Menopause: Not Tonight Dear–The Silent Symptom

Watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond is one of my favorite ways to goof off.

Do you remember this one?

Marie takes a sculpture class and proudly presents her creation to Raymond and Debra.

They, along with brother Robert, are aghast. The sculpture reminds them of, well, they really don’ t want to say. Afraid to tell Marie what they are thinking, they keep their impressions silent.

And that was my Friend for the Ride way to get brave enough to speak up, to help break the silence, about the unspoken subject of vaginal atrophy.

The recent Partners’ Survey, sponsored by Novo Nordisk, revealed that many women, and their partners, are reluctant to talk about this problem.

The results of the survey were presented in October at the meeting of the North American Menopause Society by Dr. James A. Simon. Here’s part of a summary sent out by Novo Nordisk:

Vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition that affects the vagina and the surrounding tissues during and after menopause due to the declining levels of estrogen.

Vaginal atrophy may negatively impact one’s quality of life due to symptoms like:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal irritation
  •  Itching in and around the vagina
  •  Pain and bleeding during intercourse
  • Vaginal soreness
  •  Painful urination

Up to 75 percent of menopausal women may experience vaginal dryness, a symptom of vaginal atrophy.

Yet despite the high prevalence, only 25 percent of sufferers will seek medical help. Vaginal atrophy is still considered a taboo subject, and many women are too embarrassed to discuss the condition, even with their healthcare professionals.

It is so sensitive that 70 percent of women say their healthcare professionals have only rarely or never raised the subject with them.

Women also do not discuss the condition with their healthcare professionals because they think vaginal atrophy is a natural part of growing older and that nothing can be done about it.

Me again:

Let’s break the silence and talk to one another, our partners, and our healthcare providers about vaginal atrophy. Some good remedies, including local estrogen therapy and systemic hormone therapy, are available.

This site enables you to check out your symptoms and find advice on how to speak to your doctor:

In another episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, Marie and Frank shock the rest of the Barones when they reveal that their romantic life, despite their age, is hot!

Perhaps Marie spoke up to her doctor.

Is it your turn?

Watch part of the episode here:

4 thoughts on “Menopause: Not Tonight Dear–The Silent Symptom”

  1. That was a funny episode! Good post. Funny how some parts of our body are verboten while we obsess to friends about other parts! Aren’t all parts created equal? : )


    1. Boy did I learn that a few weeks ago. I was helping a student at the community college with an assignment from her medical coding class. I had no idea there were so many ailments and SO MANY NAMES!


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