You are not alone. Millions of women just like you suffer from vaginal and vulvar dryness, itching, burning, painful intercourse, urinary frequency/urgency, and even frequent urinary tract infections. The common cause for all of these symptoms can be the hormonal changes, specifically the decline in estrogen and testosterone, seen in menopause and perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause). This constellation of symptoms, called Genitourinary Symptoms of Menopause (GSM) affects most peri- and postmenopausal women with a frequency ranging from 36% to almost 90%, according to the most recent surveys. Also, GSM can affect younger women as 19% of 40-45-year-olds have reported this condition as well.
Most women suffer from GSM in silence because they are either afraid to bring up their symptoms with their healthcare provider or unaware that there are many treatment options for GSM that are safe and effective. I know I have written about this topic before and have recommended various available treatment options. However, I have a new, extremely helpful resource for this problem that I would like to share with you. It is a book written by Dr. Lauren Streicher, a best-selling author and Gynecologist at Northwestern University Medical School. The book Slip Sliding Away: Turning Back the Clock on Your Vagina is a “must-read,” in my opinion.***
Slip Sliding Away is easy to read, straightforward, and basically provides a “how-to” guide for our vaginal health as it pertains to menopause. The book combines expert opinion and evidence-based recommendations combined with humor to make us all laugh and realize that we indeed are not alone in this distinct time in our lives. The book covers topics such as “a walk down the feminine hygiene aisle,” “the lowdown on lubes,” and hormonal “rings, creams, and other things,” just to name a few.
I am thrilled to recommend this book and hope that you may have a clearer understanding of why these changes happen to our bodies and what we can do about it after reading it. And, life is short; it is good to laugh — I guarantee a chuckle or two as you make your way through this book. If you have questions about GSM and want to learn more, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of our providers. We are always here to help.
To Your Health,
*** I have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose regarding this book
“Vaginal Health in Menopausal Women” Stefania Alvisi, Giulia Gava, Isabella Orsili, Giulia Giacomelli, Maurizio Baldassarre, Renato Seracchioli, Maria Cristina Meriggiola
Medicina (Kaunas) 2019 Oct; 55(10): 615.
Menopause. 2020 Sep;27(9):976-992
Streicher, Lauren, MD. Slip Sliding Away: Turning Back the Clock On Your Vagina 2021