Ashley Ross Joins Menopause Goddess Blog!

Painted Lady © lynette sheppard

Painted Lady © lynette sheppard

Drumroll please. I am so excited to welcome Ashley to our virtual menopause community. As a menopause coach and holistic health practitioner with a focus on women’s hormonal issues (and one who has journeyed this transition herself), she is uniquely qualified to take over the Menopause area of the blog. I’ll let her introduce herself to you in this first of many blog posts. (BTW, Ashley is available to help in person and also virtually via Skype – details at the end of the post!)

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Hello everyone!

by Ashley Jeanne Ross

I am so thrilled to be joining the inimitable Lynette Sheppard and the Menopause Goddess Blog community as it changes and transforms just as we all do. Menopause is after all The Ultimate Change. And MGB is about to become a fuller and more collaborative mouthpiece for Gracious Transitions and What Awaits beyond.  What an honor!

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Ashley Jeanne Ross – holistic women’s health practitioner, counselor and coach, mother and lover of relevant and inspiring perspectives on this crazy and fabulous ride called life.

Here’s what I’m passionate about: I’m on a mission to eradicating the the obstacles that keep us from feeling at home in our bodies. With so many forces coming at us from when we were little girls until we arrive at our full womanhood – to turn away from or even against our women’s bodies – it becomes the Task of Menopause for many of us to ‘find our way back home’.

When I began working with women 20 years ago – balancing menstrual cycles, managing PMS, counseling mood swings, teaching natural birth control – women in menopause would implore me to help them, please! There was a tiny voice (you know that one, right?) that said to me: “Wait until you’ve gone through it – that’s when you’ll be able to really help them.” So I would refer them to other practitioners and waited for my turn.

It arrived almost 8 years ago, that day I began to feel The Change coming on … a story for another blog.

Since then, I’ve sat with hundreds of women in all kinds of settings and we’ve mulled over this crazy, confusing and ill-treated time in a woman’s life – to see if there might be another way to understand what’s happening to us. We’ve toyed with the idea of Change, and what it means to change. Our needs are changing, certainly our bodies are changing, our sexuality’s changing, our focus is changing. Apparently we’re changing!

A very surprising question emerged – what if we changed intentionally, consciously?  What if we claimed this transition, this change of life and went through a Conscious Menopause?

Here’s a taster of how that might look:
instead of feeling at the mercy of your symptoms, you can learn to decipher what they’re trying to tell you
instead of being afraid of The Change, you might use it to revamp outdated beliefs and habits that have overstayed their welcome
instead of biding your time to ‘just get through it’, you can make adjustments that will pay off down the road
instead of feeling alone in your misery, you can turn to your sisters for support and fabulous stories

So much to explore together. It’s such an honor to be here. Thank you Lynette for inviting me to the party. I am truly delighted to join the wonderful Menopause Goddesses, to share what inspires me and to be inspired as we claim this “one wild and precious life”.

BIOGRAPHY
Ashley Jeanne Ross seems to have a insatiable lifelong fascination with the rich terrain where our hormones and emotions meet. When she’s not immersed in studying the female experience, she’s an author, teacher, counselor and speaker, as well as a loving mother of burgeoning adult triplets, two girls and a boy. Her ‘day job’ is as a holistic reproductive health practitioner, professional fertility awareness educator and somatic counselor in private practice in California, and thanks to the 21st century, also online. Place her in a circle of women to observe her in her natural habitat.

 

Ashley offers Conscious Menopause coaching in San Rafael and via Skype. You can read more on her website ashleyjeanneross.com

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Menopause Goddess Blog Part Deux

Vibrant Amaryllis © lynette sheppard

Vibrant Amaryllis © lynette sheppard

Back in early December, I wrote that Menopause Goddess Blog would be going through some changes. I had hoped to introduce our new addition, fabulous Menopause Coach Ashley Ross,  by the end of December. The holidays and such got in the way, like they do, so we will be starting the new format in February.

