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Menopause and Vaginal Dryness: What You Need to Know About Your Intimate Area

4min read
Health

Menopause is a time in a woman's life when they are faced with new challenges brought about by their changing bodies and health. There is often a decline in what you can do which leads to changes in the all-around lifestyle of any woman. You could also be experiencing physical symptoms that are at times difficult to manage and deal with as these are something new and never been experienced before. One of the most prevailing body changes that you experience in menopause is vaginal dryness and other problems in your intimate area. In order to understand these changes and subsequently employ solutions to address them, you would need to get to know your intimate area better.

A Natural Occurrence

Aging is something no one has control over. No matter how healthy you have been or how careful you were with your body, you will experience menopause when you hit your 40s or 50s. The only difference with being healthy is that you wouldn't experience other risks and health issues but keep it to a minimum. Mostly, you would just be dealing with your changing body and the symptoms that come with it. Even if you cannot really prevent this stage in your life, it is better to live a healthy lifestyle in order to eliminate complications that will only worsen the situation. Preparation includes a cleaner diet, more quality nightly sleep, and better hygiene practices.

Changes and Menopause

Menopause is marked by physical changes. It simply is the signal that your menstrual cycles are coming to an end. Once you have gone a full year without a period, it means that you have reached this stage in life. There are several symptoms in the months leading up to your menopause. These include irregularities in your period, hot flashes, and chills that can lead to sleep problems, moodiness, problems with weight and metabolism and even falling hair and skin dryness. The most prevalent would be vaginal dryness which happens due to the hormonal imbalances that happen in the body. Many of the hormones needed to product lubrication inside the vagina drop, affecting the moisture and fluid present within its walls. As a result, a woman could have problems with their sex life as it can lead to pain and other problems.

How to Deal with the Problem

There are several ways to deal with the physical problems you can experience during menopause. Medication and hormone therapy are commonly sought to manage the symptoms. Lifestyle changes are also in order because you need to avoid unhealthy activities and stress as not to aggravate the problems. When it comes to physical hygiene, a tip from Rejuvenate Daily Vulva Moisturizer, a product intended to cater to a woman's problems, is to include a care plan for your intimate area as part of your normal skincare routine. This can help in maintaining suppleness in the vulva area which is the exterior part of the genitals. When kept moist, you can be relieved from itching and make your intimate activities more enjoyable. You can also prevent other foreign particles from sitting on the part of the skin which can cause other skin problems such as allergies. Remember that you can only apply creams on the outside as putting ointments and other topicals inside the vagina can cause irritation and other problems. Treat the external as part of your skin which you can moisturize and apply lotion too. Hydration is also a key to help with dryness so increase your intake of water to improve other symptoms felt.

A Holistic Approach

Since menopause is a health condition that affects your whole health, the best way to deal with it is an overall change in your lifestyle, diet, and activities. Especially when you are seeking medication to give you relief, you need to boost your overall physical body to make the necessary adjustment. Start by increasing your intake of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to help with bone health because menopause can also weaken it, increasing your risk of bone problems. Do more activities under the sun and spend a lot of time outdoors by doing exercises and adventures that will surely lift your spirits. Maintain your weight and keep body fat at an optimal level. Add more fruits and vegetables in your diet to supplement nutrition loss and prevent a number of other diseases. If you have been taking caffeine and alcohol, better avoid them because they trigger a lot of the symptoms.

The only thing you can do as you face menopause is to welcome it armed with a positive mindset and willingness to deal with the problems that come with it. The key is to improve overall. You can take on the challenge that this new chapter in life is giving you by focusing on the actions you can do to better your health.

5 min read
Self

Lessons Learned and the Power of Turning 50

Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City.

I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried: Dred Scott v. Sanford.

I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive.

