Friday, January 31, 2014

Endometriosis: Sometimes the Cure Is Worse Than The Problem

Endometriosis is commonly thought of as a condition associated with mid-life women, but in truth, it spares no age group. Any menstruating woman can have endometriosis, whether they are a teen or heading towards their last tampons.  It is estimated that approximately 7 to 10 percent of premenopausal women have endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the glandular tissue that normally lines the uterine cavity appears other places, such as the lining of the pelvis, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bowel, bladder, and even unusual places like the lung. Each month during menstruation, this tissue responds to hormonal changes, just like the tissue that lines the uterine cavity. Since it is not where it’s supposed to be, various problems can ensue, such as scar tissue, inflammation, ovarian cysts, painful intercourse, infertility, and excruciatingly painful periods that get worse with time. The degree of pain is not necessarily related to the visible severity of endometriosis. Women appear to have minimal endometriosis sometimes suffer the most.

Treatment Options for Endometriosis
Not every woman requires treatment, but if someone has progressively painful periods, painful sex or other symptoms associated with endometriosis, there are a number of options:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), hormonal contraceptives, or progestin IUD’s such as Mirena or Skyla give adequate relief to many women. In some cases surgery is necessary to remove scar tissue, painful ovarian cysts or deep pelvic implants.  Some women with severe endometriosis require temporary total suppression of their hormones either in lieu of surgery, pre or post surgery.  This is done using an injectable gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH) analogue to temporarily shut off estrogen production and suppress menses, causing endometrial implants, inflammation, and cysts to become inactive and regress.--The good news is that there is nothing better (short of a hysterectomy) to relieve symptoms from endometriosis. The bad news--because with this treatment GnRH shuts off estrogen, many women experience the same symptoms as a women in menopause including hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. So be prepared.

Talk to your doctor about using an estrogen or progestin supplements to relieve symptoms. Know that this is a temporary situation, which will dramatically help in the long run. And don’t even think about having intercourse without using a really slippery silicone lube. My favorite product is Wet Platinum Premium Silicone Lubricant. Not only is it super slippery and long lasting, but also you don’t have to go to an erotica shop to buy it. It’s right in your drugstore, next to the hand held fan you should pick up to help with the hot flashes. Or if you rather not buy it in person, it is now available online and is shipped with discreet packaging.  Go to to order Wet Brand products.

by Lori S. Choi, Blogger and Advice Columnist for Wet

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sex After Hysterectomy -- Make It Slippery!

Over 500,000 women in the United States undergo hysterectomy each year.  One third of women will lose their uterus by age 60. Virtually every one of those women expresses concerns, to her doctor, to her partner, or herself about how hysterectomy will affect her sexual function, desire, and desirability. Unfortunately, studies have shown that only half of gynecologists initiate a discussion of sex and few patients (about 13 percent) are willing to bring it up themselves. That means a lot of women who worry about their postoperative sexuality do just that, worry.

Recent studies show that in the absence of ovary removal that initiates menopause, there are no significant adverse effects of hysterectomy on sexual function. A 1999 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine tracked over one thousand women during the two years after their surgeries and, unlike many earlier studies, evaluated sexual function both before and after hysterectomy. The results of the study were reassuring and validated what most gynecologists (but not most pre-op patients) knew all along. Seventy-seven percent of the women in the postoperative group were sexually active one year after surgery, in contrast to only seventy-one percent of the group the year before. This finding is not surprising, given that the study also demonstrated that the number of women who experienced pain during sex decreased from 19 percent to 4 percent. The bottom line is that for most women, frequency of sexual activity consistently increased and sexual pleasure increased.

So once you have had your final post hysterectomy check-up, and your doctor has given you the go-ahead to resume sexual activity, here’s how to make your first post hysterectomy experience one that was worth waiting 6 weeks for:

In spite of your doctor’s reassurances that everything will be fine, the biggest hurdle to overcome is fear. Many women are understandably nervous about having intercourse, thinking that it might create a problem or that they will experience pain. A nice warm bath and maybe a glass of Champagne will not only relax you, but also put you in the right frame of mind.

Pick a position that will allow you to be in control of how quickly things progress. Spooning on your side with your partner in back of you not only will be the most comfortable, but will protect a belly incision (if you have one).

In spite of your doctor’s OK, being somewhat apprehensive often results in a total lack of lubrication. In addition, if you went into menopause as a result of your hysterectomy, your vagina and vulva may be dry. So be prepared.

The right lubricant is essential. Silicone lubes are far more slippery than water based lubes and last longer. So, before you even contemplate intercourse, make sure to take a generous amount of Wet Platinum Premium Silicone Lubricant, put it all over your fingers and apply it to the outside of your vagina.

Don’t forget to also put some Wet Platinum over your partner’s penis. Since most men are a little leery about post hysterectomy sex (studies show many guys aren’t even sure what was actually removed!), applying lube to his penis will not only make things more slippery, but also distract him from any concerns he may have. 

And go for it. You will be relieved to find that sex if anything, is better than it was before.

Posted by: Lori S. Choi, Blogger