in collaboration with Lark Love @larklovin
originally published by Corrie Bradley (she/her) for LarkLove and adapted for Momotaro Apotheca
Menopause is an amazing transition that every person with a vagina and ovaries, graced with age, will experience, regardless of their attitude toward it. This glorious rite of passage may mark the end of fertility, but it’s also the beginning of a lot of things.
Due to the lack of reverence and joy surrounding menopause, this sacred transition is often experienced silently. Rarely are vulva owners encouraged to enjoy let alone celebrate all of the exciting changes that this new phase brings.
Let’s break down three common menopause myths and indulge in all the nuances that this sacred rite of passage brings — an increase in confidence, new and varied sexual desires, and no more f*cks given. Must be the season of the sage.
But before we bust those myths, what is menopause?
Menopause officially starts after a vagina-owner has not bled for twelve consecutive months. After this time, you enter the post-menopausal period.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
During the menopausal transition, known as perimenopause, the ovaries gradually begin producing hormones (namely estrogen) at uneven rates, leading to an exciting ride somewhat reminiscent of puberty. While these hormone shifts can cause symptoms like mood swings, vaginal dryness, and dry skin, they can also be responsible for an increase in confidence, new and varied sexual desires, and a lack of tolerance for bullshit.
Perimenopause typically begins in the 40’s or 50s, but symptoms can start in the 30s or even earlier, and can last up to 12 years — everyone's different, which may explain why there are so many myths, legends, and old wives tales surrounding menopause.
We don't get to decide when puberty or peri/menopause starts, which symptoms we experience, or or how long they last; the duration and kind of symptoms vary from person to person. It can be uncomfortable to acknowledge your changing body, but ignoring any of the physical and psychological effects has the potential to do more harm in the end.
Like most things, it’s best to address the impact of menarche or menopause head-on. You are your own best advocate, so don’t just explore your body — accept your body, wherever you are in life.
MYTH 1: My sex drive will disappear after menopause.
Vagina-owners in their menopausal years continue to be sexual beings. In fact, many report having the best sex of their lives post-menopause. One hypothesis for this is the level of confidence that people develop through their years and their willingness to be direct with their partners about what they’re looking for.
Personal lubricants are a game changer in the post-menopausal bedroom. Due to a decrease in estrogen, natural vaginal secretions that make you “wet” will also diminish. Lube is a completely normal and sometimes necessary tool to help prevent tearing or perforation.
Personal Lubricant for Waning Estrogen
An organic personal lubricant made with healing botanicals and hyaluronic acid. Water-based, pH balanced, and long-lasting slip to keep vaginal tissue supple long after use.
MYTH 2 Menopause means I’ll have a dry vagina forever.
Once you begin peri/menopause, your vaginal tissue may become thinner, drier, and less elastic. These are simply more symptoms of less estrogen, which reduces blood flow to the vagina, and can result in discomfort.
Vaginal dryness is not isolated to menopause. Experiencing varying degrees of moisture throughout one’s lifetime is entirely normal. Dryness can be caused by anything from medications, hormone shifts, alcohol consumption, or genetics. Using a daily vaginal moisturizer like Lark Love's Revival Daily Elixir can relieve discomfort due to dryness and help the vagina owner maintain and enjoy their sex life.
Moisturize Dry Labial Skin
A rich blend of Coconut and Jojoba Oil help protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier to protect you from everyday stressors and general irritation from sex, clothing, or exercise..
MYTH 3 Menopause means my (sex) life is over.
Menopause has a bad reputation in our youth-obsessed western culture. It’s been viewed as a curse, something to avoid, silence, or “cure,” often held with the reverence of a cockroach — mainly due to the symptoms associated with this period of life, and many aging vulva owners haven been made to feel “invisible” and pushed to the peripheries of society.
And while many of these symptoms are caused by a decrease in hormone production, some of the psychological symptoms can also be attributed to societal attitudes surrounding this life stage. For instance, the anxiety and depression felt by many peri- or postmenopausal people is oftentimes in relation to their feelings surrounding aging in general — feelings of inadequacy, unattractiveness, or being at the end of fertile functionality.
Botanical Tincture Blend for Hormone Balance
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Change the Menopause Narrative
What if we changed the narrative surrounding menopause to shine light on this remarkable new phase? Sure, menopause marks the end of fertility, but it’s also the beginning of a new creative power — a rebirth of an individual’s life and marked shift toward a notable rise in self-assuredness, personal agency, and wisdom for a life well lived.
We are all evolving, constantly learning to embrace self-care, love our bodies — and one another’s — as they are, and relearning how to communicate our needs and normalize our desires (whatever they might be).
Recommended Rituals for the Peri & Post Menopause Transitions
Embracing sexual self-care pre-menopause can have incredible results on vaginal well being throughout our lifetimes. There’s no denying that physical symptoms of menopause can be uncomfortable — hot flashes, mood swings, and weight gain oh my! But, like most symptoms associated with our sexual and reproductive health, can be made more tolerable with a reliable routine of self-care.
Regular exercise, a healthy and diverse diet, plenty of rest, quality time spent with good friends, medicinal teas, and, of course, a high-quality personal lubricant can be amazing tools to maintain or, dare we say, improve their quality of life.
The symptoms of menopause could be looked at as the body's way of ensuring that you slow down to take care of you after years of being (viewed as) the life giver and caretaker of little ones and loved ones.
Organic Period Care For Spotting
Organic cotton pads and tampons for symptoms of spotting. Always be prepared, people!
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Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.