Everyone knows that the symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and night sweats, impact many women in their 50s. It’s less common to talk about the hormonal and physical changes that take place in our bodies after menopause. In fact, strangely, this topic is a bit taboo.
Since this is an important topic for the women in our community, most of whom are in their 60s or 70s, I turned to Julie Dargan, a registered nurse and women’s health expert, to discuss what happens to our bodies after menopause.
In the interview, Julie and I talk about vaginal dryness. We discuss why it impacts so many older women and what you can do about it. Julie explains that this can be caused by a decrease of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.
At the same time, we can’t just blame our bodies. The lifestyle choices that we make also have a big impact. This is especially true when it comes to diet and exercise.
As a nurse and naturopath, Julie helps us to see the big picture and offers some ideas for dealing with your changing postmenopausal body.
Julie reminds us that the vagina, just like every other muscle, has to be used if we want to keep it healthy. Do our hormones play a role in vaginal dryness? Absolutely. But, are there things that we can do to increase the blood flow to this part of our bodies? You bet!
By the way, this is not just a matter of sensual pleasure – although this is important by itself! Vaginal dryness can also lead to urinary tract infections. Since it can also make walking painful, it can also discourage us from engaging in other healthy behaviors.
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, there are medications that you can talk to your doctor about. At the same time, Julie says that increasing your intake of omega oils, like almonds, tinned sardines, avocado, salmon, and olives can help. Coconut oil is also a great option. In addition to helping with your metabolism, it makes a great lubricant. Just apply a bit to your vagina before sex.
Two other simple steps that you can take include wearing loose cotton panties, instead of synthetic ones, and making sure that you get plenty of vitamin D.
We can’t deny that our bodies are changing. But, we can decide how we respond to the hormonal changes in our bodies. We can choose to be kind and gentle with ourselves.
Finally, Julie and I discuss the fact that not all fats are bad. For example, we need the oil and other fats in salad dressings to help us absorb the nutrients in the greens. Julie suggests that we consider starting the day with a green smoothie, including healthy greens like avocado, spinach and kale.
I had a great time talking with Julie about how our bodies change over time. What is clear is that we have a lot more control over this process than we think we do. I hope that this video helps to bring an important issue that many women face into the open. You deserve every happiness that this world can offer!
Have you made any significant changes to your diet in your 50s or 60s? Do you agree that we have quite a bit of control over our hormones? What other post menopause symptoms would you like Julie’s advice on? Please join the conversation.