Ashley will write on the Menopause transition and I will write about Living Our Second Act from my postmenopausal perspective. Many of our original goddesses have thankfully seen the worst of the changes recede in their rear view mirror, yet we remain committed to our sisters just beginning this rocky ride.

We will continue to showcase products in our Menopause Marketplace and keep up with the latest on the Big M. And I am very excited to embark together on our journey into Second Adulthood. Stay tuned! And if you have specific questions, thoughts, offerings; be sure to let us know by clicking on Contact Us in the left sidebar.

Menopause may be an ending but it is also a beginning. Most important is that we travel these roads together. That will take us from merely surviving to outright thriving.

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Managing Hot Flushes & Night Sweats

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Flame On © lynette sheppard

One of our goddess sisters from across the pond, Lucy Teear, shares this terrific book review with tips for managing hot flashes and night sweats naturally. And do check out Lucy’s blog at Embrace the Change.

Book Review: Managing Hot Flushes & Night Sweats  By Myra Hunter & Melanie Smith

by Lucy Teear

Whoa…. My usual chick lit abandoned for two nights in favour of truly engrossing and informative read about the menopause, not something I ever expected to say! The menopause seems to be such a taboo subject, something to be suffered in silence and ever so slightly embarrassing, but this book provides balanced informative which changed my preconceived negative thoughts and the four week self-help guide shared techniques to help manage symptoms that are uplifting and positive.

The Finding of This Holy Grail….

I discovered Myra Hunter and her wonderful book in October whilst attending a “Managing menopausal symptoms following breast cancer treatments” (bit of a mouthful) held by “Breast Cancer Care” support – a fabulous support network that saved my sanity whilst going through chemo.

Having had breast cancer the possibility of HRT is ruled out for me, so resigned to the fact I’d have to go cold turkey and the impact of chemo can make the symptoms more severe than a natural menopause… Explains the hell of the last 3yrs, major hot flushes up to 10 – 15  times plus a day at its peak, then the flooding where my period would last weeks and be so super heavy I’d be jacked up on tampons and pads giving me a cowboy stance!! All in all leaving me feel drained and incredibly miserable. Happy to report I’m in a much more manageable place but still attended like the majority of the women in the room full of hope of discovering a new medical breakthrough, a pill, a drug that would magically alleviate the suffering of the night sweats and hot flushes (now at about 2 a day), but what we covered and discovered was far more powerful and enlightening, resonating with me….

Including:

What is the menopause
Symptoms
Pharmacological approaches to alleviating symptoms
Non-pharmacological approaches (natural remedies etc.)
Cognitive behavioural approaches
Self-help strategies

All the above is covered in detail in a readable and engaging format in the book.

So, we didn’t get the pills and drugs but instead  CBT.

So what is “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)”:

CBT is a therapy that helps manage problems by enabling you to recognise and ultimately change the way you think and behave in connection with the problem. Combining a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach, CBT encourages you to notice how your thoughts and actions influence one another.

It was clear that most of the women in the room felt the menopause was a taboo topic, something viewed negatively by society and therefore a source of great embarrassment… This is where CBT kicks in, as how we think will ultimately have an effect on how we experience the symptoms – makes sense right?

The below slide highlights the negative thought cycle:
hot flush cycle

My personal experience with hot flushes are they tend to arrive at the most inconvenient times, an example being a business meeting I had with five guys in a very small room, knowing it was going to be a challenging negotiation I was pretty pumped up and as soon as we started, it started… heat building, sending my pulse racing, panic rising along with the heat “My god they’ll notice” was all I could think, just intensifying the whole darn experience! In reality I’m sure it looked like a normal stress related response to the situation, and had I read this book then my perception would be just that and I’d have handled differently, controlled my breathing and had a very different internal dialogue.

Although a complete rookie yogi, I’m a newbie fan of mediation/mindfulness and often use it to help with the stresses of work (Construction industry is a hive of stress), and hadn’t thought to apply it to menopausal symptoms but having read the book I now see the correlation between the reduction in my flushes and the reduction in stress since practising meditation daily. At the seminar Myra guided us through a paced breathing exercise and calm spread through the room, even the most skeptical looked more relaxed and chilled out!

