The life expectancy of an average South African women is 65years.This means that a woman may spend about one third of her life living in the menopause.
Some women choose to take hormone replacement therapy during this time. For many women, they cannot do so. Reasons could be:
- Previous personal, or family history of breast cancer.
- A previous blood clot or an inherited clotting disorder
- Liver problems
- Problematic side effects –especially unwanted vaginal bleeding, or weight gain
- You have taken hormone therapy and have been advised by your doctor that it is no longer safe to carry on
For these women, some may end up struggling with the symptoms of too little estrogen:
Vaginal dryness and the resulting painful sex can be an uncomfortable problem….
This happens because the skin in the vagina loses its folds and elasticity and can no longer stretch like it used to…
Even the strongest marriages and relationships can be truly tested!
4 THINGS TO TRY IN THIS SITUATION
(Please discuss with your own doctor first)
- Vaginal estrogen: only on the advice of your doctor-it comes in a pill or a cream form. Inserted twice a week, it can be used indefinitely .The estrogen stays in the tissues that need it like the bladder and vagina. The dose is usually not high enough to enter the main circulation and cause unwanted effects.
- Good vaginal lubrication: Water based lubricants are fine but they tend to dry out. The silicone based ones seem to have more “staying power”. These are only used with intercourse and not continually like the estrogen. They are available from any good pharmacy.
- Vaginal moisturisers: REPLENSE vaginal moisturiser is a good one to use (I am getting no incentives from the company).I recommend it purely because my patients have had good results. It comes in a pre-filled syringe and is inserted twice a week. Perfect for the women who wants to avoid hormones altogether! The formulation is hydro-phylic. This means that it attracts water molecules and increases natural moisture.
- Vaginal laser: mild and controlled heating of the vaginal tissue with Er:Yag laser stimulates new blood vessel formation and collagen renewal without damaging normal skin. Positive results were obtained in studies with improvements lasting up to 6 months after treatment. Say goodbye to itching, dryness, irritation and painful sex!
So there you have it. Relief is at hand!