This post was written by Peony Lane

Now I know you’d rather not, but I think we ought to.

You see, here’s the conundrum about the menopause.  One of the well known symptoms of menopause is a loss of libido.  It’s quite well catalogued.  But nobody specifies the parameters of this loss.

Is it a total loss or a partial loss?  Are we expected to go from having the hots for our partner ‘frequently’ to ‘occasionally’ or from ‘occasionally’ to ‘never’?  Or it is nothing to do with the appeal of our partner and everything to do with sex drive ­ which could, or could not, involve our long term partners and may indeed embrace other lovers?  Do we just go off it altogether?

And is that it, forever?

Or does it pick up again once we’re through the menopause and in the clear water of ‘the other side’?

A good friend who has abstained for many years, largely due to the lack of an appropriate other half, told me that her gynaecologist reminded her that ‘the vagina is a muscle, you know’.  The message being that if we don’t use our muscles on a regular basis, they become weak and flabby.

Now there’s a horrific thought!

Not only are we rendered barren from the loss of working ovaries but also now our secret space ­ the one we have learnt to use to our advantage for many years ­ runs the risk of getting the equivalent of bingo wings!  Crikey!

But then, to add insult to injury, when we muster the scant inclination to offset this occurrence and DO THE DEED (usually aided by a half bottle of wine to anaesthetise ourselves first) we find that it’s suddenly sore. 


I was reading up on this yesterday and apparently it’s all to do with vaginal oestrogen.  Apparently a quarter of us will suffer from post menopausal vaginal symptoms.  Basically, it’s sore to have sex.

Luckily there are products to help us ­ creams, pessaries, tablets and even a inserted ring ­ but how many of us are going to rush to the pharmacy to admit this failure of a natural bodily function?

Is there an alternative?

Which brings me to the sad little picture that I’ve posted today.  It inhabits my husband’s side of the bed and was put there three years ago when he suffered a bad back.  (You’ll notice that very little has been used ­ an indication of the severity of his back problem or the sympathy he got?)

Now I’m not suggesting that massage oil is a good lubricant nor that its constituent ingredients are appropriate for down there, but I could see myself reaching for massage oil sooner than a vaginal oestrogen cream.  One implies a sexual frisson, the other frigidity.

Who knows, after 3 years untouched on the side, it might still have a lease of life left in it?

I’ll tell you when I know.

In the meantime, here’s a great tune to whet your appetite!