Vaginal Atrophy Strategies
I'm 61 years old, and had my last period about 8 years ago, so I am post-menopausal. I also haven't had sex in months, because of the pain and dryness. My husband is a good guy and isn't being a jerk about it, but we would both like things to change. So, after talking to my doctor who confirmed that atrophy was a real problem for me, this is what I'm doing.
First: My doc gave me a prescription for Femring which I have not yet inserted, due to the pain of doing so. However, I intend to use it as soon as I can get it in place without crying. Estridiol will, I hope, keep my tissue less dry and shrunken than it is now.
Second: Replens. I will use this every other day; a moisturizer can't hurt, and it might help. It's certainly worth a try.
Third: Vaginal dilators. This is something I haven't read about in the posts here about atrophy, but they seem like a good idea. I ordered mine online. I don't want to look like I'm shilling for a particular site, but just google it, and you'll find places. They consist of 5 tapered cylinders in graduated sizes, from about pinky-finger sized to probably average penis-sized. Being the impatient type, I started with the largest one, which was a mistake, so I've scaled back and using the next one down. I use a lot of Astroglide, a slow and careful insertion, and then I just lie there for 5 minutes, once in the morning and once at night.
At first it was very uncomfortable; the burning was pretty bad, but now, after three days, this moderately-sized dilator doesn't hurt much at all. Tonight I'm going to step up to the largest one again, and see what happens.
I think the estridiol and the Replens are going to help a lot, but the dilators I think may be equally important. I don't want to go from zero to 60 with my husband until I know that I can take it; I think he feels worse than I do when it hurts so much.
Anyway, that's my plan. I hope it works!