Vagina! There I said it.
Not out loud, though, more inside my head. I’m a confident, intelligent and forthright 53-year-old woman who now shudders as the word drops from my mouth—what the hell is going on here?
The adolescent me dropped the v-word with an edgy smirk, and never flinched listening to my biology teacher explain my inner workings. Hmmm. Very interesting.
My period? Vagina! Vagina! Pregnancy? Vagina! Vagina! Perimenopause? Quick run for cover and cloak yourself in the cone of silence impermeable to v-word!
I say again: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!
I have written about menopause, co-hosted webinars on menopause, and spoken on television about menopause.
I know the difference between menopause and perimenopause, and I’ve worn out three keyboards searching the internet for answers about menopause.
It is fair to say I’m across the menagerie of symptoms that can challenge women at this time in their life. Fair, but not accurate.
A woman may talk about her hot flushes with her friends, may share she isn’t sleeping well with workmates, may tell her sister her periods are unreasonably heavy.
Sadly, however, she is unlikely to reveal between sips of her latte that she has vaginal dryness and sex has become painful.
Discovering this menopausal symptom is normal and that remedies are readily available eludes women as they withdraw in a sea of shame.
Why the stigma? According to Sydney medical sex therapist Dr Margaret Redelman, it comes from the cohort of—women’s stuff, genital stuff, mental stuff and, of course, sexual stuff.
“We’re not good as a society about any of these,” the good doctor says.
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT IS GOING ON HERE! IT’S TIME TO BREAK THE TABOO LADIES!
If you are in menopause, perimenopause, or are 50 per cent of the population who one day will be, this free virtual event is for you.
Please register for our free Zoom event and Break the Taboo with our panel of experts on Wednesday 26 November.
You’ll be joining medical sex therapist Margaret Redelman, journalist and author Caroline Baum, pharmacist Negar Almassi and writer and former triathlete Jo Pybus for an open, honest and frank discussion about the less talked about symptoms of menopause, where you will be allowed to ask questions, get advice and share experiences.
See vagisan.com/en-au/events/break-the-taboo for more information.