Ladybits, ladyjunk, hoo-ha, vajay-jay, vagina -- nope, it's not any easier for me to write that last word than it is for most of you to read it, especially on a site devoted to bright lipstick, comfortable skin, and makeup how-tos. But having a healthy, comfortable "down-there" is as important to self-confidence as finding the right lip colour. More, actually: at some point we'll each reach an age when our vaginas could become a source of discomfort, pain, shame and depression, all enemies of self-esteem. And no-one talks about it. Let's change that. We want to talk about inner beauty literally. Please join us this Wednesday at 8pm EST for our Twitter chat -- RSVP at the end of this post to be eligible for some great prizing.
vaginal dryness: the enemy of self-esteem
Women in their pre-menopausal years don't usually have reason to give vaginal dryness much thought. But did you know that in the coming years for most of us, down-there dryness can become a major source of discomfort, pain, shame and depression? More than just needing a little extra help on date night with the hubs, age-related vaginal dryness is a persistant health issue, physically and mentally. And for some of us, this could start as early as our mid-30s. As well, women who aren't anywhere near menopause might suffer from dryness in relation to anti-depression meds, breastfeeding, diabetes, or hormone therapy.
We officially reach menopause after 12 months without a period, but changes begin in the years before that -- perimenopause -- with cycle irregularity, hormonal fluctuations and that dryness down there. When we reach menopause, the pH level of the vaginal tract begins to change from its natural acidic state to neutral, which skews the bacterial balance. Good bacteria levels drop, are less able to fend off bad bacteria. Bacterial vaginosis can occur, and odor becomes an issue. The vagina itself begins to atrophy -- it shortens, and the walls thin. Dryness worsens, progressing to persistent itching, pain, and bleeding. Sex becomes painful; it can even cause injury.
Wow. Aging is awesome isn't it? Can you see how hard it would be to feel feminine, sexy and confident with that kind of body betrayal? And although it affects women profoundly, vaginal dryness and its related issues have an impact on our partners too.
vaginal dryness: the blindside
According to Chia Chia (pronounced Cha-Cha) Sun, a longtime pharmaceutical executive, 85 per cent of menopausal women suffer from vaginal dryness. She speculates that because the issue is so sensitive and so rarely discussed, the percentage is probably higher -- and that 99% of us are blindsided by the impact vaginal dryness has on our bodies and on our psyche. "Many menopausal women liken the change to falling off a cliff," she says. "Within a year of your last period, your pH changes dramatically, atrophy starts and suddenly you're just dry." Like one day nobody else shows up for work -- and you still have 40 years of work to get through.
mae by damiva: internal skincare
In her mid-40s herself, Chia Chia felt compelled to seek a solution with more benefits than the temporary fix provided by standard lubricants. Her answer is Mae by Damiva ($29.99/10), an all-natural-formula vaginal moisturizer in ovule form that women can use every other day to alleviate dryness, restore moisture and bacterial balance -- and revive flagging self-esteem.
Fun fact: Chia Chia chose Mae as her product name to honour screen star Mae West, who was jailed in the 1920s for writing a Broadway play named Sex.
Another fun fact: Chia Chia took her invention to CBC's The Dragon's Den; see the clip here.
Think of Mae by Damiva as internal skincare. Just like facial moisturizers, used regularly, Mae by Damiva can alleviate vaginal dryness, improve comfort levels, and help create a healthier down-there environment. Most women suffering from vaginal dryness feel improvement within a day or two; some with more severe dryness issues might need a full month of treatment to feel normal again.
"Doctor response has been really positive," says Chia Chia. "And the word from menopause clinics is that every woman who walks in wants something like this." Some users have even reported that their vaginal tract seems 20 years younger.
How's that for anti-aging?
join the #damivatalks conversation this wednesday
Want to help us spark much-needed conversation about vaginal dryness, Mae by Damiva and other related topics? Please join us this Wednesday June 18th at 8pm for an hour-long #damivatalks Twitter chat about ladybits issues and feeling feminine and sexy and confident into our 80s and beyond.
#damivatalks host: Janine Falcon (that's me!)
#damivatalks moderator: Michelle Villett (founder of BeautyEditor.ca)
#damivatalks special guest: Chia Chia Sun
Canadian participants, please RSVP below to be eligible for #damivatalks prizes. You could win one of three $50 gift cards for London Drugs or Rexall, or one of 10 prize packs worth $100, each containing a box of Mae by Damiva ($29.99), Bliss 'Fuzz Off" Facial Hair Remover ($30), Rodial Glamstick lip balm ($24), and Burt's Bees Sensitive Eye Cream ($25).
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This is a sponsored program.