Vaginal dryness becomes more common after menopause, but not all menopausal women experience a lack of vaginal moisture. Although a dry vagina is one of the symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), lack of vaginal moisture is not a universal trait among older women.
"I find that many women see it as part of aging and just sort of deal with it. But half of women don't get these symptoms as they age. So, it's not just a part of aging," says Dr. Caroline Mitchell, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, quoted in Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Dr. Mitchell is involved with research evaluating the role of vaginal microbiota after menopause.
Menopause, health, and history
Historian Susan Mattern, author of The Slow Moon Climbs: The History, Science, and Meaning of Menopause, writes in the New York Times that “bleak view of menopause is unique to modern cultures.” In contrast, she points out, Hmong immigrants in Australia interviewed by researchers in the 1990s, expressed surprise that white Australian women associated menopause with problems.
Mattern’s book turns to the Paleolithic Period to look at menopause as an essential life stage, with post-reproductive women leading their clans. The concept of menopause as “some kind of hormonal failure,” she points out, developed during the 19th and 20th centuries with the rise of modern Western medicine.
In her New York Times essay, Mattern writes that “Menopause isn’t just a collection of symptoms or a pathological condition.” She suggests we “stop talking about menopause as though there’s something wrong with it. Menopause isn’t just a collection of symptoms or a pathological condition. It’s a transition to a phase of life that has been critical to human success — one that should be valued and respected, not approached with dread.”
A different view of menopause
Many health experts also question the concept of menopause as a disease. A 2001 article in the International Journal of Health Services stated “Menopause is in the process of becoming medicalized. Midlife and older women are being told that natural menopause is actually a deficiency condition requiring replacement hormones to maintain health and increase longevity.”
The Dr. Susan Love Foundation emphasizes that “Menopause is not a ‘deficiency state.’ Women are not returned to premenopause by taking estrogen. Hormone replacement therapy promoted the idea that women needed to take estrogen during and after menopause. It carried the connotation that certain levels of estrogen are ‘normal’ and anything less is a deficiency that must be addressed and replaced.”
A recent article by nutritionist Dalene Fallon in Thrive Global points out that “we don’t “fix” puberty or motherhood – why menopause?” She suggests that menopause offers an opportunity: “Own your transition – menopause gives you permission to reclaim your health and remake the parts of your life that no longer work – it’s a pruning back. And from that, you emerge into your Second Spring: healthy, happy, complete – and wiser for having trodden the path.”
Remaining vital as you get older
Whatever choices you make about dealing with physical, mental, and emotional changes you may experience, you don’t have to accept vaginal dryness as a permanent condition. Membrasin® Vaginal Moisture Supplement provides a non-hormonal solution to dealing with vaginal dryness concerns. The completely estrogen-free formula, SBA24™, is clinically proven to work in supporting natural vaginal moisture. We know how careful you are about what you put in your body so Membrasin® Vitality Pearls are non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, plant-based, and cruelty-free. There’s no risk to trying Membrasin® either -- we offer a 100% money-back guarantee.