From Pleated Skirts to Pencil SkirtsApr 07, 2023
The best description of the vagina in menopause is that it can go from a pleated skirt to a pencil skirt. I have heard this from Michelle Lyons of Celebrate Muliebrity and Julia Di Paolo, Reg. PT of PhysioExcellence
We have folds in the walls of the vagina called Rugae that can thin as we have less circulating estrogen. The walls of the vagina can thin & narrow too.
With these changes, women may experience dryness, irritation, chafing, painful sex & urinary urgency or leaking.
The term vaginal atrophy has been replaced with the term Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM).
Over 80% of women will experience vaginal dryness as they transition through menopause...but suffering is not mandatory.
Local vaginal estrogen is incredibly beneficial and may be started around the time of Menopause. Be proactive. Rather than waiting for it to happen, help support your vagina and pelvis with estrogen!
The book Estrogen Matters is a great evidence-based book on all the benefits associated with estrogen. Read it, then speak to your doctor or naturopath about the right estrogen options for you.
Vaginal moisturizer is also fantastic to be used in conjunction with estrogen. For some great options, visit Menopause Chicks.
Bladder leakage (incontinence) is very common and can worsen in menopause. Estrogen can help and is best used in conjunction with pelvic floor physio and daily pelvic floor exercise (ideally using a whole-body approach that uses breath and bone loading, muscle building and release work, too!).
Menopause doesn't have to suck!
I struggled in my 40s with an undiagnosed autoimmune condition (Hashimoto's) that is now in remission. A big factor in my healing has been reducing inflammation which has set me up for a smoother transition into Menopause.
I use local vaginal estrogen. I also moisturize my vagina. I do hypopressives and pelvic floor exercises 5-6 days a week. I walk and do yoga and lift weights too. I was off alcohol for over a year and now indulge in only one glass every few months at most. I eat very little sugar and no gluten and feel better than I did through all of my 40s!
The 28-Day Challenge and Buff Muff Membership
I recommend checking out my comprehensive pelvic health education and fitness programs on my Buff Muff App. The most complete Pelvic Floor & Kegel exercise App.
The Buff Muff 28-Day Challenge (housed in the App) gets you started, and the Annual membership keeps you progressing so you can laugh, run, jump, and lift without the pesky leaks and annoying discomfort of menopause symptoms. Oh, and did I mention better sex?
On the first of each month, we run our Buff Muff Challenge. With thousands of success stories, it provides you with 28 days of daily workouts - each roughly 10 minutes long - designed to help you overcome incontinence and prolapse.
Join the thousands of women who have eliminated their incontinence, prolapse, back pain, and menopausal symptoms.