There's no getting away from it: vaginal dryness is difficult to talk about. It's awkward, it's embarrassing, and it's uncomfortable and oh-so-irritating, but it's something that up to 60% of women experiencing menopause suffer from.
There are many different ways to treat vaginal dryness during menopause, and it is important that you speak to your gynecologist so that you can discern which treatment is right for you. Anxious? That's normal, but easily overcome. Try these four steps that will help you prepare for that awkward moment when you speak to your gynecologist about vaginal dryness.
Speak to Yourself about Vaginal Dryness
There is one person who knows your body better than anyone: you. If you are nervous about talking about vaginal dryness, start by telling yourself what it is like, how it feels, and what impact it is having on you emotionally. Write your symptoms as part of a diary entry, or tell yourself in the mirror. Once you have built up confidence in saying the words aloud, you will be ready for step two.
Speak to a Close Friend about Vaginal Dryness
It is estimated that 40-60% of women experience vaginal dryness during menopause. If you have a close female friend of a similar age, the chances are she's experiencing the same thing. Perhaps she's worried and wants to speak to someone, but doesn't have the confidence you have built up. Talk to each other, and support each other along the rocky menopausal road. After speaking with your best friend, you will be ready for step three.
Speak with Your Partner about Vaginal Dryness
Telling your partner your worries can be intimidating. But it shouldn't be: she or he is almost as familiar with the area as you are. What you are experiencing is a normal symptom of menopause, and he should be encouraging and supportive in whichever treatment method you choose. Once this has been accomplished, you are finally ready for step four.
Speaking to Your Gynecologist about Vaginal Dryness
You may know your gynecologist well, a little bit, or not at all. But rest assured that they know more about what's going on than you will perhaps ever know. Take a deep breath, make the appointment, and take the plunge. It is important that you speak about all your symptoms in relevant detail so that you can be pointed in the direction of the right treatment.
Once you have spoken with your gynecologist, you will see that she was one of the easiest people to speak to about vaginal dryness. Gynecologists are knowledgeable, will not be phased, and are there to help. Overcoming your anxiety about speaking about vaginal dryness will enable you to overcome vaginal dryness itself. Click on the following link for more information about treatments for vaginal dryness.
- "Vaginal Dryness". Mayo Clinic Health Resource. 2007
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- The Changing Body: Menopause Handbook. (n.d). "Vulvovaginal Symptoms".Retrieved from www.menopause.org