Mr. Scott was born into enslavement around 1799 and, in 1830, was sold to a military surgeon who traveled back and forth between his military posts in Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In 1842 the doctor and Mr. Scott both married, and they, all four, returned to St. Louis. Still enslaved, Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against the doctor's wife for his and his wife Harriet's freedom. We don't know exactly why he chose this moment in time to file a lawsuit, however, he did. At the time of filing his, now, famous lawsuit, he was 50 years old. Ultimately, The Scott family did not gain their freedom, but their profound courage in filling this case helped ignite the Civil War and what we would come to know (or think we know) as freedom from enslavement for all human beings. Powerful then and even more powerful now.

My next milestone was turning 21, and I did it in the Big Apple. Having only moved to "the city that never sleeps" a few months prior, I knew nobody except my new friends, the bus-boys from the restaurant I was working at, Patzo's on the Upper West Side. And, yes, pazzo is actually the correct spelling of the Italian word, which translates to "crazy." Trust me we all had several laughs about the misspelling and the definition going hand in hand. I worked a full shift, closing out at around 11 PM, when, my kitchen team came out from the line with a cake singing, "Cumpleaños Feliz." It was fantastic. And the kindness of these almost-strangers was a powerful reminder of connection then as it still is today almost 29 years later.

I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy.

When I turned 30, I had just finished a European tour with Lucinda Childs dance company. The company had been on tour for months together and were inseparable. We traveled through Paris, Vienna, Lisbon, and Rome. We ate together, we rode on a bus together, we had drinks after shows together, and we even took turns giving company class to get warmed up before a show. It was deeply meaningful and dreamy. We ended the tour back in New York City at BAM, The Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was an incredible way to end the tour, by being on our home court, not to mention I was having an important birthday at the culmination of this already incredible experience.

So, when I invited everyone to join me at Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink to ice skate in late August, I was schooled really quickly that "tour" does not mean you are friends in real life, it means you are tour friends. When the tour ends, so does the relationship. I skated a few laps and then went home. This was a beautiful lesson learned about who your real friends are; it was powerful then as it is today.

Turning 40 was a completely different experience. I was in a serious relationship with my now-husband, Joe. I had just come off of a successful one-woman dance show that I produced, choreographed, and danced in, I had just choreographed a feature film, John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes, with A-list actors, including Kate Winslet and James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend and had even been on the red carpet with Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival for the movie a year earlier.

And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age.

This was a very special birthday, and I had, in those 10 years between 30 and 40, come to cultivate very real friendships with some wonderful colleagues. We all celebrated at a local Italian restaurant, Etcetera Etcetera (who is delivering for those of you in NYC — we order weekly to support them during COVID), a staple in the theater district. Joe and I were (and are) regulars and, of course, wanted to celebrate my 40th with our restaurant family and friends. We were upstairs in the private room, and it was really lovely. Many of those in attendance are no longer with us, including Joe's Dad, Bob Ricci, and my dear friend Jim Gandolfini having transitioned to the other side. Currently, that restaurant is holding on by a thread of loving neighbors and regulars like us. Life is precious. Powerful then and today even more so.

I write this article because I'm turning 50, still in New York City. However, I'm turning 50 during what I define as a miraculous time to be alive. And I could not be more filled with hope, love, possibility, and power. This year has included an impeachment hearing, a global pandemic, and global protests that are finally giving a larger platform to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being able to fully embody who I am as a woman, a 50-year-old woman who is living fully in purpose, takes the cake, the rink, and the party.

I'm making movies about conversations around race. I've been happily married for 11 years to the love of my life, Joe Ricci. I'm amplifying and elevating the voices of those who have not previously had a platform for speaking out. I choose who to spend time with and how long! I design the life I desire and the Universe creates it for me every day. I show up, keep the story moving, and work hard because I am relentlessly devoted to making the world a better place and this is how I choose to leave my legacy. Being 50 is one of the most amazing things I ever thought I could experience. And I encourage all women to identify their power and choose to be fully in your power at any age. I'm 50 and powerful. Dred Scott was 50 and powerful. This powerful lesson is for today and tomorrow. We have the power. No matter what age you are, I invite you to use your powerful voice to join me in making the world a better place.