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.

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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

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Lost In “The” Vagina

vagina

In my last post: Voluptuous Vagina™s I spoke of placing a split open aloe leaf into the vagina for soothing many common vaginal irritations. I mentioned that if removal of this aloe leaf was a struggle…

Remove in AM by inserting a finger inside the vagina and dragging out the aloe. Removal an issue for you? Stay tuned, more on this later.

Well, I am back for the more on this later part!

Over the years working as a Registered Nurse in various Ob/Gyn settings, I have been able to support and help many women with many things lost in their vaginas. I remember thinking the first time our office (after I started work as the Ob/GYN Nurse) needed to help remove a condom from a woman’s vagina: “why did she not just reach up and get it herself?” I soon forgot this dilemna as the day rolled on with many more patients and their needs and challenges in reproductive health. Over the months and years working in this office the “lost in the vagina” issue arose on many occasions: condoms, tampons forgotten from weeks ago, sex toy objects, and interesting items placed into the vagina to relieve irritations and infections (like my aloe suggestion).

I confess, I was never quite able to wrap my head around the inability to just remove it yourself. Over the years and gently – kindly – lovingly questioning women I realized that lack of anatomical knowledge was a big part of the problem. Women worried the lost item would somehow get lost forever, move into the uterus and perhaps on into the pelvic cavity, etc

Things in the vagina can only get out the way they went in: through the vaginal opening at your vulva.

vulva

The cervical opening at the top of your vagina is tiny. It is just large enough for sperm (microscopic organisms) to enter. Your uterus cramps (contracts) to make the cervical canal open a bit larger for menstrual blood to flow out… even larger with labor contractions to allow the cervix to open for passage of your baby and placenta. Trust me, nothing is moving up into your uterus from the vagina (unless it is microscopic: sperm, bacteria, virus or a health care person purposefully diltates your cervix open to insert an IUD contraceptive device.

If an object got into your vagina, you can get it out.

Vaginal Lost Item Removal Suggestions:

My best suggestion is to just sit on the toilet with legs spread wide and relaxed. Relaxed is key here because if you are tense… so is your vagina and it will clamp down on the aloe (tampon, condom, sex toy, etc.) Deep breathe, relax, and send love to your vaginal area. Reach up into your vagina with your index finger. Push your finger all the way in until you can feel your cervix. Explore a bit, feel around the rim of your cervix. This is such a cool experience to feel and then be able to visualize the inside of your vagina and cervix. Hook your index finger and grab the aloe (or other object) on the way out.

cervix vagina

My next suggestion is using a simple kitchen spoon. Not a large one but a teaspoon you would eat with. Again, assume a relaxed position sitting on the toilet or squatting down towards the floor. Breathe, relax. Place the spoon gently into your vagina, run it up the side of the vaginal wall (not straight up the center of the vaginal vault) and again see if you can reach the cervix. The spoon will stop, see picture above, as it cannot get into the cervical opening. Use the spoon to gently scrape down the sides of the vagina to remove the aloe, tampon, condom, etc. Pretend you are using a small rubber spatula to remove food from the sides of a bowl. Use a small rubber spatula if you are more comfortable with that.

Suggestion 3: get your partner or a friend to help. If you were choking no one would hesitate to help remove the foreign object from your throat. Your vagina is no different. Just a beautiful part of your body.

I urge you to get comfy and familiar with your vagina, your reproductive tract, and your whole beautiful body!

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!

Wild Yam Lube Update:  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.

Voluptuous V™ is available now, click here.

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