Being Sexual? I’m Just Glad to Be Alive!

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A post from Jane Silverstein of Soul Source:

You’ve survived cancer, with the help of great medical care; perhaps consisting of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. At first you just wanted to make it through the treatments. Now life is starting to get back to normal, except for one big area of concern: your sex life.

Many cancer patients are reluctant to discuss this topic with their doctors. Years ago physicians would tell their patients, “You should be glad just to be alive.” Times have changed, and today we know how important sexuality is for intimacy, stress reduction, sleep, and self-esteem. Most health care professionals are now comfortable discussing sexual issues with their patients, and there are many options and treatments available.

Many women cancer survivors report feeling less sexual. Fear,decreased self-esteem, and loss of desire may be compounding the problem. The key is open communication with your partner. Don’t forget that the brain is a very important “sex organ.”  Setting the mood can definitely help. Candles, music, massage oils, and sexy lingerie can’t hurt. Keep in mind that intimacy does not mean intercourse. Start gradually, touching  and caressing enhances our relationships and gets our pleasure receptors firing.

Many women report experiencing  vaginal dryness and tightness after undergoing cancer treatments. Ask your gynecologist for advice on using over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers, such as Replens. Try using a vaginal moisturizer at least two hours before intercourse. Using a vaginal moisturizer during cancer treatments can also help reduce vaginal discomfort. Some women may also benefit from low-dose vaginal estrogen in a cream,tablet, or ring form. These localized hormones help the vagina regain moisture and elasticity, with less hormones getting into the bloodstream.

If vaginal tightness is a problem, talk to your physician about the use of progressively-sized vaginal dilators. Dilators are used at home to gradually stretch the vaginal tissues. Soul Source vaginal dilators are unique because they are soft and flexible, and more closely resemble body tissue.


A women will usually start with the largest size she is comfortable inserting and then gradually move up to larger sizes. Lubrication is the key to a more comfortable insertion. Use a water based lubricant on both the dilator and the vaginal area.  While lying down, insert the dilator. This is the time to relax. You can read, watch TV, listen to music, etc. The dilator should be left in place for about 15 – 20 minutes. Some women will need to dilate every day, others less often. Check with your health care provider regarding the frequency and duration of dilation therapy.

The key to regaining your sexuality is open discussions with your partner and your medical team. I just returned from the ACOG  (American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologyconference  in San Francisco, and I can tell you from my experience that doctors really want to help their patients regain their sexuality. There was even a lecture called “Sex/Pain/Desire.” and it was a full house, standing room only!

It may take some relaxing  music, a nice glass of wine, and some medical advice, but please ​don’t give up – you can get your “mojo” back!

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Jane Silverstein is the owner of Soul Source Therapeutic Devices, a company specializing in vaginal dilators.She has lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years but still can’t lose her native New York accent. She has been married to her best friend and business partner Lloyd for almost 33 years. They have 2 grown sons who know more about  menopausal issues, vaginas, and dilators  than any 20- something young man  ever needed to know!

Jane is passionate about helping women regain their sexuality. She also has a  passion for helping  refugees in the Congo and Darfur. She loves to travel, spend time with her large extended family and friends, and rescue dogs. The latest rescue is Sunny, a skittish golden retriever. Skinny was abandoned by a puppy mill but has now  found her forever home.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers articles for patients. Check out their patient pages here.


Vibrant Voices!

Vibrant Voices Top Blogger


I’m delighted to be a  Replens Vibrant Voices Top Blogger.

Ten bloggers were selected.


The contest is on to pick the Number One Blogger.


Cast Your Vote

If you ask me…

We’re all Number One!

I’m in great company.

To vote for Friend for the Ride…



Find the ballot box here on Facebook:

As a thank you for voting, Replens is offering free samples of their long-lasting vaginal moisturizer:




Thanks Replens! Very nice people with a great product.


Life, Menopause

If Measure I Must…

A poem, written by me, inspired by my old measuring cup:

It’s the measuring cup’s job

To measure, not mine,

But if measure I must,

May it be with a

Good measure of love.

I find there’s a laidbackness (sorry for a word that’s not all the way a word) that comes, in some ways, with menopause.

As I grow older, I’m becoming less judgmental.

Perhaps because I’m more aware of my own failings.

Or perhaps because time is picking up speed, making me want to spend less time picking at people.

Or maybe it’s because as we age, we are better able to see life from other angles.

Lots of angles, because part of humanity’s great charm (at least some of the time) is the diversity of opinions, personalities, and lifestyles.

What about you?  Do you find yourself more or less judgmental than you were in your youth?

Photo: The measuring cup above has a hard time in my kitchen. The shiny, newer measuring cups poke fun. I hope they will work on measuring with cupfulls of love. The cup is perched on an old apron, circa 1940.

Winners!  Congrats to Lisa and Carol, who are the Replens giveaway winners!


For Lovers of a Certain Age: A Replens Giveaway!

Scarlett O’hara probably didn’t need it.

And I bet neither did Jennifer Cavilleri

Even Juliet, with all her troubles, most likely didn’t need it.

Scarlett, Jenny, and Juliet had youth on their side.

But for menopausal women, vaginal dryness can really hinder the love story.

Replens Long Lasting Feminine Moisturizer is designed to solve this dilemma.


The folks at Replens have offered Friend for the Ride a giveaway. Two readers will each win a box of Replens, with eight disposable applicators.  To enter, post a comment here by noon EST on August 4 saying you’d like to win. If you’re feeling shy, use a pretend name. I’ll be able to notifiy you by your email, which as you know, does not appear on the blog.  Thanks, Replens!

Here is information about Replens, sent to me by the company:

Bring back the spontaneity in your life. Rediscover a younger you. Reconnect with your partner. Rekindle a relationship. And, most of all, wave goodbye to discomfort!

 There is no reason pain and discomfort from dryness should stand in the way of you having a satisfying intimate relationship. Yet nearly all women of a certain age will experience feminine changes, such as vaginal dryness, that make intimacy uncomfortable, even painful. Enter Replens® Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer.

Over-the-counter Replens® is non-hormonal, and helps alleviate vaginal dryness symptoms equivalent to that of prescription hormones, helping to replenish vaginal moisture and providing long-lasting results[1].  When used regularly, Replens® helps to replenish vaginal moisture making for comfortable, enjoyable intimacy.

With comfortable, easy-to-use applicators, Replens is different from other lotions or lubricants because it contains a bioadhesive that allows it to attach to dry, compacted cells and deliver continuous moisture until those cells are naturally regenerated (about every 3 to 5 days). Use it approximately every three days for long-lasting hydration of dry vaginal tissues and feel the younger you returning.

Replens is also:

Ø  Clinically tested

Ø  Goes to work immediately and lasts for days

Ø  Gynecologist recommended

Ø  Estrogen and fragrance free

Ø  Readily available at stores nationwide, such as CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Target, Walgreens and more

Rediscover. Reconnect. Rekindle. Replens®.

Join our group on Facebook for more information –, or go to to learn more.