Menopausal Mind… Forever Young

I recall during pregnancy having lapses of memory that were blamed upon the Mommy Mind and the hormones of pregnancy. Here I am at 50 and I am wondering about my menopausal mind. I was keeping track of 2 weeks time to remember to stop and say goodbye to a friend who leaves for the winter. The day I planned to stop and hug her goodbye I find I am 1 week late. How DID I lose track of a whole week?

I asked my dear male partner in rhetorical humor:

“Why can’t I go back to 20?”

To which he replied with his hand over my heart:

“You are always 20 in your heart.”

Funny, but not in my head!

ME hands on my head

I would take memory herbs… IF I could remember to take them. Seriously, I am not that bad, just sad about not saying goodbye.

So I remind myself of the beauty of the Menopausal Years:

At menarche a woman enters her power, 
                      Through menstruation she practices her power, 
                           At menopause she becomes her power.
                                                                              Native American Wisdom

Later that day, while driving to pick up my kids at school, I am blessed by this song on the radio: (I am pretty certain the universe was telling me all will be OK.)

Forever Young
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young,…
About those menopausal years… If you have followed the last 2 years of the Red Tent Summit, then you are wise to the empowerment of female energy spreading in our world. I was invited to share my Wise Woman Wisdom as one of female presenters in February 2016’s Womb-Wise Circle for Red Tent Summit 2016! 
I am honored and excited to share my years of wisdom as a
  • Female,
  • RN,
  • Health & Wellness/Fitness Educator, and
  • Natural Healing Wise Woman Nurse with the world.

If you have not watched the Red Tent Summit in 2014 and 2015, I invite and encourage you to do so in 2016. Red Tent Summit

Blessings of Love, Peace, and healing energy, Paula
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Menopausal Effects On Our Vulvas & Vaginas

vagina & female reproductive WORDS

Vaginal Atrophy, Atrophic Vaginitis… Hmm, not very positive or friendly sounding words.  As an OB/GYN Nurse working in a variety of clinical settings for years, I heard these terms quite frequently.

My reaction was varied depending on the day, my mood, etc.:

  • negative, why do female health matters always seem to be labeled in negative ways
  • clinical (see negative above), why does a normal aging function of  a woman’s body get labeled like it was a disease? Women are not supposed to be reproductively capable for life. It only stands to reason that the reproductive parts of our bodies will not always function like a highly fertile 20 year old.
  • won’t happen to me… sort of like the won’t get pregnant the first time I have sex or as a teen. We are invincible young people and our vaginas will never get old. Our faces won’t wrinkle. Our boobs won’t sag. Oh yeah, and no grey hairs either!

Ta Da! Time to think about these things as I am now 50 and continue to work with women around their health and health care issues. When I hear the words vaginal atrophy or my clients describing symptoms about their vulvas and vaginas, well, the whole things seems closer to home. At 50 years old I can see the changes in my body, in my reproductive tract, and my general level of energy. (Dorothy may not be in Kansas anymore and I am definitely not feeling 20 anymore!)

Symptoms of vaginal & vulva atrophy can include:vulva

  • thinning of the vaginal walls and labia
  • shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal making intercourse difficult or impossible
  • lack of vaginal moisture (vaginal dryness), vulva dryness
  • vaginal  & vulva burning (inflammation)
  • spotting of blood after intercourse
  • discomfort or pain during intercourse
  • pain or burning with urination
  • more frequent urinary tract infections
  • urinary incontinence (involuntary leakage when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift that bag of groceries or your grandchild…)
vagina

This picture, to me, depicts the Divine Vagina, the Divine Female Reproductive Tract!

So what’s a gal to do to keep her vaginal area comfy and functioning at the capacity she desires at any given time in her peri-menopausal or menopausal life? I have suggestions. They are just that, suggestions. Find what works for you and do it. What works may change over the seasons of the year and at different stages of your life.

