I just want to point out my use of "And we're back!" in this next one as if we all just went to commercial break or something....?♀️
One of the glories of menopause is dry, irritated vaginal skin. It was such a common complaint in our private FB group that we reached out to the experts, including Beverly Hills sex therapist, Dr. Shannon Chavez, for some advice.
First off, it turns out that the skin in your vagina can be moisturized daily just like the skin on your face! Imagine how dry, flakey skin anywhere else on your body can be itchy, irritated, and more prone to cracks and cuts. The same is true for vaginal skin. Hip Hemp has created “moisture drops,” which are small pearl-sized suppositories containing organic hemp oil, grape seed and vitamin E. Hemp oil has many benefits, including immune support as well as Vitamin C which helps to synthesize collagen. It is recommended to insert vaginally at bedtime.
In addition to daily moisturizing, lubrication is essential. Dr. Chavez’s favorite is from a German company, called “Pjur Med.” They offer both silicone and water based lubes. Their Repair line includes Hyaluron which has the ability to bind large amounts of water which provides better than average lubrication. This extra amount of hydration helps enables optimal regeneration of the vaginal skin.
What have you found to be most effective for dealing with vaginal dryness? Share in comments, we’d love to learn from you!
Is it a power surge? Or tropical vacation for one? Whatever it is, we're not amused.
Hot Flashes are a particularly irksome, and odd side effect of menopause. I was curious as to why they happen- just what part of leaving child bearing age has to do with sudden uncontrollable heat? The Mayoclinic.org revealed what I had begun to suspect after a quick google search: the cause of hot flashes during menopause is unknown. It’s suspected that decrease in estrogen as well as changes in the hypothalamus (the body’s thermostat) are to blame.
Whatever the reason, I think we can all agree they are TERRIBLE! And although there is no “quick fix” solution, I’ve complied suggestions from Tribe Members to try and make them more tolerable.
This one seems a little on the obvious side, but worth mentioning. The Mayo Clinic recommends dressing in layers to remove if you start to get warm, as well as keeping the ambient temperature on the lower side. Tribe Member Carrie is a big fan of the Evian facial mist spray. "I want to share with my fellow warriors this amazing remedy that I use for hot flashes. It is worth it's weight in gold. The mist and canister stays cool.”
If a cool mist of water in the face isn’t enough, try adding the power of an electric fan. Tribe member Debra is a fan of this portable model: "I bring mine everywhere. It also folds so you can rest it down without holding it. I brought it to dinners, doc appts, everywhere."
However, there are times when a woman needs the refreshing breeze of a fan, AND a sexy, retro accessory. For those times, Tribe member Delaney suggests this hand held beauty.
A good deodorant:
If you’re going to sweat, a powerful deodorant is key. And if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, chances are you pay special attention to what you put in your armpits. Most conventional deodorants include potentially harmful chemicals, including Aluminum (linked to alzheimer's disease) and parabens (which can mimic estrogen). Many of the #OurTribe members in our private FB group have done extensive research on this topic and test drove a variety of all natural products.
Schmidt's was voted "Most Popular" for having graced the majority of our armpits and keeping us sweet smelling and dry. At time of this writing, there was still no consensus as to the best scent, however Lime had a slight lead in the polls.
Lavanilla gets a special mention in the scent category and also a nod for long lasting results
An insider tip about adopting a natural deodorant lifestyle is there is often a stinky "detox" phase when your armpits are adjusting. The charcoal and apple cider in this soap help kill the stink making bacteria helping your new natural deodorant do its job more effectively.
What have you found to be most effective for dealing with hot flashes? Share in comments, we’d love to learn from you!
Our first Guest Blog by our friends at Hip Hemp!
Studies show the benefits of hemp seed oil range from younger looking skin to regulating hormonal balance for menopausal support. Among its many benefits, it has been shown to lower cholesterol, help moderate blood sugar levels and boost immune systems.
The Many Benefits of Hemp Oil
Hemp oil contains 25% high quality protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 6, omega 3, linoleic acid and insoluble fiber, which makes this “super oil” the perfect balance of nutrition that our bodies need.
It also provides Beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which is then converted into Vitamins A, C and E. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin. Vitamin C helps synthesize collagen, which gives strength and flexibility to organs, and Vitamin E is an important antioxidant.
Hemp oil also contains several minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium iron, zinc, and phosphorus, all which reduce risk of disease and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, (high blood pressure) heart disease and cancer.
Other Advantages of Hemp Oil include:
Improves immunity levels
Reduce symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
Improves recovery of muscles after exercise
Reduces and treats dry skin and improves skin elasticity
Reduces many degenerative diseases
Provides nervous system support
Is vegetarian approved
Hemp Oil Does Not Contain:
9 Health Benefits of Hemp Oil That You Should Know. (n.d). Retrieved May 22, 2017, http://www.zliving.com/wellness/natural-remedies/9-health-benefits-of-hemp-oil-that-you-should-knowHow Healthy is Hemp? (2012) Retrieved May 26, 2017 from https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/food-safety/how-healthy-is-hemp/
Can the next generation female condom help with painful sex??
