It may be a no-no to have wrinkles on your face, but not in your noo-noo! Wrinkles in your nether region are a sign of youth, says gynaecogist Dr Heather Currie, and it’s a good idea to moisturise your ladybits as well as your face.
In an article to highlight charity fundraising and awareness campaign EveryWoman Day, Dr Currie says that while moisturising helps prevent crow’s feet on your face, it could maintain your inner creases.
But it’s not just for cosmetic effect. Smooth skin internally means that the tissue is becoming thinner and less elastic – the first sign of the frighteningly named vaginal atrophy, or dryness.
Dr Currie, Associate Specialist Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and Managing Director of Menopause Matters, says:
Vaginal dryness is the easiest of all symptoms to treat, but can have the greatest impact and severity. Flushes and sweats get better over time, but urogenital symptoms get worse, so treatment is important.
Vaginal moisturisers can be helpful in relieving problems associated with dryness, including sensations of burning or itching and pain, especially during sex.
The EveryWoman Day campaign focuses on vaginal dryness this year, and aims to raise funds for Women’s Health Concern, a charity linked to the British Menopause Society which provides an independent service to advise, reassure and educate women about their health.
It is also backed by Dr David Edwards, GP, Past President of the British Society for Sexual Medicine and a specialist in men’s and women’s sexual problems. Dr Currie and Dr Edwards are both trailblazers in menopause treatment and education, widely respected for their work in this field.
Dr Edwards, from Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, says:
Science has shown that about 15% of pre-menopausal and 57% of post-menopausal women experience dryness in and around their vagina. As one patient told me, ‘it’s like crunching tissue paper between your legs when you walk’. And yet research has shown that only one in four have sought help.
Personal lubricants and moisturisers can be very effective in relieving pain and discomfort during sex, and can reduce that ‘sandpaper feeling’ that comes with vagina atrophy.
Hyalofemme is a highly effective vaginal moisturiser which contains hyaluronic acid – the current ‘must-have ingredient’ in facial moisturisers.
The version in Hyalofemme is unique and special because it’s a low molecular weight (LMW) molecule that’s so small it can cross the wall into the cell and attract water inside it. So instead of just putting a moisturiser on to the surface, it actually plumps up the cells and restores their condition. A study shows that can even reverse vaginal atrophy.
Hyalofemme contains no hormones but has been shown to be as effective as hormone creams at relieving the symptoms of vaginal dryness. It contains no perfumes or parabens either and because hyaluronic acid is already present to lubricate parts of the human body including the joints and vagina, it is extremely well tolerated even by those with sensitivities.
Dr Karen Gardiner, Managing Director of Purple Orchid, the women’s self-care company which launched EveryWoman Day, said:
We can laugh about the trampoline test and weeing ourselves nowadays, but not vaginal dryness – it goes to the core of our sense of ourselves as women. It may seem like a small issue bit can create big problems. Some women are in so much pain they can hardly walk let alone have sex, and relationships can fall apart. Yet it’s simple to fix. Using a moisturiser such as Hyalofemme once every three days, women can generally return to a spontaneous sex life without the need for a lubricant.
It’s a tough topic to talk about – just like many of the other problems we highlight in EveryWoman Day.
There has been little drug development for many years for women’s reproductive health conditions, partly because money goes to better known and, some would argue, more important diseases.
If the incidence and, more importantly, the impact is talked about more, the pharmaceutical industry may consider more research and subsequently, development.
Since there are no cures for many of these conditions, women have to manage them for their entire lives. So, by sharing information and experiences, we can reduce the feelings of isolation, more women can potentially improve their symptoms and reduce their suffering. Lives can be improved by talking about what works and what doesn’t, what makes things worse, how to cope with the debilitating effects and simply how we get through each day of pain, exhaustion, depression and other difficulties. That’s what EveryWoman Day is about.