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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.