Let's talk about sex and vaginal dryness.
Yep, well, vaginal dryness doesn’t really rate as a dinner party conversation does it!? It’s one of those ‘taboo topics’. Something that we just don't talk about. Something that’s embarrassing. Something that’s swept away under the carpet and dwelt on alone in the early hours of the night while lying awake and staring at the ceiling.
Statistics show that around half of women going through perimenopause and menopausal changes will experience vaginal dryness. But the reality may be different. I was speaking to someone the other day and they said that their GP told them that they expect pretty much all women to experience vaginal dryness at some stage.
The reluctance to discuss the issue of vaginal dryness means another issue also gets pushed out of sight. There is more to the problem of vaginal dryness than just physiology, it can have a profound impact on our intimate partners as well. And that is really hard to talk about.
vaginal dryness can have a profound impact on our intimate partners as well. And that is really hard to talk about.
Vaginal dryness is a problem for women, and an issue for couples. Over the past few years of making and selling NatFem Balm I've lost count of how many emails and messages I've had from women ranging in age from their 40s-to their 80s, saying that vaginal dryness is having a negative effect on their intimate relationships, and this in turn is knocking their confidence and self-esteem. They speak of being in a vortex of emotional and physical pain. And that sucks.
Even the happiest and healthiest of relationships can become impacted by the pain that vaginal dryness causes. A frequent story I hear is how both partners start to back away from as each feels afraid of hurting the other, physically or emotionally.
A commonly held belief is that once women reach menopause they don’t feel like sex anymore. I believe that the reality can be that in menopause it's not just about hormones lowering libido, it also the anticipated pain of vaginal dryness that puts a dampener on sex. Having gone through menopause myself, I know how dryness can make one try and close down intimacy because of the fear of the next few days of pain that will ensue.
So what do we do about it?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but first up, I do think we need to talk about it more. This isn’t something you have to go through alone and you can ask your GP about options that may help. Nutrition, fitness, all these things can also play a part in managing dryness. My expertise lies in a deep understanding of the therapeutic benefits of a whole range of different plants and herbs, and it is this knowledge I worked with to create the NatFem range.
I didn't set out to make a sexual lubricant, it's just been an added bonus to the product. I first made NatFem for a woman who said that vaginal and vulval dryness was such a problem for her that she was splitting when she walked. Ouch! I initially formulated the balm to be something you could apply in a really small amounts every day for general repair and comfort.
The sex thing came later.
One of the key indicators that I didn’t set out to make NatFem to help with sex, is the fact that NatFem is made with oils. This means it can't be used with condoms because oil makes condoms split. And that’s a fact. But, if you don't need to use condoms, NatFem is pretty fabulous as a sexual lubricant regardless of gender. NatFem is completely fine to use on male bits (I know of a couple of men who regularly use it on their penis to keep eczema at bay). And I think they quite like it!
When it comes to incorporating NatFem into the bedroom I had one customer tell me her husband puts the pot of balm on the pillow when he’s hoping for some fun. Another woman told me how she ‘pre-loads’ if intimacy is on the cards, and someone else left a review saying, “Two words: Multiple Orgasms!”. Many have said how applying the balm becomes part of the fun.
My advice is don’t use too much because:
- you don't need to, and
- it just might end up making a bit of a messy oil stain on your sheet if you go too overboard with it.
- So just use a very small amount and if you need more, enjoy the fun of applying it.
- If your partner is male then applying it to him as well will help get the lubrication to the places it needs to get to :-)
If you have been suffering from that horrible burning sensation following sex, then I recommend that you make sure you apply some NatFem to the vulval area before sex. Remember that Tim Finn song, “there’s a fraction too much friction”? Well, we want to try to minimise that with a bit of forward planning. And, if you have had sex and have the burn, just use a very small amount of the balm on the affected area. There is a chance it may make it feel a bit hot, but the herbs will soon get to work and things should ease.
NatFem balm and NatFem oil have been made with beautiful healing medicinal herbs and plant oils, each selected for healing properties that include antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-itch actions and because of their qualities of being gentle yet effective. I use traditional processes to create the products. To keep it as gentle as possible for sensitive bits, zero essential oils and zero artificial ingredients are used. Everything is completely natural, nothing is toxic. In fact the ingredients are good enough to eat! I cook with all the ingredients in the NatFem range, except for the beeswax. So ahem, yes you can (as one customer asked me) ingest it.
Circling back to my first point about us never talking about this stuff - if you’re already a NatFem user and it is working well for you, why not help other women by telling your GP or practice nurse so that they are aware of it. You are also welcome to drop me an email and I can send some samples and information to them. One practice nurse said to me women often tell her about vaginal dryness when they have their smear tests. She let me know that she told a patient about NatFem Balm and the next time the woman came back she hugged the practice nurse and thanked her because the balm had made such a difference. You can see more stories about how it has helped women on the customer reviews on the product page.
Vaginal dryness can have a deep, impact on relationships. NatFem is the whole answer to this problem. Of course it's not. But I think for many women it can help. It can play a role in restoring intimacy in the bedroom as well as helping provide daily comfort for dryness, itching and conditions like lichen sclerosus. As one customer said, “It makes me feel like a woman again.”
Intimacy is a huge part of a relationship and menopause is a profound change in a life, and in the life of a relationship. So let's make this as easy as we can.
PS: the other thing to remember is that NatFem does not contain hormones. So for women who are susceptible to, or being treated for estrogen related cancers, this can bring peace of mind.