Archives

The Dreaded VA

No, I am not talking about the Veteran’s Administration, though I could make a whole other post on my Dad’s experiences with their hospitals, but I am referring to Vaginal Atrophy.   Just saying the word atrophy makes me think about something old, shriveled up and ready to crumble at any minute.  Something a paleontologist would dig up from some ruins along with some dinosaur bones.    Here I am using that word with my vagina…. the birth canal that delivered my 2 babies…. the pleasure center for myself and my husband…. atrophied.   I shudder at that word.

I was referred by my PCP to a gynecologist for severe pain and swelling in that area of my body.  Never knowing if I had constant monthly yeast infections or lactobacilli infections….e coli…. I’ve had it all, but it keeps coming back month after month after month since May of this year.   So, I made the appointment to see him.

Vaginal atrophy.   “I can definitely see physical signs of perimenopause during your exam”   Well, finally, someone who will agree with me that I am in perimenopause.  With my PCP, my hormones were always “within acceptable range”   Now, the actual proof.  He said my vaginal walls were thinning out, it was dry in there (I call it the Sahara Desert) and I needed some help.

Vaginal atrophy, also called atrophic vaginitis, is thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to your body having less estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body’s estrogen production declines.  For many women, vaginal atrophy makes intercourse painful — and if intercourse hurts, your interest in sex will naturally decrease. In addition, healthy genital function is closely connected with healthy urinary system function.  Symptoms associated with his include:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal burning
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Genital itching
  • Burning with urination
  • Urgency with urination
  • More urinary tract infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Light bleeding after intercourse
  • Discomfort with intercourse
  • Decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity
  • Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

I was  prescribed a vaginal cream called Estrace.   Estrace is a vaginal estrogen cream. You insert this cream directly into your vagina with an applicator, usually at bedtime. Your doctor will let you know how much cream to use and how often to insert it. Typically women use it daily for one to three weeks and then one to three times a week thereafter. Although creams may offer faster relief than do other forms of vaginal estrogen, they can be messier.

So, I start my journey with estrogen cream.  I’ll document it on occasion for those who are interested in how it works for me.   Trust me, I’ve tried OTC Replens (see my article HERE on that fiasco)  Also, please feel free to comment on your experiences, too as well.

spicynutmeg

The Marriage Bed (The Three S’s)

I corresponded with Paul and Lori Byerly off and on for years now, and I truly appreciate their ministry at the Marriage Bed.  It has been a blessing to our marriage, and I am ever so glad that my husband found and introduced me to the Marriage Bed when we were going through our sexual difficulties.  If you have not visited their site, I  highly encourage it.

I was reading one of Paul’s articles (The Three S’s)  on the site, and it is very helpful to me, so I thought I would pass it on to you, too.   I know a lot of you don’t have issues with this topic, but I also know there are those who do have issues.   It was about three things that you can do naked that do not have to end up with sexual intercourse.  Of course, they CAN end up that way if you wish, but it doesn’t have to.

Those three things are SHOWERS, SLEEPING and SNUGGLING.  I know I tend to avoid showers about 90% of the time, just because somehow I have related showering together with sexual intercourse, not just for the pleasure of seeing, touching and cleaning each other’s bodies.  Sleeping is hard for me, too.  I see so many pretty things that I want to wear to bed, and yes, some are not too pretty, but I PROMISE, I gave up my flannels a long time ago with my granny panties, ok??   Hubby loves to sleep naked.  If I buy anything pretty that I think he’ll like to see me in, it ends up on the floor…he’d rather see me naked.  I get that.   My hang up used to be the kids… I don’t have that problem anymore, so I need to do this more often.  Just need to find a good place to hang my robe near my side of the bed.  Snuggling is just something that needs to happen more often in our household.  It ends up being snuggling in bed at night only with a teen and a preteen in the house, so it fits more under the category of sleeping with us… we just need to get creative with this.

Thanks, Paul, for this article.  It was really helpful and made me aware of areas I need to work on in my own marriage.

 

He likes pears

There are times when I really let Satan get my self image down.  I don’t intend to let him in, but somehow, I guess he finds a loophole.  He must be very good at squirming in, too.   I look at myself in the mirror and think, what in the world does he see in me?  The world glorifies skinny, pretty young women, and I look at the pear shape in the mirror and sigh, but then I hear God say, “He likes pears.”   :)

My husband, to his credit, does an amazing job of making me feel loved and wanted.   Besides the obvious physical signs that he needs me, I am noticing more often than I used to that he flavors his speech about me…. most recently, he refers to me as “his bride”.   He can’t keep his hands off me, and I am finding out more and more lately, that there are places that his hands go that I really like.  All of the sudden, him running his hands through my hair makes me feel amazing.  It brings on very strong feelings I haven’t felt in awhile.  Running his  hands, not his fingertips, across my skin is very erogenous.    I love hands on skin contact.   He is doing that more often without me having to ask.

All this to say,  when I look in the mirror now, God allows me to see what my husband finds so attractive in me.  Yes, he does like pears.

Taking a look at modesty

A friend of mine on Facebook had liked and shared this article on Modesty.  I have  noticed that the authors of this blog had to close comments since it took so many comments for them to moderate!

But they bring up a really good point that I had never really thought about with the verse they quoted.

