Dear Maureen,

Love your sex radio program the Sunday Night Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW that I found on iTunes.

I am a 48 year old sexual woman. Intercourse with my husband has become painful and so my libido has left me. Penetration is particularly painful.  I’ve been diagnosed with vaginal atrophy but I don’t want to use any treatments that contain estrogen due to my history of breast cancer at the young age of 26.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Dear Alexa,

What you are experiencing is very common for women during peri-menopause (the years leading up to menopause).  Estrogen is the hormone regulator of the vagina which accounts for a woman’s natural lubrication. When the estrogen levels in the vagina decrease, vaginal dryness may set in and it is very uncomfortable! The normally elastic tissues become tight making penetration of a penis very difficult. The tissues may become thin, dry and lose elasticity. The vaginal tissues literally atrophy or “dry up.” It can wreak havoc on a woman’s sex life and relationship and it knocks you off your game!

If you are uncomfortable with estrogen to treat your vaginal health issues because of a history of breast cancer, not to worry. There are a number of hormone-free personal moisturizers available. The one I would recommend for you is Gynatrof because in addition to the fact that it does not contain hormones, it has been approved for the treatment of vaginal atrophy by Health Canada and is easily absorbed in the vaginal tissues.

In honour of the Super Bowl, having “skin in the game” is helpful. So, I would also advise that you kiss, lick and suckle your husband’s penis as pre-game play. Men love oral sex because they view it as the ultimate expression of female love!  Your saliva adds further lubrication when he penetrates you, so lay it on!

To treat the now smaller opening to your vagina, I might incorporate vaginal dilators into your regime. They come in graduated sets of six dilators ranging from a small size to larger sizes. Start with the smallest one and remember to use Gynatrof when you insert it. Better yet, get naked and have your husband insert it and do gentle circular motions with the dilator to expand your vaginal opening. Score!

Remember to have him stimulate your erogenous zones like your clitoris so it is not only therapeutic but pleasurable too. He’ll score some big points for this. Use the smallest dilator daily for about one to two weeks in a circular motion stretching the opening to your vagina. Then move on to the next size up. If the next size hurts then go back to the smaller size.

The Gynatrof will take about 2-3 months to optimize which is also the time it will take to “stretch” the opening to your vagina. It is difficult to relax during sex after you have experiencedpain but remember being fully vulnerable during intimate times is key.

This triple play (Oral sex, Gynatrof, and a set of dilators) will help you get your game back on and get you back to the bedroom for some action with your husband in no time!

Maureen McGrath is a Registered Nurse host of the Sunday Night Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW, feminist, women’s health expert and a 2016 TED speaker on the Sexless Marriage. Her book is available on Amazon.ca : Sex & Health: Why One Can’t Come Without The Other. She is recipient of the Vancouver Board of Trade Community Catalyst Award 2016 and a finalist for YWCA Women of Distinction.

Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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