Menopause and Self-Love

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Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, cancer and menopause, vaginal renewal after menopause, self love and breast cancer

The other day I was in Starbucks for some tea and writing time. I love to write these blog posts in a place like that because I am often inspired by what I see around me. As I looked around I saw a woman with the most beautiful hair. It was short and very wavy, black in back and a streak of silver in the front that framed her forehead. I was mesmerized by her hair and beauty and kept looking at her. She didn’t notice because she was immersed in her smart phone.

As I was leaving I walked over to her and told her how much I loved her hair ~ the cut, style and color. I told her she’s beautiful.  She beamed and shared that she feels so many changes coming with menopause. Her hair, skin and body are all impacted and much of it surprises her. She thanked me for the reflection of her beauty.

Menopause is a turning point in life. We no longer have the ability to bear children. Our monthly blood no longer flows. Our skin and hair change. Gravity affects our body. I’ve read that when the function shifts from monthly bleeding to retaining our blood, it’s a time of coming into our own wisdom and creativity.

When menopause comes suddenly and early as a result of cancer treatments, we are plunged into this transformation, sometimes unaware and unprepared. How can we find the wisdom and creativity in it? How can we continue to know that we are beautiful and desirable? How can we feel sexy when the hormones aren’t flowing and libido changes?

During this month of self-love, I invite you to love your body and your sexuality as they are now. Lots of women tell me that their sex life wasn’t great before diagnosis and now it hardly seems worth the effort. This breaks my heart. It requires commitment and some effort, and the results can bring great pleasure.

One amazing thing about women is resilience. Our bodies are resilient even when they don’t work in the same ways as before. No matter how long it’s been since sex play felt good to you, you can change that. Here’s what you can do ~

  • Explore the terrain to know your starting point. Get to know what your tissue feels like and how delicate and flexible it is.
  • Put some lubricant on your index finger and gently insert it into your vaginal opening. Notice how that feels and then go in further with your finger. How far in can you go with your finger without any pulling or discomfort? Make note of this. Gently rotate your finger and notice any places where it feels uncomfortable.
  • Begin a daily genital moisturizing and massage practice*. Using a moisturizing lubricant (read the labels and look for one that is moisturizing), apply the lubricant to your vulva. You can also use an internal applicator and insert some lubricant inside your vaginal opening.
  • Using a press and release motion between your thumb and forefinger, gently massage the vulva, perineum and upper inner thighs. Use enough pressure so that your skin turns pink, but less than causes redness or pain. The purpose is to increase blood and lymphatic flow in the tissues.
  • Using a vibrating massage wand coated with lubricant, gently insert the want into your vaginal opening, turn it on and let it massage your inner tissues.
  • Follow this practice daily for 3-4 weeks and your tissues will become more moist and flexible.
  • Whether you choose to have penetrative sex play or not, this practice feels good. You can do it alone or with a partner.

* Note: to learn more about this program, adapted from The Vaginal Renewal Program, please go to http://www.a-womans-touch.com/sex_counselor.php?articleID=3069. You can download a brochure with a full description of this program.

© 2014 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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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this blog post. So many of us and I are dealing with vaginal dryness and discomfort. I’m open to all and any suggestions and will try what you suggest. Thank you so much for being our guide and support. You are making such a difference. xoxox

    Reply

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