My Advice:

Whole food diet: Your body CANNOT function in a healthy manner unless you feed it with the foods nature intended. Yes, for those of you who have listened to me say this for years… decades, I do get sick of hearing myself say it, write it, repeat it over and over. The fact of the matter is your body cells function best with real food. Anything else passing through that trap door on your face and you risk the consequences: unhealthy body including that voluptuous vagina and her friends the vulva, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. And yes, I will continue to rattle on about whole food eating the rest of my life.

Herbs to THE Rescue: Herbs are foods and will contribute to your whole food lifestyle and your cellular health.

My home made herbal oil infused wild yam lube for all sorts of vaginal needs!

My home made herbal oil infused wild yam lube for all sorts of vaginal needs!

Make a wild yam cream to slather onto your vulva and into your vagina. I made the wild yam lube cream and will share it in a video in my Herbal Online Course for teaching you the basics of starting to make and use your own herbal preparations: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/herbs-for-health-healing/  Join me for this fun, informative, and health liberating 1 week course.

Or buy it from me!

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.

Rack Card NEW

red clover vaginal atrophyUse herbs in tinctures, medicinal strength teas, and capsules to enrich your female organ’s health. Three herbs that I love for female health are stinging nettles, red raspberry leaf, and red clover blossoms. Make use of the plant magic we have in our world to prevent and heal health concerns.

female reproductive tinctures

My homemade tinctures for menopausal health. Motherwort is good for hot flashes, moodiness, and a few other common menopausal symptoms. The nettle, red raspberry & red clover tincture is good for cellular health, uterine health, and vaginal atrophy. If you are younger and want to conceive, it makes for a good fertility tonic too!

Avoid synthetic hormones: birth control pills, estrogen replacement, etc. While the short term fix for the inflamed and irritated vagina may seem liberating… the long term consequences are not worth it. Let see: Cancer or an aging vagina… hmm, I’ll work with and around my vagina’s needs thank you very much.

Continue to have a regular sex life. Having sex on a regular basis helps to keep the vagina juicy and the tissues stronger. This makes sense as having sex, having orgasms, enjoying playfulness with your partner releases sexual hormones that keep us younger in more ways than one!

As I walk daily into the menopausal years, I welcome them with open arms. Every season in life brings with it its beauty, its challenges, and the potential for growth as a human being. In the meantime I listen and learn from my elders: what did they do to naturally ease menopausal concerns and welcome their wise woman years? Womanly wisdom is wisdom meant to be shared.

To Learn More About Using Herbs To Contribute To Cellular Health, Reproductive & Menopausal Health, And Longevity Join My Herbs For Natural Health Online Course.

This Is A No Sweat, Straight Forward Class On Making Simple Herbal Medicines And Learning about 3-5 Herbs That Enhance Each Specific Body System For Your Vibrant Health.

I Look Forward To Sharing This Time Honored, Wise Woman Wisdom With You, Paula

herbal medicine

Things I Worry About as a Mom AND Random Thoughts On Female Anatomy & Sensuality

mom and boys

Things I Worry About As A Mom

  • Will my boys eat whole foods when they fly the coop and maintain the cellular healthy eating habits I have taught them,
  • Texting drivers on the road when my kids (and everyone else’s kids) are out riding their bikes,
  • The fact that my kids rarely go out on their bikes 😦 ,
  • I have brought 2 males into this world and will I let loose 2 more males who are clueless about female sensual anatomy and pleasure? (Trust me there are more worries but I will stop here for now.)

Which leads me to…

Random Thoughts on Female Anatomy and Sensuality

uterus divine

Much to my kid’s humorous despair, yes, we talk about these things at the dinner table: female anatomy and sensuality, being good partners in a relationship, etc.

holding hands     female male symbols

Which of course brings up their ever present questions: “Why can’t you be a normal Mom? Do you think other families have these dinner time discussions?”

To which I reply… “Other people’s dinner time discussions are not my concern. I want to make certain I send happy, healthy males out into this world who will appreciate and love up their women.”

