September is Menopause Awareness Month, and this year we want to draw attention to an often overlooked aspect of menopausal care – intimate fitness. Now, don’t worry, that doesn’t involve anything kinky, or even breaking a sweat! Intimate fitness during menopause is all about keeping your vagina healthy and cared for, mainly through gentle exercises called Kegels (we’ll get to those in a little bit!)
Why Do I Have To Worry About Intimate Fitness?
During menopause, hormone levels start to fluctuate, and this causes changes in a woman’s body. Your pelvic floor can become weakened due to these hormone changes, leading to stress urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence is one of the four main types of urinary incontinence in women. Put simply, it’s when you have bladder leaks from simply coughing, laughing, sneezing, or even when you are exercising.
Menopause can also bring changes to the vagina and the external female genitals (the vulva). In the following video, Intimina’s Medical Advisory Board Member and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Susan Wysocki explains that as estrogen levels decline, the vagina becomes drier, it can lose elasticity, and the blood flow to the area changes, which can affect everyday comfort and intimacy.
What Can I Do to Stay Intimately Fit?
Bladder leaks, dryness, and other changes to the vagina do not have to be accepted. There is plenty you can do to reduce, and in some cases solve, the intimate changes that happen during menopause.
Kegel exercises can be a big help. You’ve probably heard a little about Kegels – for a refresher, check out our Beginners Guide to Kegel Exercises. Kegels are simple contract-and-release exercises that help to build the strength of the pelvic floor muscles. In fact, they are the number one doctor recommended solution for treating and preventing urinary incontinence.
Kegel exercises also help to improve the circulation in the vaginal area – leading to improved natural lubrication, maintained elasticity, and an increase in your ability to feel sensations.
Keeping sexually active is the other great way to keep your vagina healthy and in-shape, either by yourself or with a partner. Introducing a personal massager to partnered or solo sexual activities will increase healthy vaginal circulation, increase arousal, and boost sexual response. If low libido is or becomes a problem during menopause, be sure to read our advice on regaining your desire.And for a complete guide to the changes that can occur in the vagina, and possible solutions to them, click here.
Change during menopause affects body and mind, and taking care of your intimate fitness can make sure that those changes are well managed and don’t stop you from living your life to the full. For further tips and advice on dealing with menopause, click here to go to the Menopause section of our blog, and be sure to follow us on Facebook where we will be posting even more useful tips and links.