Gwyn, age 51
I have a good relationship with my gynaecologist, as I’ve been seeing the same doctor since having my children 25 years ago. But I’ve recently gone through the menopause and I’m finding it really difficult to talk to him about my symptoms of dryness and pain during sex. He says it’s normal and to use vaginal lubricants but they just aren’t working and I feel like I’m being too ‘pushy’ raising the subject again. It’s not that I’m embarrassed necessarily, just struggling to put it all into words and explain the impact it’s having on me and my relationship.
What would you advise?
I know it’s not always easy talking about vaginal health. When you’ve been through the menopause, it takes a while to learn to understand your own body again – let alone talk about it to someone else. Have no fear though, there are a couple of things you can do. I’d recommend purchasing a vaginal health test kit – they’re really simple to use, you just take it in to your Gyne and he or she will understand the results. So that’s an easy conversation starter!
Another simple but effective technique you can prepare (and use to get the most out of any doctor’s appointment), is to create a checklist of all the things on your mind, whether that’s symptoms, treatment preferences or how you have been personally affected by what you’re experiencing. Don’t scrimp on the details as the more you explain to your doctor the more likely you are to get a treatment that’s suited to your needs. It’s worthwhile visiting www.ourlittlesecret.com, where you’ll find a ready-made vaginal health checklist to get you started.