Intimate health is something that affects every woman. It can refer to any gynaecological or sexual concern ranging from natural body changes throughout our lives to managing the changes that happen after undergoing radiation therapy.

Many women don’t talk about their intimate health and find it embarrassing to seek help when things aren’t going as planned. We are here to help reduce the embarrassment, make talking about intimate health OK and enable you to improve your intimate health for good.

We work closely with gynaecologists, women’s health physiotherapists and nurse specialists to ensure we only offer carefully selected products.  Our products are used to treat medical conditions which make our lives much more difficult than they need to be. We can help you to maintain a healthy intimate life; support the ability to engage in healthy (and pain free) sexual activity or to manage conditions that can affect other aspects of your daily life.

Intimate health doesn’t have to be a taboo subject. Women should feel comfortable enough to talk about the issues they experience with their intimate health.  Our aim is that after using just one of our products, women will feel better in every aspect of their lives and will experience strong intimate health for the rest of their lives.

Menopause

Following menopause and due to hormonal changes, many women experience dyspareunia (painful intercourse). The hormone oestrogen drops during menopause causing the tissues in the vagina and surrounding area become thinner and dryer. This condition is known as Vulvovaginal Atrophy or VVA and is the most common form of painful sex (dyspareunia) in women over 50. In addition to dryness, during post-menopause sex, many women experience sexual pain, tightness and an uncomfortable burning sensation.

 

During menopause a woman’s body slowly makes less of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone

 

Studies show that approximately 50% of post-menopausal women will experience VVA related symptoms, such as:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irritation
  • Painful intercourse (Dyspareunia)
  • Trouble with urination
  • Inflamed tissues

 

Many women will spend up to 40% of their lives in the postmenopausal stage

 

Although experiencing all this discomfort, women frequently do not report their vaginal symptoms and go untreated. Without treatment or frequent comfortable sexual activity, many women begin a cycle of painful sex and become afraid of vaginal pain. This can trigger performance anxiety and possible vaginismus (involuntary tightening of the women’s pelvic floor). The regular use of vaginal dilators and lubricants can be helpful.

 

Approximately 55% women going through menopause don’t seek counseling or do anything at all to treat symptoms

Vaginal Stenosis

What is Vaginal Stenosis?

Vaginal stenosis is the narrowing and/or loss of flexibility of the vagina and it occurs as a side effect of radiotherapy and/or genital surgery. In most cases, it is also accompanied by the dryness and loss of resilience of scar tissue.

Radiation therapy is generally used in the pelvic area in order to treat cancer of the bladder, rectum, lymph glands, uterus or cervix. Whatever the type of radiotherapy – by external beam radiation or by the use of internal implants – it has multiple effects on the vagina. The most common are the drying and thinning of the vaginal lining, fibrosis (formation of scar tissue), shortening and narrowing of the vagina, reduction of vaginal lubrication and diminishment of the size and number of small blood vessels within the vagina. The result is vaginal stenosis and much drier, friable vaginal tissue.

How to Reduce the Effects of Vaginal Stenosis?

In the long term, vaginal stenosis can lead to pain during physical examination and problems with sexual intercourse.

In order to reduce these effects, aside from professional sexual counselling involving both partners, patients are advised to use a silicone vaginal dilator. However, the usage instructions for vaginal dilators will depend on the individual treatment plan and the precise procedures patients are undergoing. Sometimes, doctors also recommend oestrogen creams and exercises to increase circulation in the vaginal area.

It is important to mention that patients may or may not be permitted to have sexual intercourse while undergoing treatment. This depends entirely on their treatment plan and whether or not the relevant healthcare professional is willing to allow intercourse to continue.

Even if intercourse is permitted, patients may lose interest during radiotherapy and for a while after, as a result of a general loss in confidence. This is where professional counselling can help, and also the knowledge that cancer is not contagious and cannot be passed on by sexual intercourse. Another important aspect everyone should know is that, when permitted, sexual activity will not cause a return of the cancer and partners will not suffer from any after effects of the patient’s radiation therapy.

If the healthcare professional allows patients to have intercourse, most likely they will be instructed on how to use a water based lubricant to facilitate penetration and to protect dry vaginal tissue. Also, it is recommended to adjust positions in order to increase the woman’s comfort and protect the fragile vaginal tissue. It has been found that vaginal penetration with either a silicone vaginal dilator or sexual intercourse significantly decreases the occurrence of vaginal stenosis and dyspareunia.

In some cases, sexual intercourse may become unacceptably painful because of vulvar and vaginal inflammation occurring towards the end of the treatment. It is recommended for patients to use vaginal dilators at this time or just wait for the damaged tissue to heal and resume normal sexual activity.

Where contraception is concerned, it should continue to be used until advised otherwise by a healthcare professional, even if radiotherapy to the female pelvic region (including ovaries) will result in infertility.

Everyone should understand that radiotherapy in the pelvic area also has many emotional side effects that can affect a woman’s quality of life. This is why, along with physical help, patients should search for professional counselling, aftercare and support, proven to significantly help in problems of body image and sexual function.

Patients being treated for vaginal stenosis that are advised to use silicone vaginal dilators can purchase them on this website. It is very important to discuss the usage instructions with your healthcare professional and to follow their directions precisely.

