Bring Back Your Sexy ~ The Ninth Tool

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Continuing with the Tools and Power Tools for Bringing Back Your Sexy After Cancer:

#9. The Key to the Kingdom (or Queendom) ~ Vaginal Renewal

Now you have lots of things to experiment with in your intimate and sex play. And you may be experiencing medical menopause as a result of your cancer treatments, or you may be menopausal naturally. Menopause causes a decrease in estrogen, which can result in thinner skin in the vulva and vagina, decreased vaginal lubrication and discomfort or pain with touch or penetration. It’s easy to see how this can have you feeling like your sex life is over. This isn’t true. It’s possible to renew and recondition the flexibility of the skin and tissue and pelvic floor muscles so that you can continue or resume penetrative sexual activity. Hallelujah!

I learned about the Vaginal Renewal™ Program from A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resources and am sharing this with their permission. The program has 3 parts:

  1. Moisturizing
  2. Manual Massage
  3. Vibrating Massage

Ideally, do all 3 parts of the program daily for a month and then do them twice a week. Depending on your condition, you might want to continue daily for longer. If penetration is painful, it’s best to abstain from that for a few weeks so that your tissues can heal. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Moisturize the skin of your vulva and vagina. It’s best to do this daily, even twice a day, to add moisture and seal it in place. Read the labels and avoid lubricants with mineral oil (clogs pores) and glycerin (can draw out moisture and cause yeast infections). Replens Vaginal Moisturizer is highly acidic and can cause burning and irritation. Some to try include Liquid Silk, Pink Indulgence and Sliquid Organics Silk. If you can get samples, try them first.

Use the moisturizing lubricant just like a facial moisturizer, except on your vulva and perineum. Smooth it on when you feel dry. You can also insert it into your vagina with a dropper at night to moisturize your vaginal tissues.

  1. Massage your Vulva ~ only do this if you can do it without feeling any pain. If it is painful, continue with the moisturizing only for a week or two. By moisturizing and massaging the vulva and inner and outer lips at the vaginal opening, as well as the perineum, you are restoring flexibility and blood flow ~ the more flexible and stretchy the tissues are, the more likely you will be able to have comfortable penetration. Just be sure to go slow, take your time and breathe. And this feels good, so there’s no need to rush.

For the massage, the aim is to press and release ~ you’re pressing old fluids out of your skin tissue and encouraging fresh blood and lymph to flow in so that your body rebuilds itself. Just press your fingertips onto the skin so that it feels comfortable but firm (try it on the back of your hand first). Now lift your fingers off and watch the paler skin return to its normal color. You should feel pressure, nor friction. Press and release every bit of tissue and skin on your vulva, beginning with the outer lips. Smooth the moisturizing lubricant around and then press and release, using 2 or 3 fingertips. Then massage the inner lips and the area around the vaginal opening and finally the perineum.

  1. Internal Massage with vibration ~ this can prevent and reverse painful penetration. This can be done manually, and it works better using a vibrating wand. This accomplishes the same sort of press and release massage inside the vagina. Vibration increases tissue strength as the small movements of the vibration increases blood flow. Wands come in different sizes ~ choose your beginning size by determining how many lubricated fingers you can comfortably insert in your vagina when you aren’t aroused. If one finger, begin with the smallest wand; if two, use the medium size if three, use the larger.

Coat the wand with moisturizing lubricant and gently insert it into your vagina to a comfortable depth. Then turn the dial to a medium vibration setting and relax for 5 minutes while the wand does the massage. You don’t need to move the wand around. Over time as skin flexibility increases, try moving up to the next larger size wand. Don’t rush it ~ relax and enjoy it.

If you see a thin smear of dilute blood during this massage, that’s normal as the skin repairs itself. If you notice vaginal bleeding, stop this part of the program and check with your health care provider about the condition of your skin and to rule out any problems.

As you work with this program, you’ll learn so much about your body and its amazing capacity to heal. Next time more on pelvic floor strength and some other goodies!

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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