Vagifem is a low-dose ‘localized’ estrogen. It is delivering estrogen to the vagina and adjacent tissues, but not to areas outside of this area (that's why it's called 'localized' vs. 'systemic'). This is a great choice for maintaining vaginal health, since estrogens improve blood supply to the area.
By the way, Vagifem has just come out with a lower dose — 10 mcg as opposed to the typical 25 mcg — that seems to work just as well. There is another prescription alternative: a low-dose ring and cream to deliver estrogen to the area.
An over-the-counter option could be vaginal moisturizers used consistently. Moisturizers don’t improve blood supply, but they do work to keep the vagina moist and supple. You might also benefit from a lubricant during sex.
The real difference between a lubricant and a moisturizer is duration. Lubricants coat the vagina to ease penetration, which adds comfort during intercourse. They provide a benefit at the time of use, but are not designed to last.
Moisturizers (like those we offer at MiddlesexMD) are designed to be longer lasting. They replenish and help maintain water content in the vagina, clinging to the vaginal walls so they are effective for several days. Mineral- and vegetable-oil-based moisturizers are not recommended because they can cause irritation, providing a habitat for abnormal bacteria. Vitamin E oil, on the other hand, can be a helpful ingredient.
A vaginal moisturizer is used every 3 days or so. Some women prefer more frequent use, others need it a little less often to stay comfortable. You can determine your own frequency with use.
The post title is just tongue-in-cheek, folks. A little health writing humor, poking a stick at the whole idea of health “secrets.”
We don’t believe in keeping information about attaining good health secret.
So here, today, long before going live with our website, we are happy to divulge our recipe for sex after menopause. The ingredients are:
Tada! Whooot!!! We have balloons falling and confetti rising over here at MsMD headquarters!! How about you?! No?
Maybe you don’t realize how hard it is to distill good-sex-after-menopause down to an easy-to-remember system? So let me explain: Months ago, we began our work with a hard look at the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV description of disorders contributing to Women’s Sexual Dysfunction (There’s a phrase we won’t use a lot around here, because it worries us. If we don’t yet understand Women’s Sexual Function, how can we comfortably describe its dysfunction?).
We embraced (and strive to remain mindful of) the point of view of women’s sexual problems developed by the New View Campaign, and their concerns about the medicalization of human sexuality. We reduced by our focus on peri-menopausal and menopausal women. Filtered all of these concerns through recent research and publications by members of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH).
We surveyed current literature on female sexuality. We added recent work by sex researchers and therapists and coaches, relationship coaches and mindfulness gurus.
That was the first step.
The next step was sorting all of the helpful advice, tips, skills, and learning into clear descriptions of conditions and pragmatic actions so that women in menopause can understand exactly what is going on with their bodies and what they can do about it if they want things to be different.
We didn’t go looking for the recipe. It surfaced from the work, organically. We began to see how all of the latest and best advice of medical, psychiatric, and sex researchers and coaches, seeking to help older women enjoy their sexuality, clustered into just a few central goals. What does a woman need to do to enjoy sex after menopause? (Assuming, of course, that she wants to enjoy sex after menopause at all. Because that is still her choice.)
She needs to know the physiology of menopause, so she understands what is happening when it happens, and especially that though her experiences are unique to her, she's not alone. And she needs to know some new sexual techniques that will keep sex enjoyable as she ages.
She needs to learn how to take care of her vulvo-vaginal tissues so that sex remains comfortable.
3. Pelvic Tone
She needs to learn how and why to strengthen and maintain her pelvic girdle to encourage circulation and maintain or strengthen her orgasms.
She needs to compensate for less blood flow and less sensitivity in her genital tissues by providing herself with more stimulation, more sexual sensation.
She needs what every woman needs at every age for sex to be good. Sex needs to be intimate. It needs to mindfully create and reinforce a real connection. There it is. No secrets. When we take our site live in April, you’ll get all the rest, descriptions of conditions that get in the way of achieving these five goals, actions you can discuss with your doctor or take on your own to enjoy sexuality for life, and products we have selected to help you on your way.