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!
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: