06th Dec 2020
Helen Seymour is in Peri-Menopause, or at least she thinks she is. In her new weekly column we follow her on her journey towards the Menopause, learning as she does all about the big M.
I’m going to say two words that will upset you. I apologise in advance. Are you ready? Here we go. Brace yourself. Vaginal. Dryness.
I’m so sorry. And apologies again, because I have to say it one more time for emphasis. Vaginal. Dryness. Okay, SCROLL.
So, the reason for this God Awful topic. First off, no, I have not yet encountered VD. Interesting isn’t it, that the initials are the same as Venereal Disease. And that’s possibly how some women feel when it happens. Embarrassed, upset. That you have to keep quiet about it. And worse. That one of the things that is central to who you are as a woman is threatened. That part of YOU may disappear.
After the first of these columns was published, I got a message to call a Public Relations company who had read my first article and wanted to talk to me. “HOW interesting” I thought. “Maybe they have some glamourous project they want me to get involved with.” Alas, no. The PR company in question wanted to talk to me on behalf of one of their clients, a pharmaceutical brand, selling a cream for Vaginal Dryness.
My sister howled with laughter when I told her. Howled. As did several friends. Laugh away ladies, all conveniently two years younger than me. When VD knocks on your door, you’ll know all about it.
Sidebar. I live in a small coastal town. I’ll never hold my head up in the village after this.
Anyway, I told the PR lady on the phone, TRUTHFULLY (for everyone in the small coastal town), that I had not yet encountered this symptom, and therefore would not be in a position to talk about it. I can’t write about something I’m not experiencing. Furthermore, I am hoping that the Bio-Identical hormone treatment I get from Professor Studd in the UK, will prevent it from occurring, but that may be a naïve hope.
What I found interesting about the whole experience was the level of deep discomfort I felt about being asked to discuss it publicly. I was relieved I didn’t have it, and therefore didn’t have to very publicly acknowledge I did. Interesting isn’t it, that I had no problems talking about my hot flushes, but this I wanted to run a mile from. They say if something makes you feel uncomfortable, if you feel fear around a particular subject, it is a clear signal you must write about it. So here I am. Braveheart of the Menopause.
The PR girl I spoke to on the phone that day told me her client was working with a Doctor who specialised in Menopause. She told me that the Doctor had patients whose sex lives were destroyed, whose marriages were affected, she even had patients who became suicidal over the issue. She also had patients who had no idea it was linked to Menopause. Ask yourself this question. If you experienced this, would you discuss this with your friends? Here’s a harder question. Would you bring actively it up in conversation, as opposed to being hugely relieved when another friend brought the subject up, and you could join in?
Would YOU open, or lead a conversation on this? Like I said, I can’t say I’m experiencing this, or that I’ve tried and tested a solution. It’s not like “Lachesis” the homoeopathic remedy I took for hot flushes. But what I can say for sure, is that it is now top of my list for my questions with Menopause expert Professor Studd when I visit him in October. And I WILL report back. So stay tuned.
This article was first published in August 2018.
Read more: The Menopause Diaries: Fake Periods leave me with cramps, bloating and PMT … but no period
Read more: Perimenopause: The symptoms you may not know about
Read more: ‘My low sex drive means my husband is threatening to ‘find it elsewhere”
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