After menopause, women's bodies stop producing certain hormones, like estrogen. The lack of estrogen affects us differently; some women might suddenly grow whiskers, some lose their sex drive and some get vaginal atrophy.
When I first heard about vaginal atrophy I thought it was just disuse and could be reversed by more use. But that's not it at all. Atrophy thins out the skin and tissues, causing the skin to smooth out and become painful. The outside skin, becoming so thin, begins to itch painfully. The inside skin shrinking can also cause urinary issues.
Why am I writing about this? Because I had a pap today and I almost cried because it was so painful. It's never been painful before. And my practitioner told me that I have severe atrophy and will probably never have intimate relations with a man again.
She said she could put me on estrogen replacement but that, of course, carries a risk of cancer. I'm not willing to do that. I'm going to try some over the counter meds she told me about... but I'm not expecting much.
I'm reeling. I haven't been involved with anyone in years but I thought that maybe in the future when Mollie has gone on to college, that could be a possibility.
How am I supposed to feel about this? It's a little heart breaking. I never thought that someone could just tell me that I shouldn't have sex or intimacy again because it will guaranteed hurt me.
Carol and I were talking about aging, just a few hours before my pap. It was as if we knew what was coming...
Please pardon my heartbreak here. It's not that there's someone currently. It's just the idea that the door might be closed forever.