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Your Health
During Menopause


What Is Menopause?
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34 Signs of Menopause
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Bioidentical Hormones
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About Your Hormones
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Fibroids: No Surgery
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Your Lifestyle
At Midlife



Options for
treating menopause


Chat with other women
about menopause/libido and vaginal dryness (registration reuired)

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'Power Surge recommends Revival Soy Protein for relief of many menopausal symptoms

Doctor-formulated Revival Soy Protein is the #1 doctor-recommended soy protein in the country. Soy isoflavones eliminate menopausal symptoms.

Read one of Medical Director, Dr. Aaron Tabor's transcripts

Ask the Soy Experts




Several studies show that women who don’t get enough folate (aka folic acid) – a B vitamin found in dark, leafy greens and other plant foods that is essential for repair of damaged DNA – are at greater risk for developing breast cancer

See More Tips




'For natural, bioidentical hormones, Pete Hueseman and Bellevue Pharmacy Solutions

Why put your body through the rigors of adjusting to the "one-size-fits-all" HRT when naturally compounded, bioidentical hormones can be tailor-made to your body's needs?

Read Pete Hueseman's, most recent transcript about natural, bioidentical hormones.

Ask The Pharmacist





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Midlife Sexuality, Relationships / Vaginal Dryness

Additional Reading:


Menopause is nature's original contraceptive. But, it is important to wait a full year after menopause (you're *in* menopause when you've had no period for 12 consecutive months) before giving up contraceptives. During menopause, the thinning of the mucos membrances, along with a loss of elasticity in the walls of the vagina, causes an uncomfortable sensation of dryness in many women. The thinning of the vaginal lining results from the ovaries' decreased production of estrogen. This thinning does not always cause problems, but it can be painful if the lining of the vagina becomes inflamed, dry, and rough. Estrogen creams and pills are the common allopathic solution for this problem, but these products have serious risks and should be used with caution and awareness.

Remember, first and foremost, as you're getting older that many think of sex as penile-vaginal intercourse. Sex is defined differently by different people and schools of thought. Some say, sex can be anything designed to bring a woman to orgasm, yet many women claim to have satisfying sex without always experiencing orgasm -- even though the ideal for most is to reach orgasm. Oral or manual stimulation need not be thought of as the means to lubricate for genital intercourse. They can be a means to orgasm by themselves. A woman's same age partner may be having trouble with his erection and also appreciated broadening the definition of sex.

Though the medical name, atrophic vaginitis, makes this situation seem as if it is a disease, it is not. It can be remedied with simple remedies, loving care and understanding. Above all, follow a good solid nutritional program during your menopause years. This, more than anything, will help prevent the vagina from becoming overly dry and thin.

Sexual desire is often diminished by experiences with perimenopause, but it is often restored when these conditions subside.

Vaginal dryness and the thinning of genital tissue can lead to discomfort during sexual intercourse and masturbation. Over-the-counter, water- soluble vaginal lubricants may be helpful. Estrogen replacement creams are available by prescription.

Menopause is nature's original contraceptive. But it is important to wait a full year after menopause before giving up contraceptives. Also, menopause is no protection against sexually transmitted infections. Condoms are always necessary during sexual intercourse if you or your sex partner have more than one partner.

Using the Pill during perimenopause may mask menopause because periodic bleeding will continue. Women who use the Pill can have their hormone levels checked to be sure that menopause has been reached.

Helpful Power Surge Hints For Treating Thinning and Dry Vaginal Walls

  • First and foremost, drink at least two quarts of water and/or herbal tea every day.

  • Secondly, exercise the PC muscle (pubococcygeus) or Do Kegel Exercises

  • One of the fringe benefits of using soy isoflavones with genistein and daidzein, aka phytoestrogens / natural plant estrogens, is that they can eliminate vaginal dryness in many women because isoflavones have estrogenic effects without the risk of estrogen therapy. The most concentrated form is Revival Soy Protein.

  • Add some oil to your diet. Doing something as simplistic as swallowing one tablespoon of oil (Canola, olive, sunflower, soybean) daily will add lubrication to your body. Dryness, not only vaginal, is one of menopausal women's biggest offenders Doctors may not suggest these simple and very workable methods. They don't require prescriptions.

  • Another thing you may want to try is applying 1/2 teaspoon of natural progesterone cream intravaginally once a day. You can get more info about where to get it from the Web site's Recommendations page, plus there's a wealth of information about NP on the Web site in the Reading Room and in the hundreds of Guest Transcript Library. NP should provide lubrication without causing yeast infections. It's often dryness itself that causes painful intercourse.

  • Naturally compounded estrogen can be helpful in restoring moisture when vaginal dryness occurs during peri and postmenopause.