Right, lets take a look at this book….

Managing-hot-flushes21

Firstly the authors credentials:

Myra Hunter (the speaker above) is professor of clinical health psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She’s worked in the area of women’s health for over thirty years and her research on menopause has established her as an international expert in the field…. Knows her stuff for sure.

Melanie Smith is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in helping people to manage physical health conditions through the use of cognitive behavioural therapy. She is currently working with the Manchester and Salford Pain Centre.

The format:

The book covers in more depth what we touched on in the “Breast Cancer Seminar” and is divided into two sections:

Information about the menopause, hot flushes and CBT explained
CBT Self-Help Guide

There’s also download link which provides an audio recording guiding you through a relaxation and breathing exercise, which I love  listening to first thing in the morning to set me up for the day, as feel amazingly refreshed and positive after – Also great just before going to bed if you need to let go of the days fuzz buzzing around the mind!

Although both academics this book is clearly written by women for women, the first section shares current knowledge based on really accessible and easy to understand research data, along with the latest information on why we experience hot flushes and night sweats – It’s not all about the hormones! It looks at how different cultures experience the menopause which is fascinating, and makes you consider if society was less judgmental about the ageing process then maybe as women we wouldn’t judge ourselves so harshly and feel the embarrassment quite so deeply!

It covers the principles of CBT, the theory behind how it works and the relationship cycle between: Thought – Feelings – Behavior – Physical reactions and how this cycle impacts on menopause symptoms.

I found it a compelling read and I’m usually more of a fiction gal! Even reading aloud parts with much excitement to Teear (my husband for those who haven’t read my intro)… not sure how much he took in but feigned sufficient interest!

The second part of the book sets out an interactive four-week programme using CBT, exercises and worksheets designed to enable women to develop strategies for managing symptoms. This approach is based on the authors’ research and has been shown to be effective in recent clinical research trials.

The main components of the self guide include:

Being informed about menopause symptoms;
Understanding what can help you cope with your symptoms
Learning steps to use relaxation and paced breathing
Taking steps to reduce general levels of stress
Identifying and modifying triggers of hot flushes
Dealing with negative thoughts and behavioural reactions
Practicing relaxations and breathing at the onset of a flush
Dealing with hot flushes in social situations
managing night sweats and sleep

We’re now embarking on the four week self-help guide, Diane (who’s also reading the book) and I are doing this part together so we can compare notes and we’d like to invite fellow suffers to join in, feeding back your experiences and reviews – If you fancy giving it a go you can buy the book on: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415625159.

Available also in the US at Amazon: click here.

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Menopause Goddess Blog: New Directions

Dubrovnik Walled City © lynette sheppard

Dubrovnik Walled City © lynette sheppard

It has been over a month since I posted to Menopause Goddess Blog – mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. How did this happen?

Well, for starters, I traveled to Croatia and Slovenia including a side trip to Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina with five girlfriends of a certain vintage. Yep, Dewitt was calling us the Menopause Vagabonds. We sampled history, stunning beauty, and some of the best white wines we have collectively encountered. Hmmmm, vagabonding. We may be on to something here.

Recovering from jet lag has proven to be an arduous process but I am finally on Hawaii standard time and my molecules have rejoined me. (They were spread across two oceans for a while.)

The holidays took another bite of time – Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas parade, tree trimming, gift buying. Whew.

Now, for some big news. Menopause Goddess Blog will be changing in 2016. No worries, we will continue to bring you the latest news and reality checks about the menopause journey. In addition, we will be expanding our focus to Life after the Pause – how will we live a vibrant, joyful Second Act?

A fabulous menopause expert and coach will be joining me as a principal writer of the blog. She will be illuminating all things pausal and I will be exploring “what comes next.”  I’ll introduce her to you all before the end of the year. Stay tuned for new perspectives, new insights, new visions.

