"Who thinks that the Kalahari desert is dry has never been in my lap."
For a few years there has been a new term floating around the field of gynaecology: Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GMS). This includes the menopausal changes in the whole genitourinary tract as well as vulvo-vaginal atrophy, dryness, burning sensations, irritations, and infections of the lower urinary tracts. The term previously used did not include any of the complaints related to the urinary tract. Now, it includes all genital, sexual, and urologic issues that can occur in women due to a lack of oestrogen.
This list reads like a menu straight from a torture chamber made for women. And if you want to avoid the mental images, let’s jump straight to the next point: bladder weakness… or to the point after that: Klara Butt.
- Vaginal Dryness: reduced moisture in vulva and vagina
- Decline in moisture during sexual activity
- Pain/Discomfort during sex
- Bleeding after vaginal penetration
- Loss of libido
- Irritation, burning and itching sensation of vulva and vagina
- Bladder weakness
- Pain during urination
- Desire to void
- As a consequence thereof: frequent infections of vulva, vagina, and bladder
The good news: Most pains related to GMS can be treated quite well. As an example, Ovestin is a compound containing Estriol (ointment or pill) which is being prescribed frequently. Against what the instruction leaflet says, recent research shows that it is in no correlation with breast cancer (DAZ). However, it is not being prescribed for women who have been previously diagnosed with breast cancer.And furthermore, the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) advises against long-term implementation (>4 weeks) (source). But if they advise against it, what else are we supposed to do? Because our Oestrogen won’t magically reappear on its won after 4 weeks. There is a lot of panic being spread towards women and their hormones. Renowned British doctor Dr. Louise Newson has a clear stance on this. She recommends women to use creams containing Oestrogen into old age as well as DHEA-containing ovulas, such as Intrarosa. The first-mentioned provide moisture and the second supports tissue architecture. This all should only happen under close medical supervision and following appropriate complaints.
“I WANT BACK MY PASSION”Of course, our libido is something a bit more complex; however, gynaecology provides us with some possible solutions. Where the moisture slowly abates, things stay dry and so, unfortunately for us women, the areas which have previously been supplied with Oestrogen and therefore with moisture are slowly drying up. This applied to the areas of our ‘bikini areas’, but also our bladder or the clitoris. When all other potential causes for loss of libido have been ruled out, it might be worth it to give Testosterone a shot. Testosterone is all about self-esteem, build-up of muscle, and: Lust (and of course something else). On the topic of loss of libido the guidelines provided by the German Association for Gynaecology and obstetrics state the following: “More often than not there is a complex network of relational, self-esteem related, health and sociocultural aspects underlying loss of libido. A confidential conversation can help women or couples, respectively. A psycho- or sexual-therapeutic treatment may open doors to potential solutions. If a treatment based on testosterone is being considered, the problem may occur that there is no compound with the adequate dosage for women and the patient might have to resort to a small-scale preparation.” If you’re wondering waht a small-scale preparation is, you’re not alone, I also wanted to know: “A small-scale preparation is a form of medication which pharmacists prepare individually for patients following a medical prescription. They are of essential importance for the health care system because not every medication is available as a pharmaceutically manufactured drug.” (source).
“All right boys, you can draw a dick and balls, but can you draw a clitoris?”
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“Even in this, its moment of glory, the clitoris was treated as it had ever been: downgraded and difficult to find.”
– Melissa Fyfe