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Dear Dearest  


Dear Dearest Q&A's

I just discovered this wonderful board tonight, what a wealth of info! I didn't see anything about my particular perimenopausal problem, however. Almost every time I have sex, there is significant vaginal tearing.

Power Surge Suggestions For Treating

Vaginal Dryness / Sexual Problems

Check the Power Surge 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.

Dr. Sandra Scantling, the author of "Extraordinary Sex : A Couple's Guide To Intimacy." answers your questions about intimacy in the new Ask The Intimacy Expert

There's our relationship expert, Steven Carter, author of the international runaway bestseller, "Men Who Can't Love," and "What Smart Women Know" plus his newest, "Getting To Commitment" in the area called Ask The Relationship Expert.

Check out the transcripts of Nancy Friday,
author of numerous wonderful books including, The Power of Beauty: Men, Women and Sex Appeal Since Feminism.

Lonnie Barbach, Ph.D. , author of "The Pause" and numerous books on women's sexualty. Joan Irvine, Ph.D., author of Recipes for Hot Sex

Here's some info those of you dealing with libido/sexual/vaginal dryness issues should find helpful.

Regarding vaginal dryness/libido, one of the fringe benefits of using soy isoflavones with genistein and daidzein, aka phytoestrogens, is that they have eliminated vaginal dryness in many women. The most concentrated form is Revival Soy Protein .

Another thing you may want to try is applying 1/2 teaspoon of natural progesterone cream intravaginally - i.e., Pro-gest once a day. You can get more info about where to get it from the Web site's Resources page. This should provide lubrication without causing yeast infections. It's often dryness itself that causes painful intercourse.

Take 600-800 I.U. of vitamin E daily (before taking supplemental vitamin E, consult your physician if you're being treated for hypertension, have diabetes or a rheumatic heart). Also, did you know you could 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.

One of the older newsletters has info about natural progesterone, plus numerous other articles and FAQ's in many of the other newsletters. Also, you'll find information in the new Educate Your Body area of the site.

Always lubricate yourself before having intercourse. You can try Replens, which is made specifically for that purpose. I've used it and it's excellent and other lubricating products, such as Astroglide, Probe, Gyne-Moistrin - even Vaseline. 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 menopausal
women's biggest offenders Doctors may not suggest these simple and very workable methods. They doesn't require prescriptions.

In a past issue of "Prevention" magazine rates some of the herbs and vitamins touted to relieve menopause symptoms. Black cohosh is the only compound to earn the magazine's appellation "often helpful" in relieving hot flashes, headache, vaginal dryness and more. Chasteberry, ginseng and vitamin E are rated "possibly helpful." Licorice root should be approached cautiously and dong quai is "probably not helpful," according to the magazine.

There are numerous lubricating gels available on the market. Check the Web site's "Resouces" list for names of suppliers. You can check the links on the Web site (Women's Health links)... and contact Dr. Deb, who's a naturopath. You can also connect with Pete Hueseman, Power Surge's pharmaceutical consultant for six years, who's with College Pharmacy. Pete's toll-free number is on the Resources list on the Web site. They also have an 800 number. Be sure to ask for Pete Hueseman, as he's been so wonderfully helpful as Power Surge's Pharmaceutical Consultant. Transcripts of his visits to Power Surge is in the Library.

* Sex and the Mid-Life Change FAQ *

After menopause, many women have increased sexual desire because they no longer worry about unintended pregnancy. On the other hand, about one-third lose some of their sex drive.

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.

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.

Remember: 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. KEGEL EXERCISES for better muscle tone.

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.

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

You'll find numerous toll-free phone numbers in the AOL Power Surge Reading Room's Resource page and in many of the newsletters in the
HREF="/news.htm">Reading Room of the Web site
. Please read them ... read the indices :) You'll find answers to almost every question about menopause in the reading room.

Also, DHEA can help with libido/dryness. It encourages the production of Testosterone in your body, which is the primary hormone responsible for sexual libido. Read Dr. Susan Rako's transcripts in the
HREF="/library.htm">Power Surge Library
-- she's been a guest twice and is the author of .... "The Hormone Of Desire:The Truth About Testosterone, Sexuality and Menopause."

You may also want to read the most recent transcript of Judith Sachs , author of many wonderful women's health books -- one of my favorites being, "The Healing Power of Sex."

Also, DHEA can help with libido/dryness. It encourages the production of Testosterone in your body, which is the primary hormone responsible for sexual libido. Read Dr. Susan Rako's transcripts in the Power Surge Library -- she's been a few times. You might be interested in trying very small doses of testosterone. Check out the Web site I built for Dr. Rako three years ago --
The Hormone of Desire . You'll find valuable information from her book.

Some other wonderful books I've recently come across: "Passion Play:Ancient Secrets for a Lifetime of Health and Happiness Through Sensational Sex" by Felice Dumas, Ph.D. and Philip Goldberg.

Another Power Surge guest has been Sharyn Wolf, author of, " How To Stay Lovers For Life" . You can find her transcripts in the library, too.

Another interesting book is "Sex On
The Brain:The Biological Differences Between Men And Women"
by Pulitzer Prize winning science writer, Deborah Blum.

There's an entire newsletter devoted to DHEA. Again, check the indices of the newsletters in the Reading Room . Remember, too, that DHEA has its drawbacks - possible masculinization -- deepening of voice and unwanted hair growth (I tried it and experienced the latter).

Read the other transcripts as well, including those by Nancy Friday (The Power of Beauty; My Mother, Myself); Gail Sheehy (The Pause), Dr. Susan Love (Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book); Dr. Chris Northrup (Women's Bodies, Women's
Wisdom), Ann Louise Gittleman (Super Nutrition For Menopause and tons of others.. she's the former nutritional director of the Pritikin Center); Ruth Jacobowitz (150 Most Asked Questions About Midlife Sex, Love and Intimacy... she's great). Links to her books can be found on her transcripts in the Library. All these books can be found in the Power Surge Bookstore/Reading List which contains not only excellent books for women in menoause, but other issues women face at midlife.

View the other chat transcripts in the in the library as well. There's excellent information there which addresses your very questions, but you have to do some of the legwork yourself. I've tried to provide as much as possible for all of you

I hope this has helped.

Power Surge Founder

Information provided by Dearest is general in nature and should not be construed as a substitute for a visit to and examination by your own health care practitioner.
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