A Guide To Vaginal Dryness, by Senior Menopause Nurse, Kathy Abernethy
This guide, developed in conjunction with specialist nurse Kathy Abernethy, aims to help you give our readers, practical guidance and information. Sylk receives many patient enquiries on the topic of vaginal dryness and the menopause as outlined below. Kathy Abernethy advises our patients on ways of reducing symptoms and tackling the many issues associated with the problem
No more hot flushes, just dryness
Even a smear test is painful
Gone off sex during menopause
After breast-cancer treatment - can I use Sylk?
I'm only 30, am I just naturally dry?
Sex is painful because of dryness
After hysterectomy my libido is nil
Kathy Abernethy, MClinSci RN
Kathy Abernethy is a specialist nurse with over 20 years’ experience in the field of women’s health. Kathy is an independent prescriber with a Master’s degree in Community Gynaecology and Reproductive healthcare. She is Chair of the UK Menopause Nurse Group and Medical Advisory Member of the British Menopause Society and Director of ‘the menopause course’ - an educational initiative for nurses. She has published a number of articles and papers on the menopause both in the lay and specialist nursing press.
For more information please visit www.kathyabernethy.com
Treating vaginal dryness
The lubrication glands in our cervix control natural lubrication and when this process is upset, through hormonal changes or when you experience stress and anxiety, vaginal dryness can be an unwelcome side effect. The itchiness and irritation are often confused with cystitis and thrush, but medications for these conditions will not help the dryness and can in fact make the situation worse.
Peri-menopause and menopause
Many women first notice vaginal dryness when making love. It can make penetration painful and uncomfortable and if left untreated, can have a significant impact on relationships and self-confidence. Some women are aware that they may experience vaginal dryness during the perimenopause or menopause. However, there are other times when women can suffer from vaginal dryness which tend to be less known and not really talked about.
Other common causes of vaginal dryness
- When starting a hormone based contraception
- Using tampons for the first time
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Some drugs for cancer treatment can also cause this condition
The vaginal area is very delicate but very tough - delicate enough to be easily irritated by harsh chemicals yet tough enough to withstand the rigours of childbirth. Sylk is a plant based moisturiser made from extract from the kiwi vine designed specifically with your vagina in mind. The pH of the vagina is slightly acidic which is hostile to nasty bacteria. If this balance is upset, infections can take hold. Sylk’s unique female-friendly formula works in harmony with your body to hydrate and soothe. It contains no hormones, parabens or other nasty chemicals, so it is safe to use as often as you need to – even daily. Because it is natural, you are able to use Sylk with internal or external hormone based contraceptives, HRT, when pregnant and breastfeeding and when making love. It is also perfect whenever that little bit of extra comfort is required such as around period time when tampon use can cause discomfort.
Sylk is available on NHS prescription
and on request at all chemists