Did your mother ever talk to you about your vagina? Did she refer to your vagina as a place ‘down there’? Call it by another name – MeMe? HooHoo? Private parts? Of all the things that mothers teach us, it seems they fall short on a particular part of girls and women that is so intimately tied to love, sexuality and intimacy. This is so sad, really.
The vagina is a beautiful organ – pink, plump and passionate with superpower strength; it has the capacity to expand to accommodate a penis or a baby’s head. Its role is vital in the shedding of blood and mucosal tissue from the lining of our uterus. It’s multitude of abilities from arousal to orgasm, lubrication to arousal, to elasticity are nothing short of miraculous. Surprisingly enough, certain cultures perceive the vagina as inferior to the penis while others perceive it as unpleasant in appearance. Imagine that. If you ask me, the vagina takes top prize over the penis.
The subject of sex is not easy for people, even our own mothers. That said, if we view sex as part of our overall health, it is a lot easier to discuss. Many women have little awareness of their vagina until something goes wrong, for example when it becomes dry or sex is painful. Vaginal dryness may affect a woman at any time in her life but is more common during peri-menopause (the years leading up to menopause) and post-menopause. Women who are taking oral contraceptives or breastfeeding may also experience vaginal dryness.
Estrogen is the hormone regulator of the vagina which means it helps to keep it moist. So, when the estrogen levels in your vagina drop, you may experience vaginal dryness and this may cause sex to be painful. This is otherwise known as dyspareunia. Dyspareunia may lead to low sexual desire – this is no surprise. No one wants to do anything that hurts. But, the good news is that personal moisturizers are available to help manage your vaginal dryness. For example, I often recommend RepaGyn®, a new vaginal suppository available in Canada, for my patients looking for an effective, non-hormonal remedy (learn more at RepaGyn.ca). RepaGyn® helps to relieve your vaginal dryness and heal vaginal tissue, to get you feeling better down there.