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How to Help Ease Menopause with Diet

Apple with Pomegranate Seeds by Chef Shon of Sego Restaurant, Kanab UT

Apple with Pomegranate Seeds by Chef Shon of Sego Restaurant, Kanab UT

Please enjoy this guest post by Angela Peck with common sense advice about relieving menopause symptoms with diet.

If you’re bothered with common menopause symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, mood changes, and weight gain, then this period of your life can feel like you’re constantly fighting against your body—and your body is clearly winning. And certainly, some of these signs of “Meno-Pot-Belly” or “turning St. Catherine’s corner” (editor’s note: Angela tells me that this is an antiquated, vague term for going through menopause) are to be expected due to the changes that are going on internally, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be tolerated.

The one positive thing about menopause (if there is such a thing), is that you have a lot of different options when it comes to easing the symptoms that come along with it. One that is not talked about often but that can have a very positive effect on how easy this period of your life is, no pun intended, involves your diet. What are some changes that may help you better survive “the change”?

Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Dr. Elaine Magee suggests that one way to help manage bothersome menopausal symptoms is to include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. This can be accomplished by cutting them up and eating them as snacks, adding them to your favorite dishes and casseroles, and using them as side dishes.
Juicing is another way to help ensure that you get the fruits and veggies your body needs to function as efficiently and effectively as it can during this time of change. Plus, getting an abundance of vitamins and minerals often comes with other benefits as well. For instance, one woman used juicing to help her reverse her skin condition, which is a bonus in anyone’s book.

Limit High Fat Foods
While you want to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to better survive menopause, at the same time you also want to decrease the amount of high fat foods you eat to further lessen its effects. How much? According to WebMD, “Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your daily calories.”

This mean choosing lean meats over meats that have visible fat on them and selecting lower fat options when it comes to dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. However, some good-for-you fats that actually offer a number of health benefits can be found in nuts, seeds, salmon, coconut oil, and seafood, so those are ones you’ll want to consider leaving in your diet.

Drink More Water
Because the decrease in estrogen during menopause generally results in drier-than-normal skin and a dry vaginal area, drinking enough water daily can help. It’s been found that water can actually help to lower the amount of bloating that can take place during changes in hormones. As a result, a little extra H20 offers a few different benefits in this stage of life.

Ultimately, you want to aim to consume at least eight glasses per day. If plain old water bores you, consider adding fruit slices or melon dices to it to give it some flavor without adding sugar or calories. Also, keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic, so you’re best sticking with water when you can.

Menopause may be not unavoidable, but sometimes its symptoms are. Making these three dietary changes certainly can’t hurt. Who knows? They might even help.

Angela Peck

Angela Peck

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How to Get Rid Of Menopausal Acne: 5 Natural Cleansers

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Acne mixed with wrinkles. This is just one of the surprise bonuses of our hormonal whirlwind during the menopause transition. There is hope, however. Enjoy this guest post by health writer Daisy Grace detailing natural cleansers to help us reclaim our glowing complexions.

How to Get Rid Of Menopausal Acne: 5 Natural Cleansers
by Daisy Grace

Menopausal women may suffer from the indignity of acne due to hormonal fluctations. However, there is no need to worry because below are natural cleansers that can get rid of acne:

1. Applying a Mixture of Yogurt and Milk on Your Face
Milk was traditionally thought to cause acne because it causes hormonal changes however it reduces reddening of the skin. Yogurt, a milk product, contains acids that are antibacterial and provides the skin cells with nourishment. You only need to make a mixture of a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of yogurt. Then apply the mixture on your face and leave it for 15 minutes to effect healing. After that, cleanse your face with a soft cloth and clean water and apply moisturizer.

