Female sexual function and intimate wellness using the new Issviva Vaginal Rejuvenation Device | But why is vaginal dryness still a taboo subject?
When I started researching for this post, to find out what women were thinking and feeling about one of the lesser discussed symptoms of menopause, it became clear that female sexual function and vaginal wellness isn't talked about or searched for online much. It is easy to find information on men's sexual health - including erectile dysfunction - but we are far less open about female libido, vaginal dryness and our intimate health.
I found out that the most commonly searched terms are 'private parts' or 'menopausal vagina'. It made me feel sad to think that so many women are still way too embarrassed, and that we are a long way off from an open and honest conversation about intimate wellbeing. So why is vaginal dryness still such a taboo subject? Why are women too shy to use the proper terms for their vagina and their vulva, and be honest about their sexual needs? In this blog post, I am not aiming to answer that, but I won't shy away from the fact that menopausal women have needs and want to look after every aspect of their health, including their vaginal health!
Our vaginal tissue becomes laxer as we age, this is due to a depletion of collagen, elastin and glycogen and why menopausal women will often report an increase in vaginal dryness, sexual worries and incontinence.
But in recent years, along with a gradual move towards better menopause awareness, we have also seen an increase in technology designed to help rejuvenate the vagina and improve intimate wellness. We no longer have to accept sore, dry skin or lack of sexual function as the norm. Women are seeking help and experts are happy to open up the dialogue and offer new solutions.
This is a sponsored blog post with Issviva.
What is vaginal rejuvenation?
Vaginal rejuvenation is only just becoming a mainstream term and is used to cover a variety of non-invasive devices designed to look after our vaginal health, it is not a medical term rather a solution-based approach to offer women help with a variety of issues including sexual function, urinary incontinence, increased sensitivity and vaginal atrophy.
How does vaginal health change after menopause?
Common genitourinary symptoms during perimenopause and postmenopause include:
Vaginal dryness (vaginal atrophy).
Burning and itching, especially when wiping.
Pain when sitting or exercising.
Pain during sex and bleeding after sex.
More frequent UTIs.
More frequent urination.
Increase in vaginal discharge.
Which contributes to:
Decrease in sexual desire (or libido) due to emotional or physical symptoms.
Watch Dr Zoe Williams present a Pelvic Floor Masterclass on This Morning, Dr Zoe explains what the pelvic floor is and why it is important to exercise the pelvic floor muscles for both men and women plus she reviews the Issviva x Joylux Vaginal Rejuvenation Device.
Vaginal rejuvenation treatments
If your symptoms are purely physical, then the first approach should be seeing your GP or Menopause Specialist and asking to try Hormone Replacement Therapy. Replacing your lost oestrogen can offer a massive improvement in most if not all of the above symptoms. If you are unable to take HRT or don't want to, then localised, topical oestrogen cream can be life-changing for vaginal atrophy and can be tolerated by most women. It is now available over the counter without prescription.
But if HRT is not enough and you still find yourself with symptoms, or you'd like to try an alternative, then there are both at-home and in-clinic options available to help improve vaginal health:
Issviva x Joylux Vaginal Rejuvenation Device - an at-home device to improve sexual function, improve vaginal laxity and improve incontinence.
Emsella - a non-invasive in-clinic treatment especially good for incontinence and pelvic floor strength.
Emfemme 360 - a non-invasive in-clinic treatment for vaginal laxity and intimate health.
Vaginoplasty - an invasive, surgical procedure for more severe symptoms.
Emotional support for sexual wellbeing
Whist physical symptoms can be helped with HRT or vaginal rejuvenation devices, loss of sexual desire is rather more complicated and desperately upsetting especially as it can be so difficult to discuss how you feel with your partner or pluck up the courage to go and see a doctor. Loss of sexual desire can have a devastating impact on both us personally and our relationships but please don't suffer in silence. There really is nothing to be embarrassed about and having a conversation with someone that understands can be a first step to finding the right support.
Sadly our partners often struggle to understand what is going on for us and the only way to educate them is to open up and talk - by explaining that vaginal dryness makes penetrative sex uncomfortable or night sweats mean you can't sleep, feel exhausted and have no interest in adding sex to the schedule, or that you are too embarrassed to admit you no longer feel sexual desire. Start the conversation and share this blog post!
I know it might not feel like it - you feel so alone - but there is help available, please do go and see a supportive and understanding doctor and if you don't have one, ask for recommendations and change doctors!
There are so many resources available to us now, either by listening to Podcasts, reading articles online or sharing experiences via a support group on Facebook you are not alone. I will share a few of my recommended resources at the bottom of this post.
Issviva x Joylux Vaginal Rejuvenation Device
So can an at-home vaginal rejuvenation device work? And how easy is it to use?
Issviva is a menopause community created to connect women like me and you, with a goal to break barriers and open conversations, offering access to experts to support you with your menopause wellbeing they want women to take control of this phase of their lives! Issviva sell a range of intimate wellbeing products including absorbent products and supplements.
