Dryness (down there)
Yep, I’m gonna use the “V” word and talk about vaginal dryness. I hear a lot of menopausal women sharing this uncomfortable and totally irritating complaint. It can be anything from annoying to downright debilitating and a serious sex life ruiner, that is if you even want to have sex at all during menopause. So ladies, let’s dive into the “V” and see what we can do to bring some rain to that desert parchedness.
First off, what’s leading to the dryness? You probably guessed hormones, and you’re right! But, did you know that the dryness can be only one symptom of a more general menopausal issue called vaginal atrophy? That just doesn’t sound right does it? Could we get a better name people?!? No woman wants to hear her vagina is atrophying! It lends itself to additional menopause shaming, along the lines of we’re “drying up”, “past our prime”, “crones”, “no longer useful” BS that accompanies many of societies messages at this time in a woman’s life. Don’t even get me started on this topic, which needs a whole article (I’m making a mental note right now) and is the farthest thing from the truth!
Ok, sorry, I’m gonna have to dive into it just a bit… The definitions of atrophy I just found online are: “waste away” and “gradually decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect”. Again, serious shaming alert here! No one’s vagina is wasting away or losing it’s effectiveness or vigor! Let’s shift this to vaginal changes occurring during menopause, and this is due to less estrogen, which is completely normal during menopause. Symptoms of these changes, which are temporary, can include dryness, itching, irritation, and pain during sex. What a bummer huh? The good news is many women aren’t even interested in sex during this transition, so you might not even care. Your partners might, but menopause is about you, period (pun intended)!
Menopause is about your own very personal journey inward, this transition into your wise woman years, becoming a true elder of our society with deep, profound, wisdom to share and teach. Don’t just gloss over that last sentence, and don’t get caught up on the word elder. Menopause is a time to be internal, work on your own self healing, get in touch with who you really are separate from being a mother, worker, wife, etc. and deepen your connection to your spirit. Then you can bring forth the knowledge gained from that inner pilgrimage to the world, to the rest of us, and teach us how to go inside and get in better touch with our spirits too.
It makes perfect sense that you might not want to have sex right now, or you might want to less, or you may even be going in the other direction and want it more than ever before, discovering Tantra and finding a whole new spiritual connection through intimacy. The point is however you’re feeling is just fine and serves a purpose for you. Be selfish and focus on you and what you need. You’ve deserve it!
Back to dryness now and what you can do to help, in case you do want to have sex. First, some hormonal essential oils like Clary Sage or Geranium are excellent for the estrogen balancing component. But, some specific seed oils can really help with the dryness itself. My two favorites are Argan seed and Cucumber seed oils.
Argon is the “anti-aging” oil. It’s smooth, moisturizing, and promotes vaginal health because it contains antioxidants which help repair cellular damage and reduce inflammation. Argan has the added bonus of being an aphrodisiac. At risk of embarrassing my husband, Argan has really helped me get our groove on during this time and has been boosting my sex drive for sure. Honey, you’re welcome!
Cucumber seed oil is amazing as well, because it’s cooling as well as lubricating, which is a godsend if you’re dealing with irritation too. Cucumber seed oil helps to balance moisture in the skin, so helps even when you’re not using it at the moment, and is especially recommended for dry or mature, aging skin. Us menopausers fall into both those categories.
Ok, let’s throw in another couple options as well. Jojoba oil is non-allergenic, which can be important for some, so shouldn’t cause any irritation for even the most sensitive user. It also contains vitamin E, which is know for promoting healthy and clear skin. Jojoba is also antibacterial and anti-fungal, so helps with potential microbial issues (think yeast). Hazelnut oil is another great one in supporting yoni and womb work, so gift her silkiness a try. She’s a support to regenerating tissue like Argan, so that’s a bonus!
I’ve tried others such as coconut or sesame oil. I’m a big fan of natural, non-petroleum lubricants because let’s help not hurt our va-jay-jays. Coconut wasn’t lubricating enough and sesame smells a little too much like dinner – could be a turn off for some (smiley face emoji).
So, if you’re feeling frisky and are dealing with some dryness (down there) then give one of two of these a try. Remember to honor yourself and where you are no matter what that looks like. You’re in a transition and how you feel today, this week, this month is not how you’re going to feel for the rest of your life. You’ll be back! The more you embrace the inwardness, the more you you’ll come back with!