It started as an idle conversation with my friend Johanna, 57. We talked about the usual stuff then got into family matters: how are the kids, the husband, work, etc. Then Johanna said her biggest regret was that she didn’t do the things that brought her more joy–before menopause. When she winked, I knew she was talking about sex. As I was just about to go through menopause myself, I asked why sex changed after menopause. She said it was because people tend to shy away from things that cause pain.
It turned out that Johanna was having vaginal dryness which caused her pain during intercourse. She had tried different over-the-counter jellies and creams but was unable to find anything that helped. In the end, she just led a celibate lifestyle.
“My husband understands,” she stated. “But I still feel bad. He didn’t sign up for that.”
Johanna’s last period was 7 years earlier. At the time she celebrated the finality of having periods. But she stated the dryness of the vagina was subtle. She didn’t even know it was happening until one day she had pain with intercourse. She had just assumed it was the way of life and that nothing could be done to change it. She had talked to her gynecologist who gave her no advice to the contrary. So for 7 years she was virtually not sexually active.
I told her that only 1 in 3 women experience vaginal dryness during and/or after menopause. I knew medically little could be done. But I was not bound my medical opinions.
The best homeopathic remedy for any ailment that occurs before, during or as a result of menopause is Sepia. I suggested this remedy for Johanna, at 30C potency every 3rd day for a month, then to follow-up with me if no change had occurred. Johanna also had dormant Lyme disease and it was possible the homeopathic remedy would not help if the body decided the Lyme disease needed to be healed first (it’s one of the homeopathic laws of healing).
I also told her that many of my patients love to use coconut oil vaginally to lubricate the tissues prior to intercourse (1/2 teaspoon). As vaginal dryness is a result of decreased estrogen, the herb Black Cohosh has helped many women also. However, I am always hesitant to give this to women after menopause because an increase in estrogen has been linked to breast cancer. I discussed this with Johanna and gave her the option of using it or not.
I met Johanna again 3 months later and she looked like a changed woman. She stated she was feeling more like a woman again instead of a “shriveled prune.” I didn’t ask to what she was referring–she just winked.
Best wishes and be well,
Dr. Ronda Behnke
Homeopathic Centers of America
Disclaimer: The information provided by Dr. Ronda Behnke is for educational purposes only. It is important that you not make health decisions or stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician or health care provider.