Diego, a highly sexual Latin lover, asked to schedule a Skype consult with me because he had been in a sexless relationship with Megan, a woman with whom he was madly in love. His fiancé, Megan, had been experiencing vaginal dryness resulting in sexual pain for four years by the time Diego contacted me. Thirty years of age may seem young for vaginal dryness, but it can occur in young women for many reasons:
Given Megan's high-pressure job in a tech start-up company, stress was likely a contributing factor to her vaginal dryness. She had tried lubricants, physiotherapy, lidocaine gel, narcotics and antidepressants for their off-label pain indication. It was also recommended she try having sex, the idea being “use it or lose it.” Of course, sex was impossible as it was tremendously painful.
Diego was upset because he was afraid that, without sex in his relationship, he might cheat on Megan. By the time Diego contacted me his fiancé had been seen by a gynecologist who prescribed low dose localized estrogen therapy twice per week on a Monday and Thursday. The doctor had also advised Megan to use RepaGyn, a hormone-free personal moisturizer, twice per week as well on opposite nights of the localized estrogen, giving a hint as to the severity of her vaginal concerns. Obviously, this doctor knows it is just as important to moisturize your vagina as it is your face.
Diego was disenfranchised at this stage and he wanted to talk to a health care professional who understood this condition and could help him to support Megan. He said this was not the kind of conversation he could have with his friends although many of them struggled with the sex in their relationships. He said a common question tossed around by his guy friends was if they could ever marry someone and not have sex. Although he loved Megan, his answer to this was a resounding “NO!” "I need sex," Diego declared. "That makes you different from most men how?" I retorted.
It was important that Diego understood that vaginal dryness/atrophy is a medical condition that affects upwards of 80% of women of all ages. Only 5% of women are treated, which is so sad because of the huge role dryness/atrophy can play in a couple's sex life. I informed Diego that with the appropriate treatment now Megan would likely begin to feel better in a couple of weeks and that both the localized estrogen and RepaGyn would optimize in about 2-3 months.
Although vaginal dryness/atrophy is a personal issue, it is important to remember that the partner or spouse is also affected by the ramifications of a sexless relationship. We are sexual beings and when sex is removed from a loving relationship where at least one person desires sex, the impact can be dramatic.
I assured Diego that Megan was on the right track with localized estrogen and RepaGyn and that it would be important that he manifest understanding, kindness, and compassion for her as her vagina healed and she regained her own natural vaginal lubrication.
I suggested other ways to be intimate with Megan such as cuddling, stroking and fondling to keep their connection intact. With some of these new ideas, this Latin lover was ready to get back to the bedroom sooner rather than later.