  • Testosterone Supplementation: Creams, Gels, Pellets, Capsules. Some women prefer to use testosterone supplementation. Remember, a woman needs only a very small dose of prescription testosterone. HRT, such as Estratest, contains too high a dose of testosterone (Dr. Susan Rako, author of The Hormone of Desire). You can E.mail Belmar Pharmacy , Power Surge's pharmaceutical consultant for more information on testosterone supplementation for vaginal dryness or to enhance libido often diminished during the menopause process and for any information regarding "naturally compounded" or "bio-identical" hormones.

  • Take 600-800 I.U. of vitamin E daily - in doses of 200 IU at a time -- not the megadoses you see on the health food store shelves. A menopausal woman shouldn't be using 1,000 IU's of vitamin E at a time and doesn't even need that much over the course of a day. In this case, more isn't better. Before taking supplemental vitamin E, consult your physician if you're being treated for hypertension, diabetes or a rheumatic heart. Under these circumstances, doses should be limited to small amounts, such as 50-150 IU, depending on your health condition. You can read more about vitamin E on the recommendations page.

  • You can insert a vitamin E capsule intravaginally for lubrication and to ease the pain of dryness. No need to break open the capsule; the pH of your body will do the job. This is one of the least expensive, most natural and effective ways of treating vaginal dryness. Just check the outer coating of the capsule first to make sure there are no sharp areas, so that you don't scratch the vaginal area when inserting. You can also cut open the capsule and place the vitamin E oil in the palm of your hand, then put some on your finger and insert it into your vagina. Again, make sure you have no nails that are sharp which might cause scratching or irritation.

  • Over the counter natural progesterone creams help some women, or low doses of prescription natural, micronized progesterone cream. Many of the archived Newsletters in the Reading Room have much information about natural progesterone, plus there are articles on progesterone in the Educate Your Body area of the site.

  • Always lubricate yourself before having intercourse. You can try Replens, which is made specifically for that purpose. It's excellent as well as other lubricating products, such as Astroglide, Probe, Gyne-Moistrin and the old standby, K-Y Jelly. Condoms pretreated with Nonoxynol-9 will also add some slippery enhancement. There's also cocoa butter, coconut oil, and other fruit or vegetable oils such as almond oil and apricot oil also make nice natural lubricants.

  • Taking vitamin A orally is very helpful for dryness in general.

    Add some oil to your diet. Doing something as simplistic as swallowing one tablespoon of oil (Canola, olive, sunflower, soybean) daily will add lubrication to your body. Dryness, not only vaginal, is one of a menopausal woman's biggest offenders Doctors may not suggest these simple and very workable methods. They don't require prescriptions.

  • Alura™ - For Building Intimacy:   Sexual desire and response are frequently diminished during perimenopause due to the fluctuation and decline of hormones, but one's intimate relationships can be enhanced with various remedies. According to JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 40% of American women experience some sort of sexual dissatisfaction and sexual issues frequently become more apparent when perimenopause sets in. For more information about obtaining Alura™, E.mail one of our consulting pharmacists, Belmar Pharmacy. In May, 2001, Oprah's Magazine, "O", touted ALURA™ as a pleasure-heightening, sensation-enhancing cream.

  • There are numerous lubricating gels available on the market. Always lubricate yourself before having intercourse. You can try Replens, which is made specifically for that purpose. There's Astroglide, Probe, Gyne-Moistrin. Condoms pretreated with Nonoxynol-9 will also add some slippery enhancement. There's also cocoa butter, coconut oil, and other fruit or vegetable oils such as almond oil and apricot oil also make natural lubricants.

  • Aloe vera/slippery elm paste is often used to soothe and lubricate an inflamed, dry vagina. Mix enough slippery elm powder into some aloe vera gel to form a thick paste. Apply inside the lips and up into the vagina. It will feel very cool and soothing.

  • Black cohosh can be helpful in relieving not only hot flashes, headaches, but vaginal dryness and more.

  • Chasteberry (Vitex), ginseng, dong quai and evening primrose oil can be helpful as well. Licorice root should be approached cautiously. Be careful using licorice root if you have high blood pressure. Licorice can cause your blood pressure to rise.

  • Another natural lubricant is saliva. Yours or his. A midlife or older woman's times ability to lubricate is not gone, it simply takes longer and requires more stimulation. Manual works fine. The woman or her partner can do it. Oral works better and faster. It can take 45 minutes to an hour. It is not a quick solution, but if a woman needs longer to become lubricated, she needs about the same amount of time to become aroused and her clitoris erect for orgasm. To shorten the time needed by using one of the replacements might be synonymous with having sex for a partner's pleasure primarily.

