I never thought it would happen to me.
The dreaded “vaginal atrophy.” I had no idea until my last gyno exam – that darned speculum hurt – for the first time ever. WHAT?
I know this is a place for discussion about ADHD. But since ADHD “covers the earth” in our lives, I am broadening the discussion to include the stuff that impacts us as women. Like (shhhhh) vaginal dryness.
Oh, I really don’t want to talk about this. But somebody has to. And, sigh, I’ve never been one to shy away from uncomfortable (literally) topics.
What pushed me to finally write this? An email from the North American Menopause Society showed up today with a new report and treatment options for the above referenced topic. So here we go…along with a link to the original report.
The reason things get arid down there is that our lack of estrogen for prolonged periods of time eventually breaks down vaginal tissue, sometimes to the point of bleeding and tearing (ouch). Also sexual desire can decrease along with the hormone lift we get from estrogen. Since it’s a “use it or lose it” kind of proposition we might be unwittingly (unwillingly?) bringing on the problems I mention.
The good news is that there are a lot of things we can do to change the climate down there. Lubricants, of course, are the old standby. My pelvic floor physical therapist recommends one called “Slippery Stuff” which doesn’t dry out and get sticky. And yes, I have a pelvic floor physical therapist! She does NOT teach Kegels, but instead focuses on “alignment” which can also help with osteoporosis and osteopenia — more about that in another post.
Estrogen creams (Estrace® is my preference) can be used 2-3 x a week vaginally if your heath allows.There is also an estradiol (estrogen) ring that is inserted vaginally and changed every 90 days. There are also tablets, soft gels and even an oral medication (prescription) that is supposed to help.
There’s also exercise – like s-e-x with or without a partner. My PT, Lori, also recommends vaginal dilators – a whole set of them. Here’s the link http://bit.ly/dilatorset You MUST use them with a lubricant and NOT KY jelly or Astroglide. These are silicone in graduated sizes. She said the largest one is NOT a goal…LOL. She also said your trusty vibrator can also work if used internally and with lubrication.
OK… how does this have any connection to ADHD? In a word: distraction. Our brains are also so full of stuff “to do” that adding more is like pushing past the point of our capability. Seriously. One more set of physical therapy exercises and I will just stop doing any of them (got elbow problems, too…sigh).
So…this post may get banned for talking about physical issues, but heck, they are part of our ADHD lives, right? And I’ll bet I get more response from this post than any other one. Stay tuned..there’s more to come.