2. Applying Pawpaw or Papaya
Pawpaw is an edible fruit beloved by many because of its ability to nourish and smooth the skin. Papaya is a form of pawpaw, as well as the Common and Mountain varieties.It can be effective either when eaten, applied on the face through face lotions that were made from it or most effectively applying the raw pawpaw to the face. It removes excess fats and dead skin cells from the skin. The enzyme, papain that is present in it helps to reduce the rate of inflammation and hence prevents a formation of pus. Smash a fresh pawpaw to the smoothest texture then apply it on your face then leave it for about 15 minutes and finally cleanse it with warm water. To keep it moisturized apply moisturizing oil. Pawpaw also contains vitamins that can remove sunspots and brighten dull skin. However, lifestyle news states clearly that excess consumption of foods that contain Vitamins such as B12 may cause the appearance of pimples even though it ensures healthy blood flow. As menopausal women know, acne is not unique to adolescents.

Watch this:
Acne Prevention Tips That You Never Heard Of

3. Use of Aloe Vera for Treatment
Aloe Vera is a medicinal plant that is well known and trusted by many as a healing agent for the skin. Just like yogurt, it is an antibacterial and anti-inflammation agent that prevents the reddening appearance on the skin. Aloe Vera gel is applied to the affected areas then washed away after about 10 minutes for maximum healing.

4. Lemon for Skin Treatment
Lemon is one other most popularly used fruit for skin treatment. It contains large amounts of vitamin C that is best for nourishing all the skin types whether dry, oily or normal. Its acidic nature gives it the ability to remove the dead cells and brighten dull skin naturally. However, one should avoid sun exposure during treatment because it may cause a negative reaction. Also, it is an astringent hence it stimulates the contraction of body cells in eliminating toxins and waste products. Apply lemon juice acid directly to any pimples and leave for 15 minutes. Then cleanse and moisturize.

5. Magic of Garlic Juice
Garlic is a plant spice that is added to food to improve taste and is loved by many people. Aside from this, it is well known for its antibacterial nature which is essential for proper skin nourishment. Smash the garlic and place it in a small amount of water to form garlic juice or directly extract the juice. Apply the juice on your face using a cotton ball, then leave for 10 minutes before cleaning. Never apply undiluted garlic because it can cause corrosion of the skin instead of healing. I have always wished I could add some perfume to the garlic juice because of its sharp smell, but I can’t. Persevere; the outcome is worth it.

Conclusion
We want to have healthy, vibrant skin as we age gracefully.  However due to the normal body changes caused by hormonal imbalance, we may experience menopausal acne. Don’t rush to expensive chemicals that can cause later damage. First and foremost, try these natural ways before rushing to extreme ends. You may be pleasantly surprised.

References:
https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/beauty-skin-care/tips-on-how-to-choose-face-cleanser-for-your-skin.html

https://www.thebeautyinsiders.com/acne-treatments

http://www.womenbeyond50.com/2015/06/everything-you-need-to-know-about-acne.html

Author Bio:
Daisy Grace works as a content coordinator for ConsumerHealthDigest.com. She specializes in women’s health and also explores topics related to general health and beauty. Daisy loves studying the latest trends in health, fitness, diet, cosmetics and skin care. Her latest passion is researching on best wrinkle cream reviews.  She writes on all aspects of women’s health and beauty skin care and also various product reviews. Read more of her expertise on Facebook, Google + & Twitter.

Here is a skin care company Daisy Grace recommends as well:
Solvaderm Skin Care Tool

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Four Ways to Sleep Better with Night Sweats

me in bed2

Enjoy this guest post by Renae Farley – and be sure and read to the end for the discount code for Keep the Peace Bedding.

Four Ways to Sleep Better with Night Sweats
By Renae Farley, founder of Keep the Peace Bedding

For women going through menopause, or for people battling cancer or who simply have a different internal thermostat from their partner, night sweats can often be an uncomfortable barrier to getting a good night’s rest – something most of you know all too well!

This problem rang true for me after I got married. My husband would sleep with the door open and just a sheet, but I would need a down comforter to keep me warm. That comforter usually ended up doubled on my side of the bed, and then I would roast and not be able to sleep. Years later, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the night sweats got worse when my doctors put me on estrogen suppressants. Enter the incessant cycle of throwing off the comforter, only to wake up freezing cold a little while later.