When I was 20 years old I took my first job in OB/GYN nursing working as an office nurse for a fine ON/GYN Doc. I fell in love with Maternity Nursing. Wait, who am I trying to kid? As a student nurse watching my first delivery, I fell in love with Maternity Nursing, but I did my obligatory time, one year as a Med/Surg Nurse, to sharpen all my nursing skills.

I have always been amazed at the miracle of life: two half cells (egg and sperm) come together and create one whole cell. This one cell splits and divides billions and billions of times to create each and every organ system (200 different types of cells doing different jobs in the body!). Does this not amaze you?

Another thing that fascinated me is how the fetal reproductive tract is exactly alike the first 2 months of pregnancy. That is correct; our reproductive tissues look and are exactly alike until about 8 weeks!

fetal genitalia development

At about 8 weeks if a fetus has the XY chromosome structure  male symbol the fetus begins to produce testosterone which then differentiates the reproductive tract into male organs, genitalia. This is so cool to me: left unchecked by testosterone, the fetus will always develop as a female. Was the Eve created from Adam story a bit off? Hmmmm….

My ramblings about female and male sensuality could go on, will go on, but I must now go bake an apple pie for my darling sons whom I hope to encourage and inspire to be great partners in the ever present dance of love, sensuality, and sexuality that we dance throughout our lifetimes.

love dance   love dance seniors

Voluptuous Vagina™s

vagina

The Voluptuous Vagina™ (located in the box!)

The Vagina is an amazing organ. Truthfully, most females do not give their vagina a second thought unless:

  1. They are having struggles with it,
  2. They want to use it, or
  3. They discover they are pregnant (please refer back to #2).

Women’s mysteries used to be shared knowledge. All females knew the intricacies and expectations of puberty, menarche (first bleeding), sexuality/sensuality, pregnancy, laboring & birthing, postpartum, breastfeeding, and the menopausal years (peri-menopause, menopause, post-menopause) because females shared this information with each other in the moon lodge, menstrual hut, red tent, etc.

Fast Forward to Modern Life:

Women no longer gather together at their bleeding times, taking respite from the world, and sharing womb wisdom with each other. Most females fumble through all these life transitions learning street information from friends, out of books, or the modern-day “Google Knows All” experience.

I am going to focus on #1 above: You are having struggles with your vagina and specifically help for the struggles of the menopausal years. I have clients in their menopausal years who are dealing with symptoms of vaginal aging and the distress this can bring:

  • vaginal atrophy (I truly dislike this word as it is so negative and medicalizes a natural, normal process of aging. Just as our skin on the rest of our body ages, thins, etc. the mucousal membranes are not any different. We cannot stay young, juicy, and plump celled forever. This process is the cycle of life of everything on this planet.)
  • low lubrication for every day living and more so for sexually active menopausal years
  • burning
  • itchiness
  • vaginal spasms
  • vaginismus (painful contracting of the vagina so penetration, even with a finger, is painful and even impossible)
  • achiness…

These vaginal issues are something I never gave a second thought (who does until menopausal years are lurking around the corner). Rarely do females share conversation about such things unless you happen to hang with an amazing groups of females.

I have started conversations with close female friends and family only to be “shut up” quickly with looks of “oh my, how dare you speak of this stuff.” To which I am then amazed. We all bleed. We all go through these transitions of femaleness. Why can’t we chat about them openly, honestly, and support each other’s growth and change. Who cares if men are present?! They can learn too and be better partners, brothers, fathers, etc. to all females. I am always open to learning more about men so I can better understand them, their struggles, and support their growth and changes. I want my 2 sons to be better males in this world.

