Delayed menopause almost put an end to my healthy sex life in my 60s, but one simple trick solved everything
Jackie Powell and her husband Bill had always enjoyed a regular sex life in their 48 years of marriage.
But that all changed when she started experiencing delayed menopause symptoms in her 60s.
‘While my libido stayed the same, we started to find that sex was leaving us both a bit sore and uncomfortable, so we tried a lubricant, but it took away the spontaneity,’ Jackie from Glastonbury tells Metro.co.uk.
‘My husband was understanding, but cautious – he was afraid he was going to hurt me or cause me discomfort and, as a result, we often just settled for a cuddle or stopped initiating sex altogether.’
Jackie Powell, from Glastonbury, started experiencing vaginal soreness as part of delayed menopause symptoms (pictured with her husband)
This sudden disruption in their usual wedded bliss shook Jackie’s confidence, with the grandmother admitting, ‘I felt he was no longer attracted to me, which hurt.
‘Our relationship and family ties were still strong, just different.’
Jackie’s symptoms included a sore and itching vagina, and at first she tried to ignore it.
She initially tried changing toilet paper brands, thinking that was the cause, but when that didn’t help, she was stumped.
Jackie’s GP told her about an over-the-counter medication, which she says has eased the unpleasantness completely
WHAT IS VAGINAL ATROPHY?
Vaginal atrophy, or dryness, affects most women at some point in their lives.
Those going through the menopause, or post menopause, are more likely to suffer.
Symptoms include vaginal irritation, discomfort during sex, needing to urinate more than normal and repeated urinary tract infections.
Aside from the menopause, causes include childbirth, breastfeeding, lack of arousal, certain contraceptives and cancer therapies.
Treatment includes lubricants and hormone replacement therapy in severe cases.
Women should also ensure they are sufficiently sexually aroused before intercourse.
Source: NHS Choices
‘After some research, I found my answer on the online health community, Talk Health.
‘I found that I was suffering from something called ‘vaginal atrophy’, which is essentially a form of vaginal dryness.’
It was a diagnosis her gynaecologist confirmed and Jackie discovered that half of menopausal women experience the condition, according to a survey by global healthcare company Novo Nordisk.
Vaginal atrophy, alongside feelings of inflammation like Jackie had, can cause pain during sex, frequent urination and recurrent UTIs.
‘I had no idea that the pain I was experiencing during sex was an actual condition, and not just something I had to put up with’, Jackie confesses.
‘I suffered for around 18 months before I found the information and courage to do something about it.’
Jackie’s GP told her about an over-the-counter medication, which she says has eased the unpleasantness completely.
‘Things are now back on track with my husband.
‘At the age of 69, I’m back to enjoying a spontaneous and active sex life and I couldn’t be happier.’
Visit Metro.co.uk to read the full version of this article.
Oprah, 68, reveals she ‘thought she was DYING’ while suffering horrific heart palpitations during menopause – as she opens up about her terrifying experience to destigmatize aging for other women
Everything you need to know about the menopause… (and a few things you’ll wish you didn’t): SHIVALI BEST’s video guide to the change reveals the symptoms to look out for and real women’s hilarious stories
HRT is not your only option: THIS natural menopause support supplement can help combat the worst of the change’s symptoms, from mood swings to hot flushes