So the glories of menopause include dry, irritated vaginal skin. Typically we think only of lube, lube, lube to fix it, but the female condom could act as a barrier to protect the vagina from whatevs you want to insert into it. 😉
One end of the condom is inserted similarly to a Nuvaring, where you pinch a small, flexible circle and insert into the vagina. The other end remains outside of the body (if my description leaves more questions than answers, check out https://fc2.us.com for more information). The condom is latex free and lubricated on both sides.
Anyone wanna try this and report back???
As you can imagine, many topics come up in our private #OurTribe Facebook group. Looking for a good moisturizer during radiation? Post reconstruction bra? We've got that covered. But when the topic of sex came up...well we were stumped. One member suggested pole-dancing classes, and while we still might try that, I was struck by the general lack of suggestions from these incredibly resourceful women.
I went looking for answers, and fortunately found Dr. Shannon Chavez, a Beverly Hills psychologist and Sex Therapist, whose many areas of expertise include Cancer and Intimacy. I was impressed with her Mind-Body approach, and ability to suggest very practical things (such as the best lube) to more emotional support. I felt confident she would have some answers to our questions. Luckily, Dr. Chavez was willing to offer a workshop at our Beverly Hills clinic.
On October 21st, ten women bravely joined us to discuss Sex after Breast Cancer. A common component of breast cancer treatment involves placing women into menopause. The effects of menopause on their sex life was probably the number one complaint we heard. Decreased libido, vaginal dryness and pain can all result from decreased estrogen.
Luckily, Dr. Chavez had some advice. We learned that the skin in the vagina can be moisturized daily just like the skin on your face! Imagine how dry, flakey skin anywhere else on your body can be itchy, irritated, and more prone to cracks and cuts. The same is true for vaginal skin. We received free samples of “moisture drops” by Hip Hemp (www.hiphemp.com/product/moisture-drops). These little drops are actually small “pearls” containing organic hemp oil, grape seed and vitamin E. It is recommended to insert vaginally at bedtime.
In addition to daily moisturizing, lubrication is essential. Dr. Chavez’s favorite is from a German company, called “Pjur Med.” They offer both silicone and water based lubes.
If all the moisture in the world isn’t enough to soothe your angry vagina, the newly revamped female condom might be just the thing. One end of the condom is inserted similarly to a Nuvaring, where you pinch a small, flexible circle and insert into the vagina. The other end remains outside of the body (if my description leaves more questions than answers, check out www.fc2.us.com for more information). The condom is latex free and lubricated on both sides. The material of the condom can act as a barrier between vaginal wall and penis (or whatever you choose to insert) and may reduce pain.
The two hours scheduled for our workshop flew by, and with a giant basket of vibrators for us to explore, the workshop went over the allotted time. We decided we needed more- we barely touched on the emotional components surrounding your body after the invasive, life altering treatments for breast cancer. In addition, we thought the spouses would benefit from a similar workshop, and we are in the process of creating a “Couples Only” one to be held in early December.
I’ll keep you posted as we learn more!
For more info on sex after cancer:
(Ok so "pump" isn't the best euphemism for vagina, but "Prime the hooha" just didn't have a ring to it..)
Priming is a daily, 10 min technique to help with vaginal dryness.
You may start noticing a difference after one week, but stick with it if not. In order to work this needs to be done daily.
by Stacey R
I am one of the very few whose brows never came back after chemo. Mind you, I went through chemo twice, which I am sure didn't help the situation. I began resenting the amount of time it took to draw on my brows in the morning and began investigating my options. There’s Latisse, which is a gel approved by the FDA to grow eyelashes, but has been used “off label” to grow eyebrows as well. Most users begin to see changes in 4 to 6 weeks, with the biggest improvement between weeks 12 and 16. Latisse doesn’t work for everyone (unfortunately, including me) and results only last as long as you use the product. Another, more extreme option was an eyebrow hair transplant. For this, they remove a strip of hair from your scalp and then graft individual hair follicles into your brow. Because you now have head hair for eyebrows, you need to trim it fairly often and may need to “train” the hair to act more, er, eyebrow-y. No thank you.
After sharing my eyebrow tales of woe with a gal at my plastic surgeon’s office, she mentioned that a friend of hers did permanent makeup. No, not like the sharpie drawn on kind Michael Jackson or past-her-prime Elizabeth Taylor wore (may they rest in peace). This technique, called “microblading,” uses precise, individual strokes to recreate your brow. Because the ink in microblading is applied closer to the surface of the skin than with tattooing, it needs to be touched up every 1 to 3 years.
I got them done for the first time about a year ago. It was 2 sessions, 2-3 weeks apart, and let me be clear, she basically recreated my brows from scratch. Each session lasted about 3-4 hours and the pain is minimal…truly. It's not like getting a regular tattoo, because it doesn't go as deep, so you barely feel it. It is actually kind of relaxing and she told me she's had people fall asleep in her chair. I got mine touched up last weekend and am just as in love with them as I was a year ago. They actually look better than my real brows used to look. If your eyebrows need some help, I highly recommend permanent makeup.