INTIMACY ISSUES

 

desert.jpg
 
 

Your doctor has finally given you the green light for intimacy, and every star in the universe has aligned so that you actually feel like having sex.  Your partner’s giddy excitement about this rare event threatens to make you change your mind, but you decide to play nice.  Things are moving along at a decent pace until - WHOA! WAIT! PARTY’S OVER!

 

Vaginal discomfort during sex.  It can range from mildly irritating to intensely painful.  Thinning of the vaginal lining and a loss of elasticity of the vaginal walls results from the drop in estrogen levels associated with the surgical removal of the ovaries, aromatase inhibitor therapy, and even chemotherapy and radiation. These treatments can significantly alter the vaginal environment, leading to dryness, pain, and irritation during intercourse.  

 

Those with hormone-driven cancers may want to avoid estrogen-based solutions to this problem.  One such solution are the vaginal lubricants and moisturizers available over the counter.  Lubricants offer a temporary effect because they are not absorbed into the skin of the vagina, but remain on the surface to reduce friction.  Moisturizers are said to go below the skin's surface, promoting elasticity of the vaginal walls. Applied on a regular basis, moisturizers build an effect that can last for days, which can promote more spontaneity. 

Some well-recognized lubricants are the water-based K-Y Jelly, FemGlide and Astroglide, or the silicone-based Pjur and Platinum.  Moisturizers available without a prescription are Replens and K-Y Liquibeads.

For those wanting a more natural option, coconut oil can be used as a vaginal moisturizer during intimacy.  This oil is unsafe, however, when using latex condoms, which will degrade and eventually break when oil or oil-based products are applied.  Although a solid at approximately 75 degrees or cooler, coconut oil quickly warms and melts to the touch.  Its consistency makes it an exceptional massage oil, as well. 

 Virgin, unrefined coconut oil is reported to be naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, making it safe to use in and around the vagina.  It has a very long shelf life, and doesn’t require refrigeration.

 It is important to remember that every woman's body chemistry is different.  Experiment, talk with your healthcare provider, do your research, listen to your body, and find what works to give you the experience that you deserve.

*Note that the product information provided is current only as of the date of this post, which was updated December 2016.