I have interviewed dozens of people over the last seven years, and nearly 85 percent have had the same sleeping issues. One partner sleeps warm and one sleeps cold, and the issues only get worse as women age. One report of more than 2,000 primary care patients found that 40 percent of adults get night sweats at least once a month, a rate that increases in both women and men between 41 and 55.

If you (or your partner) are battling this nocturnal enemy, here are my top tips for coping with night sweats – you’ll note some top docs support my philosophy as well!

Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night: Indulging in a “night cap” can actually make it more difficult to sleep. Drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed has been shown to worsen nocturnal hot flashes and night sweats. Swap your nightly glass of red wine for ice water. Also, skip the Sriracha or other hot sauce with dinner. Spicy foods heat up your internal temperature, contributing to night sweats.

Find custom bedding: Invest in linens that provide options for you and your partner. For example, Keep the Peace Bedding offers several different bedding materials, such as lightweight goose down or bamboo matelassé, that can easily be zipped together so each person is comfortable, or unzipped to make a personal blanket that won’t disturb your partner if you have to flip it on and off. It is used under your regular decorative coverlet. Also consider sheets and sleepwear that are made from special fabrics – I’ll again recommend bamboo –  that wick moisture away from your body.

Make friends with fans: I cannot rest without my celling fan! Cranking the air conditioning might make the room too cold, but a ceiling fan provides just the right amount of cooling and air circulation. I also discovered a great product called the “Portable Cooler,” which is a mini AC fan. I have used it for months, and it really works! You simply wet a sponge, place it inside the unit and say, “ahhhh.” I keep it on my nightstand, and when I wake up to a night sweat, I use it on my face for instant relief.

Tap into your breath: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says “slow, rhythmic deep breathing” can help calm hot flashes and night sweats.

There is no silver bullet that will completely eradicate nocturnal night sweats, but with these strategies, I have managed to get better shut-eye and keep the peace in the process.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am offering a special “shop for a cause” promotion on all Keep the Peace Bedding products for the month of October. When you give the gift of tranquil, restorative sleep to yourself or a loved one, you’ll save 10% on your order. That 10% will then be donated to help patients currently battling breast cancer. Simply customize your order and use code “bcawareness” at checkout.

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Feel Fab After 40: A Webinar for Menopause Goddesses

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Flame On © lynette sheppard

Health and wellness company Root Fitness across the pond is offering a free webinar with help for menopause goddesses on Wednesday 22nd Oct. at 13:30  (1:30 pm) Pacfic Time.  To sign up, just click here.

This ‘Feel Fab after 40’ webinar gives ladies the opportunity to understand what causes and exacerbates menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, weight gain around the middle, poor sleep and irritability.   They then follow up with NATURAL solutions to keep these exhausting symptoms at bay so that women can go back to gliding through life with energy, vitality and confidence!

For more information about their program, Hot Flush Free  visit https://www.facebook.com/hotflushfree or www.hotflushfree.wordpress.com

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Maintaining a Healthy Sex Life During and After Menopause

Butterflies Together © lynette sheppard

Butterflies Together © lynette sheppard

Please enjoy this guest post submitted by Angela Peck.

When most people hear the phrase “The Change,” a slew of unsavory side effects come to mind, with hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia among them. But perhaps the most frustrating problem facing women during menopause is the loss of sex drive. Though completely normal, a lack of desire for intimacy often leads to feelings of guilt and sadness, and it can create a rift in your relationship with your partner. According to Oprah.com, nearly 50 percent of menopausal women confess to experiencing these emotional aspects of menopause in addition to the physical ones. But contrary to popular opinion that menopause causes your vagina to shrivel up overnight (and your sex life along with it), there are steps you can take to maintain a healthy libido during your second act.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Though many may not realize it, your overall health has a direct impact on your love life. A poor diet or unhealthy habits can lead to a dismal sex drive, causing an already low libido to further dip. Woman’s Day reveals that one of the best ways to amp up your sex drive is to work on your health first. This means eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, and not smoking.

