Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Funeral For a Vagina: An Open Plea To Oprah and Dr. Oz

 

"My vagina is dying," my friend told me on the phone yesterday.
"Come on!" I replied as I put down my tea and instantly started doing kegels.
"No, really.   My vagina is literally wasting away. My doctor says I have vaginal atrophy."
"No, shit!"  I said as I pictured gravity having it's way with my friend's once taut pelvic muscles.  "What's it from?" 
"No estrogen.  Fucking menopause...sucks."

My friend is a few years older than me and close to (if not already at) the dreaded "M".  Which is actually just the closing ceremony for the preceding and interminable PM.  All the mood swings, hot flashes, painful sex, weight gain, and other fun hormonal fluctuations that lead up to actual menopause are the real work of perimenopause, it's evil younger sister.  Otherwise known as the P.M. of your life.  Otherwise known as Pretty (freakin') Miserable.

"You have an angry vagina, the doctor told me," my friend continued.  "My fucking vagina is red and swollen, shedding away, and withering on the vine.  My vagina's angry? I'm the one who's fucking angry!"

Of course, I couldn't stop thinking about our conversation long after we hung up.  I'm in my mid-late '40s and have had some signs of "PM," so naturally I couldn't help but think "there but for the grace of a few years go I."  I googled vaginal atrophy and did some armchair research.  Here is the Mayo Clinic's definition:

Vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) is a thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen. Vaginal atrophy occurs most often after menopause, but it can also develop during breast-feeding or at any other time your body's estrogen production declines. 

Symptoms include dryness, burning, painful intercourse, incontinence and a host of other "shoot me now" ailments.  The silver lining on this dark and itchy cloud is that the discomfort is treated quickly and simply with creams or medication.  The discomfort.  Not the fact that your genitalia is dying.

My morbid curiosity got the best of me and I linked to other related sites (thanks Google);  sites about pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal rejuvenation, and other side-slapping, life-affirming topics.   

Nothing makes you feel your mortality like a decomposing vajayjay.

The research states that many women suffer from this ailment in silence, out of ignorance or embarrassment.  It made me wonder, where's Oprah?  Shouldn't she be out there warning us about this?  Obviously her producer's let this one slip through the lady business cracks.  

I mean, who is going to support us in our post baby factory years if not the big "O"?

And for that matter, where's Dr. Oz?  I feel betrayed.  Abandoned.  Is this just another brick in the wall of the male conspiracy to keep women down?  I don't see mens' penises shriveling up.   Ohhhh noooooo.  And, please, at the first signs that their machinery was aging, the pharmaceutical companies (run by men) and male medical researchers were up and adam developing Viagra, Levitra, and whatever else to keep those joy sticks pumping.  But women?  Nobody's rushing out to help us with our plunging pelvises and volatile vj's.  Instead, we're told that the way to prevent having to dead-head our lady gardens is to have more sex.  Lots and lots of sex.  Ugh.  Sound suspicious?

So where does this leave us?  I'll tell you where...with husbands running off to find young, blushing pink, smiling privates, while we stand alone at the funerals for ours. 

So, Oprah and Oz, you've got the world talking about evolution's reason for pubic hair, the size and color of our poop, and most recently (thank you) hormone therapy.  Here is my suggestion for your next topic:

TAKING BACK OUR VAJAYJAYS.


The world is ready.  We have you and Eve Ensler to thank for that.

We women want our vaginas back.  NOW.

Thank you.

*photo courtesy of google images

19 Comments:

Garza Girl said...

That is fricking hilarious. Pathetic, but funny as hell.

Karen said...

Unfortunately, it is so, so true. In my twenties I had to be put into artificial menopause for a few months because of endometriosis....After a few months of suspending ovulation, my gynecologist looked at my vagina. I asked how everything was. He said (and I will never forget this) "Great! You have the vagina of a 50-year old." Just what every twenty-seven-year-old wants to hear. Not. His bedside manner could have used a little work... Actually, I don't know anyone at any age who wants a shrunken, shriveled, dried up vajayjay.

You handled this topic with humor, and more than a pinch of truth. From one 40-something-year-old starting to experience perimenopause to another...thank you! And may I recommend Astroglide for all that sex you're supposed to be having?

MIT Mommy said...

Oh, I need a glass of merlot now. My birthday is in two weeks.

Manic Mommy said...