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” - Matthew 5:28  (emphasis mine)

The verse doesn’t only address guys like I originally thought…  If I dress in a manner that would make any man stumble, I am a part of his sin.  No, we cannot make them NOT think lustfully, but if we dress modestly, we don’t give them the opportunity to sin.  Yes, there will always be those kinds of men who will lust after you no matter what you wear, but I think it is honoring to God to dress modestly, so that our other Christian brothers (or any man in general) does not sin.

What are your thoughts on this?

spicynutmeg

Can a Bad Marriage Hurt Your Health?

While perusing around on Facebook last week, I came upon an article that was linked to by the Marriage Bed’s fan page.  The article was posted by Paul on the Generous Husband, but he linked to the original article her read here.  The article is about 4 years old, but I still believe the information being pertinent today.

As I read this article, it made a lot of sense.  I believe my DH and I are in a happy marriage.  We agree on things for the most  part, but honestly, he usually makes better decisions than me, so I usually defer to him in most of our “disagreements”…which is all they usually are.   We don’t fight, verbally or physically.  We don’t get into loud shouting matches with each other.   No, we’re not perfect, but my marriage isn’t stressful.   My job, that’s another story, but not my marriage.   That’s where my stress comes in.

I sometimes get envious of how my DH can just drop things at the door.   The only thing that seems to really keep his mind preoccupied is his Dad’s health, which I totally understand since my Dad’s health is an issue right now, too.   I attach my emotions to everything, though.  At work, I try to be a compassionate employer and a compassionate servant to the people who walk through the door of my company.   I try to treat people better than I would want to be treated.   But when you work with (and for) people, there will always be conflict.  Employees misunderstand what I have said, and instead of coming to me for clarification, they let it fester until they blow up at me.    Or customers blatantly break handbook rules, and expect to be the exception to the rule and get angry at me for that.   ( I work in childcare)    I love it especially (not) when they are mad at me because I have to follow State guidelines or lose my license.   I carry this home and cannot drop it at the door.  It festers in my mind all night.   This quote applies to me … “The things that lead to emotional health and lower levels of heart disease are being in a supportive environment and learning how to delegate: you can’t have a to-do list with 20 things on it if you can only do five,”  

So how would you rate your marriage?  Are you in a good marriage or a bad marriage?  What can you do to make it better for both of you?

 

Sex and Health Benefits

Anytime I go to login to my email account, I always check out the yahoo articles to see what is new and interesting.  I happened on this article about 7 health benefits of sexual intercourse.    So besides being an intimate bonding time with your spouse, you are getting some wonderful health benefits, too!  Here are some of the health benefits:

1.  Sex = exercise: your burning calories!

2. Sex keeps you looking younger: I would want to see more proof on this one, but if it is true, ladies, could this be our fountain of youth?

3. It’s good for your heart: wanna lower your blood pressure?  want a better chance of not having a heart attack?  sex can help!

4. Sex boosts immunity: immunoglobin A is produced more often which helps your immune system. It would be interesting to see if I get less colds and sinus infections, since immunoglobin a (igA) works with your nose, eyes, ears, digestive tract and vagina to protect those areas from outside foreign substances.

5. It can cure the common headache….kind of: Intimacy and bonding helps you to relax, and oxytocin is released during sex which helps decrease pain.

6. Sex gets the blood pumping: sex increases blood flow which gets oxygen molecules moving through out your body and you feel better.

7. Sex helps you sleep better: oxytocin not only can help decrease pain and increase endorphins, but it relaxes you so you can sleep better.

Do you think any of these hold water?  I think these can offer some of these benefits, but I am not trying it out on my next sinus headache to see if it works!  :)   What other benefits do you think sex has on your physical health?

Kegels

Over the past few days, I have learned just how weak my pelvic floor muscles have gotten.   On a 4 hour trip to visit my family over the holidays, we were ALMOST there, then all of the sudden I had to go NOW or pee on myself.  I had to make an emergency stop and run into the bathroom!  I had just gone the bathroom an hour before that.  On the day I was returning home, all the sudden I was going the bathroom every 8 minutes….. so thinking I had a bladder infection, I called my doctor and asked could she call me in something for it so I could start getting some help on my way home.  She did, I took it and made it home with far fewer stops….which was weird.   I finally put two and two together yesterday…. I wear panty liners and each time I was in the bathroom, I smelled pee on them….  my bladder is leaking and my pelvic muscles aren’t holding.

So on my way home from a function with DH’s family, I tried to do some kegels on the way home.  I couldn’t hold more than 4 seconds!  Then they would give.  I was severely out of practice.   By the time I went for bed, I could hold for 6 seconds, but wasn’t able to hold like the article I linked to above, so I’ve got some work cut out for me.

There is also an article on them here at Christian Nymphos written by yours truly.  I have always been a person who could really care less about kegels and really thought they were stupid….well, now I wish I hadn’t.   I will start back doing my kegels…. trying to get my muscles back in shape in hopes that I can stop this urinary incontinence problem I am having…. cause it’s getting annoying!

So if you are in the same boat I was in years ago thinking they weren’t important, think again. Start doing them now…. there is still time and hope!  LOL.   Besides, good, strong pelvic floor muscles feel really good to your DH if you do them during intercourse!    Happy  kegeling!