Vaginal health, reproductive health, is a touchy subject and females are often concerned there is something wrong with them, they will be viewed as different, or even seen as strange if they admit their struggles. We have grown so accustomed to our reproductive tracts being labeled as malfunctioning and diseased that simply avoiding the topic lets us forget our medically implied ills. Sticking our heads in the sand is a coping mechanism better let go. As one drifts towards menopause (I still have regularly scheduled monthly bleeding but can see very obvious changes between now and 20 years ago) these struggles become more apparent in our every day life.

Why not embrace the beauty of the reproductive tract, the beauty of our vagina and all she does, and the beauty of our feminine self? Let’s talk about our vaginas, uteruses, ovaries, vulvas, breasts, fallopian tubes, and cervixes with love, honor, and glory. Think about this… they all do incredibly amazing things!

I want to offer up 2 simple solutions for vaginal dryness, burning, itching (assuming symptoms are not caused by an infection): fresh aloe and a wild yam ointment.

aloe   wild yam

Let us start with aloe. If you are fortunate to have a huge potted aloe, like my aloe plant above that my sister calls Medusa, this aloe thing is easy.

  1. When ready for bed I break off a big juicy leaf (thanking the plant) and
  2. Cut off a piece about 1 1/2 inches long. The remainder I put in a wide mouth canning jar, cover, and place in the fridge for nightly use)
  3. Break open the piece so you expose the gel.
  4. Remove the spiny protrusions on the edges of the leaf. Trust me on this one.    ; ) 
  5. Go to bed. When you are lying down, insert the piece of aloe as high up in your vagina as you can. Literally push it gently until you reach the cervix. Yes, it is ok to have sex with it in place. Just make sure it remains inside to work its magic overnight. Aloe does have a bitter taste. Use this information as needed.
  6. Leave aloe in place until AM and then…
  7. Remove by inserting a finger inside the vagina and dragging out the aloe. Removal an issue for you? Stay tuned, more on this later.

Aloe helps to keep the vagina moist, heals tissue, relieves symptoms of irritated menopausal vaginal mucosa, and even helps with yeast infections. More on vaginal infections later.

No aloe in the home? Find an organic plant and raise it organically, in your home, for personal vaginal use.  Need an aloe juice that is chemical free. Aubrey Organics is, at present, the only one I recommend. (If you live in my area, waaaaaay Northern NY, Nature’s Storehouse in Canton carries this wonder serum. It’s also nice for aging faces.) Paint the inside of the vagina with this aloe juice or soak an organic cotton tampon in the aloe and place in the vagina for the night.

aloe

I also recommend you do something to remove all yeasty discharge from your vagina before putting the aloe or any natural healing remedy into the vagina. Simply using a teaspoon works well. Reach up high in the vagina, with the spoon, until you touch the cerix. Gently slide the spoon out using the edges to scrape, gently, down the walls of the vagina. Remove yeasty discharge from the spoon & repeat until your spoon comes out cleaner than not. The aloe is more effective when it has less yeast to contend with if yeast is an issue in there.

Wild Yam Cream/Lotion/Ointment/Lube

I make a senuous, vaginal love preparation at the Five Elements Living Retreat Center in Colton, NY. This Vaginal Love, Menopausal Magic product is available for purchase through Shelby & My collaboration to care and love up women in our circle and our women’s circle is getting bigger quickly as word of VV spreads.

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.      VV™ for short.

You can use Voluptuous V™ (VV™) on & in irritated, dry vaginas and vulvas caused from menopausal symptoms or too much sex!

OR…

Use as a lubricant for happy sex.

IMG-4021

 

Stayed tuned for my next posts on retrieving the aloe from your vagina and healing help for vaginal infections… that yeasty demon!

Cheers and happy Voluptuous V wild yam use. With Love, Paula

 

2018 Update… where did 5 1/2 years go?

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Live in Northern NY? Join me Monday, November 12th, 6-8 PM for more Lifestyle Medicine Tips on creating health on your menopausal adventurous journey.

Science of Functional Medicine: Prepping Self for Menopausal Health.

More Info Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2159466950936353/

Register Here: https://www.fiveelementsliving.com/register/