in life.
While many clinicians understandably and appropriately focus on hot flashes and night sweats, many women may be more concerned with sleep disturbances, weight gain, loss of libido, vaginal dryness, incontinence and mood changes.
“I wasn’t sure that there’s was anything I could do, and I was just ready to give up.”
Don’t Give Up!
I hear this sentiment a lot, but it doesn’t have to be this way at midlife or at any time in our lives. The good news is there are a multitude of choices and options for women no matter what their situation when it comes to intimacy, sex and comfort.
New ways to enjoy sex
As women, we put up with a lot and often are too embarrassed to discuss how overnight, we suddenly needing to use lubrication or are having pain with sex. Our biology is complicated, but now the solutions are not. There are a lot of new ways for women to have more satisfaction and enjoy sex.
What’s New? Non-hormonal treatments
Not to be confused with lubricants for sex, these help attract moisture to the sensitive vaginal tissue and keep the moisture there. (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.
Lots of things change as women continue on their journey through mid-life. Some, like increased confidence and less worry about what others think, are fantastic aspects, others like unwanted changes in our bodies can be frustrating to deal with. What’s worse? Insensitive comments, such as the one’s I’ve compiled below.
Want to learn more?
This Saturday, Sept 26, 2015, El Camino Hospital will be hosting a FREE women’s health fair from 9:30 to 12:30. Seating is limited, so register by clicking here or call: (800) 216-5556
• Is that a beard? Have you ever considered electrolysis? – The fact is that during the menopause transition, lots of women start to lose the hair on their heads and around their pubic areas (which is probably age related) and at the same time discover alarming new hair growth where we don’t want it! – Our upper lips, chins and necks.
Blame hormonal changes for the thick, coarse hairs that seem to sprout every day. Plucking, waxing, threading are good temporary measures. If the hair is dark then laser will still work. Personally, I have my electrolysis expert on speed dial. She has vanquished both dark and light hairs over many months. (more…)
Menopause is that one magical day when a woman hasn’t had any menstrual bleeding for 12 months. The following day, she is considered post-menopausal. Women may experience menopause starting in their 40s or 50s. The average age is 51.
What most of us consider menopause is actually Peri-menopause, or as I call it, the Hormonal Roller Coaster. This is the time in life when periods are erratic, symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats begin and women start to feel more fatigued, notice some leaking urine, less sex drive and more wrinkles. (more…)
1. What are some of the most common problems menopausal women complain of?
Nearly 3 out of every 4 women have hot flashes or night sweats. And most also notice many symptoms that they don’t complain about unless their health care providers ask:
• Sleep disturbances
• Weight gain
• Too much facial hair
• Changes in mood.
• Changes in sexuality
These all contribute to a change in a woman’s quality of life and the good news is that there are treatments, both hormonal and non-hormonal.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mache Seibel, the founder and creator of My Menopause Magazine that’s available on iTunes.
Dr. Seibel teaches at Harvard and is an expert in many areas of women’s health. He offered up a wealth of information about how we can stay healthy as we age.
#1 Eat well – it almost goes without saying, but we can’t say it enough. Eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains while avoiding packaged and pre-prepared foods is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Years of research will tell you what you see with your friends and family who are healthy. By eating choosing to have at least ½ of your plate filled with vegetables and having less red meat, you can avoid heart disease and diabetes.
#2 Sleep – We often forget how important sleep is for our well being. We all know that less sleep means more irritability and a shorter fuse, but you may also be surprised to learn that more sleep means a lowered risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Studies on night shift workers have found higher rates of obesity.
Many of us find that being tired leads to more food cravings. (more…)
If you’re like me you probably have 2 or 3 different ones going at the same time. If you’ve located it, take a moment and look at it.
Just how long is your list?
Are you even on the list?
Are there any fun activities or relaxation time built in to your list?
And, if you say that walking the dog is relaxing, or that you can work while getting 12K steps on the treadmill, then girlfriend, you’re doing too much.
Multi-tasking is over-rated?
How is it that we have more time saving devices and more technology to help us do everything, and yet we’re busier than ever before with barely any time left to relax. (more…)