Women talk about lots of topics, but vaginal health isn’t typically one of them. Yet midlife is the perfect time to start the conversation because most women will experience vaginal issues. In fact, 60 percent of menopausal women have vaginal symptoms like dryness, and this goes up to 80% post-menopause.
But it’s not just about some annoying symptoms. Compromised vaginal health has many health implications for women including painful intercourse, poor quality of life, recurrent UTIs, incontinence, and more.
In the world of social media, the work of Shirley Weir caught my eye. I couldn’t help but notice how she encouraged women to moisturize their vaginas. She brings midlife women’s issues like vaginal health front and center because doesn’t want women to suffer needlessly.
“77 percent of women have questions about their health,” she said. “And 80% of women tell me they don’t have anyone to talk to about these questions pertaining to perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. So, there’s a lot of work to do.”
Shirley is the founder of Menopause Chicks, a private community for women going through perimenopause and menopause. Menopause Chicks provides tips and guidance to women with the aim to crack open the conversation around midlife health. She is also the author of Mokita: How to Navigate Perimenopause with Comfort and Ease.
We have a frank conversation about what every midlife woman needs to know about vaginal health along with a few other midlife topics sprinkled in.
- How Shirley’s interest in menopause/midlife health started from both her and her sister’s experience with perimenopause.
- How Menopause Chicks came about from her early experience of being told she was too young for menopause.
- What genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) and vaginal atrophy are and the difference between them.
- Common vaginal symptoms such as dryness, burning, and recurrent UTIs among others that occur during the menopause transition.
- Why vaginal and vulva dryness can happen at any age and stage including women on birth control, during and after cancer therapy, and postpartum.
- How moisturizing hyaluronic acid starts to decrease by 10% per decade in the 30s and 40s and even more during post-menopause and why that matters.
- What happens when vaginal dryness and symptoms are left unattended (and what this has to do with a grape).
- The steps women can take to improve their vaginal health and dryness including how to find the best moisturizer.
- Why it’s important to keep searching until you find the right health professional.
- Why Shirley wrote a book and spearheaded the development of a vaginal moisturizer just for midlife women.
More than 80% of women in post-menopause are experiencing this [vaginal symptoms] and less than 4% are currently receiving treatment. It’s not a conversation that’s happening in the doctor’s office. – Shirley Weir
Menopause Chicks private Facebook group
Duration: 46:49 minutes
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