Pissa. Yet another indignity to look forward to.

I remember about ten years ago when my aunt was having a "nip and tuck" - down there - as her uterus had apparently slipped out!

No effing way!! My mom had to sit down and explain it to me like I was a 9 year old.

While you're lobbying Oprah, can you please mention that I'd like to donate my ovaries? They are no longer needed and proven producers. Surely someone would like them.

dkuroiwa said...

Oh. My. God. I don't know if I should laugh or cry...maybe I'll do both! I also remember my grandmother complaining about "stuff" falling...that just freaked me out...still does.
I'm thinking that if we all go through this together...with lots and lots of wine and other alcohol and product advice for our shrinking/dried up/delapidated vajayjays then maybe we'll make it through this.
I'm starting on that alcohol part right. now.

Captain Steve said...

It's true. Women get fucked by not having insurance that are by law required to cover birth control, but that 90 year old shriveled dude in the nursing home absolutely MUST be able to bang granny down the hall.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

EEeeekkk - I thought there were terrors enough but...

So much to potentially look forward to, MM - But info is everything and you are so right about how people should know more, and not just leave all in the hands of those great gods of Medicine!

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Amen, sister. Save the vags!!! I will start printing bumper stickers in a minute!

Headless Mom said...

Ha! Serious issue, funny post.

Not funny is that I'm already starting PM. SRSLY. Now that's something to get angry about!

phd in yogurtry said...

Do they say anywhere, "use it or lose it?" Cuz that's where I'm laying my bets.


p.s. I don't see mens' penises shriveling up.

No? Oh honey, I'm sorry.

the mama bird diaries said...

God, woman always get f-ed don't they?! I will join your cause

Midlife Mama said...

Well I am depressed. That is just wrong on so many levels. Vaginal atrophy?? Are you kidding me?? Oy. Yet another joy of menopause. I'm at 50 years 4 months (but who's counting?) and starting to skip periods. But I never, ever thought about my vajayjay actually decomposing. Ugh. That's disgusting.

Yay. Gee thanks for the great start to my Monday. Pbbbttt.

Me said...

Fucking hilarious

KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL KEGAL

Anonymous said...

Before I pour the merlot, please assure me that it isn't a cause of the atrophy and sag!!

Anonymous said...

Jeesh. You don't know the half of it. I am 61. My partner of 3 years is very upset and wants out of our relationship because of my problems with vaginal atrophy. I tried all the things that are suppose to help, yet I still get recurring bladder infections almost EVERY time we have sex! That plus the desire is just not there (probably due to the constant bladder infections, kinda makes you dread having sex, knowing what you have to go through for 2 weeks after!).
What is really fucking upsetting to me, is his attitude. He thinks it's all my fault for not 'taking care of myself'!! After a hysterectomy, my doctor did not suggest HRT and at that time, I was not in a relationship and therefore not having sex! Then I met him (current partner)and first sexual encounters after 5 years of no sex, was extremely painful, how can you feel excited or sexual when your in pain!!! He is willing to give up on our relationship due to the lack of sex. Now, I believe in a healthy sex life, but to me, if you really love someone you don't just dump them because you can't have sex all the time!

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Anonymous said...

Very funny, and important, post.

So.... today I went to my own OB/GYN for the dreaded annual. I, too, am now blessed with "an angry vagina." That's what she said... it's angry. I went through menopause five years ago -- I thought that was the extent of my body's anger, but it seems the developmental stages/ages of being a woman just keeps on giving. Never thought I'd be walking around with an angry vagina. Are there support groups for this predicament?

Probably not. I guess I should go ahead and make funeral arrangements. ....sigh.

Anonymous said...

your blogg!So this is what I could be looking at? I'm in peri-meno and that ain't fun either. My sex drive is down but I always had a very HIGH drive so no-one is suffering yet. Sex is still good, but I have to work at it - lots of lube available for when my v fails me. I'm taking natural supplements which help with mood swings - black cohosh and a swiss vitamin - it is the swiss company and its simply HRT replacement with wild yamm, etc I am finding that my sex drive is down & I cd easily go without for a week or more (used to have to have it every day or every other) Gaad - an angry vagina? say it isn't so - I'm turning 50 this year - I'm IN LADIES!

Tubal Ligation Reversal said...

information well and good ... I like your way of thinking about pregnancy.
Thanks for sharing

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