Vaginal Dryness

Natural lubrication produced by glands at the neck of the womb (the cervix) keeps the vagina supple, moist and healthy. During sexual excitement the two glands at the entrance of the vagina produce extra moisture to aid sexual intercourse.

However vaginal dryness is a very common problem. Although often associated with the menopause (it affects more than half of women after the menopause), it is also very common for women to experience it at other times of their lives and there are many contributing factors including hormonal changes (for example with breastfeeding or even throughout a normal monthly cycle), anxiety, certain medications, treatments for cancer, diet and lifestyle choices resulting in vaginal dryness.

If lubrication is poor even gentle friction can cause pain or discomfort which can feed into a cycle of loss of sexual desire. In many cases vaginal dryness can cause pain during other times and in can be uncomfortable to sit, stand, exercise or urinate which can impact on quality of life.

 

Around 17% of women aged 18-50 experience problems with vaginal dryness during sex, even before the menopause takes place

 

The YES Organic Lubricants are the only lubricants we recommend. We believe that the YES range of lubricants, moisturisers and washes are unrivalled in terms of purity, performance and benefits.

Pelvic Radiation Therapy

A woman’s sex life and vaginal health may be adversely affected by cancer radiation therapy to the pelvic area. The scarring that occurs after pelvic radiation can shorten or even narrow the vagina. Many women that receive radiation treatments experience early symptoms of menopause or even stop having menstrual periods. Other side effects include vaginal burning, itching and dryness. This can make sexual intercourse painful, and makes it difficult and uncomfortable for women to have pelvic exams in the future.

Many doctors recommend that women start vaginal dilator physical therapy after finishing radiation treatments.  Regular use of dilators can often help women stretch the walls of their vagina, and help prevent scar tissue from forming.  Some cancer centers also recommend that women use a vaginal moisturizer prior to using a dilator.  When a woman’s vagina has moisture, the vaginal walls will stretch more easily during dilator therapy.

 

Nearly two-thirds of all cancer patients will receive radiation therapy during their illness

35% of them experience moderate to severe lack of lubrication

 

Since scarring after pelvic radiation therapy can develop over many years, vaginal dilators can be a good tool for a woman to use throughout her life. Even if she is not sexually active, regular use vaginal dilators can help to make future pelvic exams less painful.

 

85% of women undergoing pelvic radiation therapy have low or no sexual interest.

In most cases, sexual activity is resumed 2 or 3 months after the treatment.

Chemotherapy

Women undergoing chemotherapy for cancer will often experience symptoms of early menopause. Some chemotherapy medications irritate all mucous membranes in the body, including the lining of the vagina, which may become dry and inflamed.

Women who are receiving chemotherapy treatment often notice decreased sexual desire, upset stomach, tiredness and weakness. Also, patients tend to feel unattractive due to hair loss or weight changes. Among chemotherapy side effects, patients may also experience:

  • Hot flashes
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Vaginal tightness
  • Irregular or no menstrual periods

Many health professional recommend that women use vaginal dilators to help manage some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Vaginal dilators are used to gently stretch the vaginal tissue, gradually making it more elastic and flexible over time.

Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS)

Gender Reassignment Surgery (GCS), often better described as Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS), Genital Reconstruction Surgery, Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) or Male-to-Female Surgery (MTF), is a surgical procedure that changes a person’s genitalia to match that of their sexual identity. During this procedure, surgeons will transform the transgender person’s pelvic area to create a neo-vagina. This procedure is also known as vaginoplasty. Post-operative vaginal dilation therapy is an integral component of keeping a transgender woman’s neo-vagina functional.

 

Some 650 000 people or 1 % of the UK population experience some degree of gender nonconformity

 

GRS surgeons will advise their patients on the proper use and frequency of post-op dilation. As part of their physical transition, a transgender patient will typically begin using vaginal dilators a few days after surgery. Vaginal dilation therapy is almost always required for life, as sexual intercourse in place of dilation may not be sufficient. Our GRS dilators are  made to address the specific anatomical needs of transgender women who have undergone GRS.

 

Roughly 1 per 30,000 adult males and 1 per 100,000 adult females seek sex reassignment surgery

Mullerian agenesis

Mullerian agenesis, a rare congenital condition –also referred to as MRKHsyndrome or Müllerian aplasia, is caused by the embryologic growth failure of the müllerian duct. Most common presentations result in the congenital absence or underdevelopment  of the uterus or the vagina, or both. The vaginal canal is markedly shortened or absent. First-line treatment usually can be managed non-surgically with successive vaginal dilation.

The non-surgical process is an effective and safe method for the creation of a neo-vagina for patients with vaginal agenesis. In comparison with surgical methods, vaginal dilation has the advantage of low morbidity and no surgical scarring. This method uses progressively sized dilators to expand the vaginal opening.

If surgery is necessary to create a neo-vagina, post-operative dilation therapy is essential to help prevent significant skin graft contracture.  Dilators must be used intermittently until the woman is able to engage in regular sexual intercourse.

This condition is commonly discovered during puberty and the typical symptoms include:

  • Having a shortened vagina
  • Sexual pain
  • Absence of the cervix, uterus and/or vagina
  • Primary amenorreah (lack of menstrual periods)

Müllerian agenesis occurs in 1 out of every 4,000–10,000 women

look-atthe-stars-e1498674681858

We have the freedom to work with different manufacturers yet believe in sourcing only the best products in their class.