And they have recently partnered with Joylux to offer the first at-home device to use light technology to rebuild collagen and elastin to tighten and rejuvenate the vaginal tissue.
The Issviva x Joylux Vaginal Rejuvenation Device uses a combination of technologies to help with vaginal tightening, improved bladder function and increased lubrication to help your quality of life, self-confidence and sexual function. The device can also support uterine prolapses which may prevent future surgery.
I have been testing out the Issviva x Joylux device for the last couple of months.
When I was first asked if I would like to try it, I wasn't sure I needed it, I had recently completed a course of Emsella treatments - which I was very impressed with and would absolutely recommend - but Issviva explained that the Issviva x Joylux device is designed to complement the Emsella rather than replace it.
The Issviva x Joylux device offers an at-home solution that many women may prefer to try first. Not everyone is comfortable with an in-clinic treatment and although I am keen to encourage less embarrassment and more willingness to get help, it is also really important that treatments are accessible for everyone. If something you can use at home by yourself is more appealing then the Issviva x Joylux device is definitely one to consider.
What does it feel like?
Despite the jokes from my family when they saw my Issviva x Joylux device on charge in the kitchen this is not a sex toy! However, I won't lie, the sensation when using it is pleasant and not uncomfortable!
The device uses light, vibration and heat intra-vaginally for ten-minute sessions which are recommended every other day - approximately 3 x per week.
Red and infrared light technology are applied together to the vaginal tissue and activates the release of two chemicals. ATP (the energy of cells) to increase the natural production of collagen and elastin and Nitric Oxide which increases blood flow for improved circulation and tissue repair.
The vibration used is gentle and soothing and its purpose is to improve the delivery of the light energy into the tissues. Vibration stimulates fibroblasts, a cell that contributes to the formation of connective tissue.
And finally the Issviva x Joylux device heats the vaginal tissue to 40-42 degrees, this helps to alter localised collagen and re-tighten the tissues. Many women report feeling results in just two weeks as their existing collagen reforms - it then takes a further 6 weeks for new collagen to form.
I was worried the device might be uncomfortable to insert - I don't have vaginal atrophy but for women that do this might be a concern - I know that vaginal atrophy can be very very uncomfortable and the thought of anything being inserted might cause some distress even if it is designed to help. Issviva x Joylux recommend using a good quality water based vaginal lubricant and the device is shaped for ease of use. I had no problems at all and found it easy to use. Make sure that the device is inserted enough so that the lights are inside the vaginal canal. Switch on and select the desired program. Issviva recommend starting gradually, there are three treatment modes, 6, 8 or 10 minutes. The heat and vibrations are very gentle but get used to one before moving up to a longer duration.
The first couple of times I used the Issviva x Joylux device I was a bit confused about how to select the program I wanted but it was easy once I knew how!
Whilst the program is running, just lay back and relax, my routine is to have my evening bath and then use the device when relaxing on my bed. The angle is easy to adjust so it is comfortable and you will hardly notice it is there. I do prefer to use in privacy though!
Results from the Issviva x Joylux
It is impossible for me to really commit to actual results, everyone is different and results will vary depending on your reasons for needing it in the first place. I do think this is an easy to use, at-home vaginal rejuvenation option though that shows hope for women who want to discreetly manage their symptoms.
Benefits can include increased tightness, more control and natural lubrication - without hormones, invasive surgery or a trip to a clinic.
I certainly do feel that using the Issviva x Joylux has complemented the course of Emsella that I had, and offers me an at-home maintenance regime. I do plan to keep up with regular 6-monthly Emsella sessions but using the Issiviva x Joylux at home in between, I believe can only add to the benefits.
Issviva currently have a special offer on the Issviva x Joylux and are offering £100 off.
I hope my blog post has given you a chance to understand more about your own intimate wellbeing and vaginal health without embarrassment - we are getting there ladies!
Disclaimer: this blog post is sponsored by Issviva, All words and opinions are my own.
Linking up with:
Is This Mutton
A private Facebook group for like minded women to discuss, share and support each other with all things menopause.
Pelvic Floor Masterclass on This Morning
Read more about the pelvic floor and watch a short presentation from Dr Zoe.
The Pleasure Possibility - Making love through menopause
This facebook group is curated by Dr Claire Macaulay, a medical doctor and sex educator, who is passionate about supporting all women to have the sex lives that they want.
The Menopause Support Network
A private community group run by the team at Menopause Support, Diane Danzibrnk believes that every woman should have access to factual, evidence based information and support to enable her to make informed choices about how she navigates menopause and beyond without judgement or censure.
Vaginal atrophy: what is it and how is it treated?
General Exceptional - Ep 61 - Sex and the Menopause with Dr Claire Macaulay
The Dr Louise Newson Podcast - Ep 119 - Testosterone: why can't we have our own hormone back? With Dr Zoe Hodson
Dr Louise Newson - Balance - How does the menopause affect my sex life?
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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