That’s right ….you heard correct… The Vibrant Vagina!
What do I mean? I mean a healthy, pain free and self lubricating vagina for all women even for peri and post menopausal women. Why do I want to talk about this? Because this is the issue I hear most, across the board, from my women patients. They tell me that sex hurts and they have been told that there is not much can be done so they “grin and bear it”. Some patients may have been given the option to use estradiol ( which is not the safest option) hormone cream and use lubricants. I have amazing news:
The Solution To All Of This Is Incredibly Easy, Safe, And Effective!
- What Hormones are involved with helping you get a Vibrant Vagina?
Estradiol and Estrone are the more potent estrogens. They are pro-cancer and pro-inflammatory when in excess. The get broken down to Estriol….Estriol – 80 x less potent and toxic than Estradiol and Estrone. Anti-Cancer, Anti-inflammatory, and builds collagen. DHEA is the precursor to these estrogens
*An important thing to notes is that all of these hormones must be balanced with Progesterone*
- What happens to us around menopause?
Around 40 years old, our hormones start to decrease. Progesterone decreases first. This can put us in a state of “estrogen dominance” which can cause inflammation and heavier menses with more cramping and PMS. Around this time, our estrogens start to decrease as well. With lowered estrogens our vaginal tissue gets dry, thin, and weak. Lubrication diminishes and OTC (over the counter) lubrication just isn’t a good substitution. This is when sex becomes painful. We either stop having sex or suffer through it. After menopause our estrogens really decline to a post menopausal level and the vaginal tissue gets even drier and thinner.
- The common Menopausal Vagina experiences:
Dry – little to no lubrication, thin tissue that is easily injured, painful intercourse leading to low libido, dry vaginal tissue leads to chronic imbalanced flora. This opens the door for UTI’s and then chronic UTI’s later in life. No sex leads to pelvic floor apathy
- What we can do about it?
Test our hormones- Testing your hormones through saliva or urinary hormones accurately tell us the hormonal levels. I want to know the levels of Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and more importantly how well they are getting broken down to Estriol (E3) and how they are balanced with progesterone. WHEN WE TEST WE HAVE A BASELINE AND AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED. When estradiol and estrone are too high, not getting broken down to estriol, or not balanced optimally with progesterone than increased inflammation and increased risk of estrogen related cancers can occur.
We have a urine collection test kit called the DUTCH Hormone Panel and it tests all the hormones and their metabolites so you know exactly your hormone picture.
RE-TESTING- I advise resisting every 3 months until your hormone picture is steady and balanced and then every 6-12 months to maintain to every few years when you are confident with your hormone picture.
- How to Treat?
Estriol is my hormone of choice to put vaginally -It builds collagen, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer. Your body naturally restarts building lubrication.
The most common prescription is Estrace vaginally which is estradiol. This builds the tissue back but is also inflammatory and pro cancer. Not the best choice. Estriol comes in coco butter suppositories- called Hydration Cubes 1X or 2X. Depending in the level of deficiency 1 cube is placed vaginally ( best at bedtime) x 2-4 weeks for a therapeutic level to build the tissue back up and then 1-3 cubes a week to maintain.
- Most importantly, what are the Patient Results?
My patients tell me time and time again how happy they are to not only finally have their sex life is back but how much they ENJOY it again! This is the reason that I have decided to write this… the overwhelming response that I get from my patients. The frustrating question for them is why they didn’t know about it and why it isn’t this common knowledge for ALL women? Because our vaginas are not a common topic of conversation, there are so many women who miss out on this valuable information. So, my one favor to ask is this… if you use this and it works for you then please tell your women friends and be ready to experience the joys of sex once again!
Dr. Heidi Hook, N.D.