How to lubricate yourself with various oils and lubricants:

Put a big glob, about the size of a nickel, on the tip of the index finger. Reapply whenever needed. Start by spreading both the inner and outer lips of the vulva with the finger, lubricating as you go. If there is any tissue sticking together, gently rub the finger with the lube in the center of the two lips while pulling back on the outermost lip at the same time. Make certain sure the area between inner and outer lips and between the inner lips is lubed. Then, starting at the vaginal opening make a circular upward spiraling inside the vagina. Also, instead of or addition to the vaginal application, grease the penis up.

You can connect with Power Surge Pharmaceutical Consultant, Belmar Pharmacy, very knowledgeable about menopause. You can call them at 800-525-9473, or E.mail Belmar Pharmacy directly. You'll find his toll-free number is on the Resources list on the Web site. You can also them him questions directly in the Ask Power Surge's Pharmacist area.


KEGEL EXERCISES

WHAT IS A KEGEL?

A kegel is the name of a pelvic floor exercise, named after Dr. Kegel who discovered the exercise. These muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock, holding in your pelvic organs. To try and isolate these muscles trying stopping and starting the flow of urine.

WHY SHOULD I WANT TO DO KEGELS EXERCISES?

Kegeling provides many benefits. The exercises help firm up the vaginal canal, control urine flow (for incontinence problems), tighten and relax the muscles you use to stop urination and enhance orgasm. Sexual enjoyment is enhanced for both partners It can prevent prolapses of pelvic organs It can help prevent leaking urine when you sneeze or cough

HOW DO I DO THE EXERCISE?

Once you have located the muscles simply tighten and relax the mucsle over and over, about 200 times a day. These are basic kegels. There are many variations on kegels: elevator kegels (Where you tighten slowly, in increments going in and out, like an elevator stopping on several floors.), you can hold the muscle tightened for five seconds, you can bulge the muscles out at the end, and many other variations.

Kegel exercises help firm up the vaginal canal, control urine flow (for incontinence problems), tighten and relax the muscles you use to stop urination and enhance orgasm.


SIMPLE KEGEL EXERCISES:

Do at least five Kegels in a row several times a day:

Tighten a little -- count five
Tighten a little more -- count five
As hard as possible -- count five
Relax in reverse steps, counting five at each step

Other recommendations -- homeopathic or herbal methodolgy of treating vaginal dryness might be tincture of Motherwort 10 drops twice a day. You can also take tincture of Dong Quoi, 25 drops a day ( or use the caplets), but don't use Dong Quoi if you have fibroid tumors.




Chat with other women about sexual libido and vaginal dryness


Power Surge Midlife Sexuality, Relationship Experts... Check the Power Surge Web Site's Library for transcripts of guest chats with experts in the area of sexuality. These guests have been part of Power Surge's, "My Menopause, My Sexual Self Series" started in 1995. Every author is listed in the Library alphabetically.

Click on the guest's name below to go to their transcripts.

Dr. Sandra Pertot, the author of Perfectly Normal: Living and Loving With Low Libido.

Dr. Marianne Brandon, the author of Reclaiming Desire: 4 Keys to Finding Your Lost Libido.

Dr. Susan Rako, the author of "The Hormone of Desire: The Truth About Testosterone, Sexuality and Menopause." Dr. Rako is an M.D. / Psychiatrist who's spent years researching testosterone.

Dr. Sandra Scantling, the author of "Extraordinary Sex : A Couple's Guide To Intimacy." Dr. Sandy is Power Surge's Ask The Intimacy Expert.

Steven Carter, author of the international runaway bestseller, "Men Who Can't Love," "What Smart Women Know" and This Is How Love Works. You'll also want to check out Steven Carter's, Ask The Power Surge Relationship Expert.

Mira Kirshenbaum, author of Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay.

Dr. Alan Altman, OB/GYN and Power Surge guest, co-author with Laurie Ashner of Making Love The Way We Used To ... Or Better.

Nancy Friday, author of numerous sexuality books including, The Power of Beauty: Men, Women and Sex Appeal Since Femninism.

Judith Sachs, author of numerous books including The Healing Power of Sex. Joan Irvine, Ph.D., author of Recipes for Hot Sex.

Lonnie Barbach, Ph.D. , author of The Pause: Positive Approaches To Menopause and numerous books on women's sexualty.

Sharyn Wolf, therapist and author of numerous books on sexuality and relationships, " How To Stay Lovers For Life" .

Lee Raffel , family psychotherapist and author of "Should I Stay or Go? How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage."

Additional reading about vaginal health.


 

        

 

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