It’s not every day we talk about how our libido and sexual experiences are affected by menopause. But we should, because it’s an issue that affects women around the world at a shocking rate. We’ve all heard about menopause and have an idea of what to expect when the process starts but did you realize that the hormonal changes can actually begin more than a decade before menopause begins? These changes can cause dryness in our skin, hair, and nails – and the delicate skin of our lady parts doesn’t escape the wrath of hormone decline, either.
More than 75% of all midlife women suffer from a dry vagina. (1,2) In fact, 50% of post-menopausal women have vaginal atrophy symptoms that impact their sexual function and quality of life. (3) While this seems bad enough, the sad truth is that more than 33% of these women never share this with their doctor because they are embarrassed or feel there isn’t a solution for them. They feel like it’s just a natural progression, something that’s an expected and inevitable change as the years pass! (3) But that’s NOT TRUE!
The truth is: No woman should EVER suffer from vaginal dryness because there’s a solution available that totally prevents it and resolves it if it has already occurred.
Going Through ‘The Change’
Hi, I’m Dr. Karen Leggett, founder of Women’s Midlife Specialist, Inc., and a double board-certified physician, with fellowship training in both Geriatrics and Regenerative Medicine. Hormone health, balance, and optimization is my specialty.
There was a time I felt like I must have the driest vagina in the world. I’m sure I was exaggerating things in my mind, but not completely. I’ll share more on that later, but first, let’s talk openly about this significant change in our body that can affect how we enjoy intimacy with the person we love.
The average age of menopause is 51, and 90% of us have experienced it by 55. Though the decline of hormones causes menopause, it’s not an all-or-nothing situation!
We don’t go from pre-menopause to post-menopause overnight. The transition is very gradual, with hormone decline beginning 10 to 15 years before our periods stop. And although each woman’s menopausal transition is unique to them, vaginal dryness and eventual vaginal atrophy is one complication of hormone decline that almost all women will experience. (4)
Hormones keep vaginal tissues thick, moist, and elastic, which is necessary for comfortable intimacy. However, the health and flexibility of our vaginal tissues are dependent on the hormone levels we enjoyed in our 20 and 30s. Without these younger levels of hormones, vaginal tissues become thin, dry, and less elastic.
Even in our 40s, it’s common to start noticing that our passion starts to decline and intercourse is less enjoyable. As time passes, intercourse can be downright painful, and our sexual intimacy with the person we love becomes very different than what we enjoyed so freely as younger women.
Lubrication is something we don’t think about until it’s gone! Using extra lubrication is always necessary and can help with penetration – at first. However, as ongoing vaginal dryness continues, the pH of the vagina becomes less acidic. This is a real problem because the healthy Lactobacilli bacteria in our vagina need a highly acidic environment to survive. And these bacteria are what protect and prevent the growth of organisms that cause vaginal infections, unusual odors, and excess discharge. (4,5)
Vaginal Atrophy: The Perfect Storm
Vaginal dryness doesn’t just stay in its own “back yard” either. Over time, vaginal atrophy causes the urethra (the tube we urinate from) to also become dry and fragile, resulting in urogenital symptoms such as burning with urination and urinary incontinence. (4)
Vaginal atrophy also causes shortening of the vaginal canal by retracting upward and inward.
At this point, the urethra starts retracting up as well – getting closer to the vaginal opening. This puts the urethra even closer to the anus. It’s a perfect storm for a Urinary Tract Infection because E. coli from the anus has an easier opportunity to attach to the dry, rough urethral tissues causing multiple urinary tract infections. UTIs can be serious. In fact, 25% of all cases of sepsis (infections in the blood) are caused by urinary tract infections!
This could have happened to me! I began experiencing vaginal dryness in my early 40s, twenty years ago. Fortunately, being a hormone specialist, I knew the Gold Standard for preventing these complications and began caring for my own vaginal health 15 years before I went through menopause.
Sadly, 1 in 10 women believes there is no effective treatment for vaginal dryness. (6). After witnessing serious complications in so many of my patients, I realized that the power needed to be put into the hands of women themselves.
First a Problem, Now a Solution
Introducing the Happy Hoo Hoo – a vaginal suppository that prevents dryness and helps repair already aging tissues. The secret behind the Happy Hoo Hoo is in the science!
The International Menopause Society and the North American Menopause Society both support that vaginal dryness and atrophy changes are effectively managed and reversed with local hormone therapy without significantly increasing a woman’s overall hormone levels. (7,8,9)
Local therapy simply means that hormones are applied directly to the vaginal tissues through a cream, suppository, or ring. This can reverse the effects that menopause has on our vaginal tissues by restoring the vaginal pH, increasing the thickness of tissues, increasing blood flow, and improving vaginal lubrication. (7,8,9)
The Happy Hoo Hoo puts the power of vaginal health in our own hands, with two options you can learn more about and buy here:
~ ReStoring Formulation, which contains Estriol and Progesterone
~ ReBuilding Formulation, which consists of Pregnenolone and Progesterone
We can live the rest of our lives avoiding the complications of vaginal atrophy. Since the inception of the Happy Hoo Hoo in 2017, thousands of women have benefited, including me. In fact, I recently received an A+ in vaginal health from my Gynecologist. “Keep doing what you’re doing, doctor, because it’s working perfectly,” he said.
We love you at the Women’s Midlife Specialist, Inc., and we’re here to assure you a beautiful transition into and beyond menopause! Life has just begun for us lovely ladies!
About the Author:
Dr. Karen Leggett (D.O.) is a double board-certified physician, with fellowship training in both Geriatrics and Regenerative Medicine. She is the Founder and CEO of Women’s Midlife Specialist, Inc., Personal Wellness Medicine, LLC, and Leggett Medical Group, Inc. Dr. Karen is also the creator of the Happy Hoo Hoo for vaginal health, and of Young Hormones®, a luxurious line of natural Bioidentical Hormone creams available over the counter.
Dr. Karen is a best-selling author with Brian Tracy in Success Manifesto with Get Energized, Focused, and Downright Sexy Now. She has been a speaker on Hormone Health, Balance, and Optimization to women and medical providers over the past 20 years and has helped thousands of women sail through menopause, reverse aging, and live the life they imagined for themselves as younger women.
- (1) The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2007;14:357-369.
- (2) Labrie F, et al. Menopause. 2009;16:907-22.
- (3) Nappi RE, Kokot-Kierepa M. Climacteric. 2012;15:36-44.
- (4) Sturdee DW, Panay N. Climacteric. 2010;13:509-22.
- (5) Stewart, Elizabeth G., and Paula Spencer, The V Book. 2002; 734.
- (6) Nappi RE, Kokot-Kierepa M. Climacteric. 2012;15:36-44.
- (7) Sturdee DW, Panay N. Climacteric. 2010;13:509-22.
- (8) North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2007;14(Pt 1):357-69.
- (9) Bélisle S, et al.; Menopause Guidelines Committee. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2006;28(2 Suppl 1): S7-S94.