The Struggle with Feminine Dryness after Menopause
Quote of the day:”Being happy is really the definition of success, isn’t it?” Jim Gaffigan
Trust me when I say that I never thought I’d be blogging about feminine dryness. I’m not one to jump in on all of the fancy, treatments that I see on many other sites like the vampire facials and needling to look 10 years younger. Truthfully, I am hoping I can embrace aging without surgeries or anything too radical.
Heck, this kind of subject is not something you hear about like you do hot flashes and mood changes. I’m pretty sure back in my mom’s day, you didn’t talk about menopause at all. It was called “the Change” and that was about it. Now? You can google anything.
When these changes happen to our bodies that affect our daily lives, it can affect our definition of success. It’s not just about our appearance and looks. It’s about how the insides of our bodies have altered with the loss of hormones. And so here is my story.
I know I used to be a medical professional. But personally, I have veered towards more natural and Eastern medicine in my way of thinking. I prefer herbs instead of drugs and I have been converting to more natural elements in my food and products.
Since I’ve retired, I’ve been joining both my mom and stepmom on many of their doctor’s visits. I ALWAYS think it’s nice to have a second pair of ears for any appointment. Even for me. Was I surprised that both my mom’s urogynecologist and Nancy’s urologist recommended an estrodiol vaginal cream? Yes, because I didn’t realize how the hormones affected feminine dryness.
When I asked the doctor how to prevent some of the bladder & vaginal issues, her response was this estradiol cream. I’m not one to be excited about adding hormones to my body. However, her reasoning and information about how little is actually absorbed into the body did relieve my concerns.
So I made an appointment with my doctor. Why? Because truthfully I’ve been struggling with feminine dryness. It’s changed our sexual story over the last couple of years. TMI? Maybe. But if we don’t talk about it, then how do others learn?
And now I have Estradiol cream in my bathroom. Has it helped?? I’ll tell you more below.
Cliovana at Revitalize
Funny how some things come along at such the perfect time. I received an email about this new treatment being offered in Denver for our sexual health. This came right before I was scheduled to see my doctor to get my prescription for the cream. So I decided to try it out as a comparison.
I won’t go into all the details, because you can read more about it on the website. If I hadn’t been having this feminine dryness issue to start with, I would have never even considered this option. Yet, timing is everything. And therefore, I wanted to try it out. Although if you read their description of the procedure, it’s not all about feminine dryness. It’s to help with responsiveness which includes more than dryness.
Below is a photo of me with Dr. Oster next to me, and her receptionist Stacie in the blue. I was shocked to find out that Denver is the first city to have this Cliovana treatment. I always think that LA and NYC are the places where everything starts. However, there are plans for this treatment to be coming to 10 different cities within the year. The founder of the system is from Denver, and knows Dr. Oster which is how it originated here.
I realize that it shouldn’t matter, but it was more comfortable having a woman for this experience. And it was comforting to know that Dr. Oster is a medical doctor.
So what is the actual treatment like? I was told that the Cliovana treatment uses sound waves. That didn’t mean anything to me, but it really is painless. It’s meant to regenerate cells in the clitoris. This not only helps with feminine dryness but also increases orgasms.
Truthfully it’s basically like a vibrator, and it only takes about 10 minutes for each appointment. Our drive to the office took longer than the appointment.
As for the procedure. It’s a series of 4 appointments that are spaced about 3-4 days apart. The only restrictions that are suggested are to not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatories a day before treatment. And while you can notice a difference right away, the results intensify over a period of 3 months.
The results are supposed to last for a year or more although it’s suggested to have a single session yearly to maintain it.
If you’re anything like me, then of course you’re interested in the cost of this. The 4 sessions which constitutes the procedure is $2000. Certainly not a drop in the bucket if you ask me. Yet I know that plastic surgery is much more expensive than this, and many times that’s only superficial. I was given this Cliovana treatment for no charge as exchange for this type of marketing.
Comparing this cost to my dental experience, this is about the cost of a crown. The nice thing is that there is an option for a payment plan. It’s the same plan we used to provide at my dental office, so I know it’s reputable.
The maintenance visit once yearly will be $500.
First off, the procedure was easy, and nothing to be nervous about. Of course I was nervous the first time because it was something new. But it really wasn’t weird, painful or anything else.
So, of course the big question is does it work? There’s no doubt that I can say a definite YES. Let’s just say even after the first appointment, it was wonderful that sex didn’t hurt. And because of that it happens more often. So let’s just say my husband is a happy camper. Truthfully, if he knew this was available, he might have bought it for me a couple of years ago. It wasn’t around then, but if it were.
This means I will be going back in a year to continue the benefits. And that will come out of my own pocket. Or Rob’s. Ha ha!
Would I have gone for treatment if I had to pay out of my pocket? Only if I knew someone who had it done and could pretty much guarantee that it worked. I tend to be a skeptic otherwise. But now? I would. It’s a little embarrassing to talk about, but it’s wonderful how it’s helped. SO MUCH.
I really wanted to compare the estrodiol cream with the Cliovana treatment for my feminine dryness. I started off using the cream daily for a month before I had the Cliovana. Did it make sex less uncomfortable? Not in the slightest. Maybe over more time it would help with lubrication. What I did notice is my hot flashes came back while I was using the cream. Not that I have a huge issue with hot flashes. Just a slight warming mostly at night. And maybe it was just a coincidence, but I hadn’t had hot flashes for the last 6 months before I started using the Estradiol.
After the first two sessions of Cliovana, I asked Dr. Oster if I should even continue using the Estradiol cream since I didn’t need it for lubrication. She did recommend using it maybe once a week. Because she also believes it is beneficial for menopausal women.
If you’ve never purchased the Estradiol cream, it’s about $50 compounded. My mom has good medical insurance and still pays this amount so I’m not sure if it’s different for others. I figure if you use it daily, you will spend about $500 a year on it. I could be totally off base with this figure. That’s just a guess. I almost went through my entire cream the first month. Now using it only weekly, it’s much less.
Photo credit: Rob Filogomo
I was given the Cliovana treatments at no cost for exchange of a review on my blog. As always I am always honest, so this discussion is from the heart. Remember, I am not medically trained in feminine dryness, so this is my story only.
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