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Not-so-Dirty: Talk about Dry Vaginas

Oh honey… OUCH.

What if that thing that worked comfortably for your vag during sexxytimes even a few months ago is suddenly painful? It's normal that Perimonopause brings with it vaginal dryness, but that doesn't mean it's comfortable to talk about it with your partner. Even our Plums with same-sex partners have shared that it’s tricky when one of us starts to experience perimenopausal dryness before the other. 

While we could just listen longingly to Cardi B and sneak off to the sexual health aisle alone in the dead of night… instead, we think it’s more helpful to have open and honest communication with your partner about any changes or difficulties you are experiencing in your sexual relationship. 

Find a time when you both are relaxed, not distracted, and NOT when you're about ready to be intimate. Set aside a coffee hour or date-night to discuss without interruptions! If it's helpful, clip an article - maybe not from OBGYN TODAY, but a familiar mag that’s not going to set off any alarms. UC Berkeley has a great discussion-starter, as does Andrew Huberman

We know, we say this in every post, but it’s one of our Plum Missions to ALWAYS BE HONEST AND DIRECT: Stop pussyfooting around (LOLOL no pun intended). Begin the conversation by saying THIS CONVERSATION comes from wanting to care for your partner and valuing your intimacy, and then cut right to it: you have been experiencing pain during sex due to menopause. “This impacts my comfort, enjoyment, and desire.”

Whether it’s through magazine articles or blog posts written in a way even the manliest man can digest it or just you rattling off facts: share info that all women go through physiological changes in menopause. It’s not that you’re not hot for them, per se; it’s decreased estrogen levels causing vaginal dryness and thinning of the vaginal walls. This could help your partner better understand the root cause of the issue.

There’s a wide assortment of natural lubricants available in the self-care section of most pharmacies and grocery stores. They smell good! They feel good! It can be fun to explore alternative sexual activities, too, so you can suggest finding other ways to maintain intimacy and pleasure that do not involve penetration. Discuss the importance of foreplay, oral sex, and creativity! The well is deep. Tap it.

Finally, if you have the luxury of access to a provider willing to explore pelvic floor therapy with you, it can be a game-changer for all the evolving magic of lady-parts-post-45. More on that in a dedicated post… we’ve got some experts to interview. Stay tuned!

-The Plums