Along with leading a healthy lifestyle, any existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, should be properly treated. Managing these issues not only improves your overall health, but it can often enhance your sex drive.

Invest in a Good Lubricant

Vaginal dryness is a reality of sex after menopause, and one that most women experience. Less estrogen means less blood flow to your erogenous zones, which often leads to dryness and, as a result, painful sex. In order to make sex more comfortable, lubricant is a must. If you’ve never used lube before, it can seem intimidating at first. But as Adam and Eve points out, making use of a quality lubricant, particularly those of the silicone-based variety, is often the best way to mimic your own natural lubrication.

If pain during sex persists, even with the aid of a lubricant, you may want to ask your doctor about prescription medications designed to combat dryness. Vaginal creams are a popular option and typically have fewer side effects than oral hormones.

Communicate with Your Partner

Maintaining a healthy sex life during menopause relies on two things: open communication with your significant other and persistence. Talking with your partner about the emotional and physical obstacles you’re experiencing can help assuage worries you both may have about the future of your sexual relationship.

Because menopause affects every woman differently, there will likely be ups and downs when it comes to desire. During times of decreased libido, WebMD suggests taking the focus off of intercourse. Try spending more time on foreplay and explore other varieties of intimacy with your partner, such as massage or oral sex. The most important thing you can do to rev up libido is make sure that your sex life doesn’t come to a screeching halt. The act of intercourse alone stimulates blood flow to the vagina, keeping it healthy—and you and your partner happy.

Though menopause does signal the end of an era, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your sex life. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy this second stage of your life—both in and out of the bedroom—fully.

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Revitalize Vaginal Health – Stop Using Soap to Clean Your Lady Parts!

opening © lynette sheppard

opening © lynette sheppard

I know we talk about vaginal dryness here on the Menopause Goddess Blog fairly frequently, but there’s a reason for that. It is one of the most prevalent and miserable symptoms of the Change. Most of the Venuses have way too much firsthand experience with it, including yours truly.

Luckily, we have options today. (I have no idea what our mothers did – although many of that generation were on HRT. I know my grandmother banished my grandfather from the bedroom when she turned 40. I have a lot of sympathy for Grannie now.) Everything from special lubricants to vaginal hormones to laser treatments is available to help with this condition. Still, I never thought about daily hygiene care actually contributing to the dryness.

I had the chance to try a product that has been a fantastic addition to my vaginal care. It’s called Lubrigyn Lotion. It is a cleanser, a lubricant and a moisturizer all in one! Also, it can actually be used with or without water — I tried it both ways and it absolutely works. Yep, I’ve never even thought about the fact that soap can be irritating to my lady parts. Crazy.

LUBRIGYN_CREAM_AirlessCORR@@-1

I noticed a difference right away after using it. Lubrigyn is a cream, not a gel, so it absorbs and moisturizes as well as cleans. It has some of my favorite natural ingredients like sweet almond oil, jojoba and olive oils, chamomile and aloe vera. Most important, the lotion works because it includes sodium hyaluronate, used in many facial skin creams, to attract and retain water.

Honestly, I will never use soap again for my daily cleansing routines. I can be clean AND comfortable with long lasting moisture.

I went camping recently in the Bristlecone pine forest in the White Mountains of California. The campground has no water, so we have to bring our own and washing up is rudimentary at best. Currently, Lubrigyn Lotion includes a pack of Lubrigyn Wipes – so they went camping with me! They were amazing in terms of cleaning and comfort. I love them, and will be an essential on my next airplane trip. (So far, TSA doesn’t seem to be too worried about wipes in carry-on luggage or count them as part of my quart baggie.)

I encourage you to give Lubrigyn a try – it’s available at CVS.com and at many CVS stores. Let us know what you think!

This post is sponsored by Lubrigyn, a new way to keep moisture where it belongs. All opinions are my own!

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