On the Coast – Over 55 Issue 26 I November/December 2018 - Page 13

Studies have shown that only a quarter of women with these symptoms will mention them to their health care provider. This is unfortunate, as there are a number of effective treatments available which relieve discomfort and enable women to continue an active sex life. Tips for general vulval care Avoid ƒ ƒ soaps (especially perfumed liquid soaps) – use Aqueous cream or QV wash instead ƒ ƒ bubble baths (use dispersible bath oil or salt) ƒ ƒ wet wipes, perfumed oils, antiseptics and feminine sprays – use hypoallergenic toilet paper ƒ ƒ plastic-backed pads – use breathable panty liners ƒ ƒ nylon underwear, tight pants – use “Icon” “Thinx” or “Modibodi” underwear. Use Sudocrem/Zinc and castor oil cream for skin protection if you have urine leakage. Some women use a vaginal moisturizer (eg Replens ® ) which provides a long-lasting moist film. For sexually active women a lubricant is essential . If there is not enough lubrication, sex will hurt, and that’s not a good thing for any relationship! A number of proprietary lubricants are available, eg KY Jelly. Natural oils such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil can be used (do not use natural oils with latex condoms) avoid gels as they may contain antiseptic, which can irritate water-based lubricants can be used with condoms for STI protection. Silicone lubricants are absorbed more slowly and remain “slippery” for longer. Oestrogen-only vaginal therapy Local treatment with hormone (oestrogen) vaginal tablets, pessaries or cream is a highly effective treatment, especially for sexually active women, women with mild prolapse, and those who suffer from recurrent urine infections. These are easily inserted once or twice a week. They are very well tolerated and there are very few risks as only a miniscule amount of oestrogen gets in to the blood stream (vaginal oestrogens are contraindicated if taking Aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment). Newer treatments include laser treatment to the vaginal walls, which stimulates regeneration of new tissue (very expensive though!). It may also be useful to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to find out which parts of the pelvic floor to strengthen and which parts to relax. If you have any questions about menopause and its management, you should consult your GP. A useful website is CareDownThere www.caredownthere.com.au This is written by a team of Australian health professionals with special expertise in treating vulval disease and is a great resource for women of any age. Dr Robyn Stevens has been a GP on the Central Coast for over 30 years. She is part of the fabulous and friendly team at Your Family Doctors at Erina. For more information, call 4365 4999 or www.yourfamilydoctors.com.au Residents Renew Vows at Village 76 year old Peninsula Village resident Peter Harris and his 81 year old wife Veronica have lived a wonderful life so far with 53 years of their lives dedicated to each other, having married back in August of 1965. To celebrate their love and journey of more than five decades, this golden couple decided to renew their vows back in August at the local retirement village where they have lived for just over four months. Peter and Veronica renewed their vows with a special family ceremony held on the grounds of Peninsula Village at Umina Beach, reinstating the same vows they first spoke to each other when they originally married on 28 August 1965. The happy couple said the reasoning behind the renewal of their vows was as simple as love, and an eagerness to share this with fellow residents and family. “We love each other and felt it was a good thing to do while our family and friends were all able to join us and share the occasion,” explained Peter. “As long as we are together that is all that matters,” said Veronica. After 53 years of marriage a lot has changed for the couple, including the birth of two children, the arrival of four grandchildren and ample passport stamps collected from their travels abroad. It is with confidence and enthusiasm Peter and Veronica say their love for one another has remained steadfast and blissful in what is undoubtedly, their greatest adventure yet. “We love to travel and this has been a huge part of our lives together having travelled to England, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand as well as various spots across Australia,” said Peter. “Our secret to marriage isn’t anything unique, we have lived a great life together but also remained strong and supportive of one another through the hard times,” said Veronica. “I would say that we have lived by the common saying ‘happy wife, happy life’,” laughed Peter. Attracted to the fantastic care provided by friendly staff and the relaxed, social atmosphere of Peninsula Villages, Peter and Veronica made the move to become residents in May this year. “We met at a party in Paddington back in 1963 and two years later we married. Peter became a teacher and then Principal and I worked in various office roles before working in administration at a school in Sydney where I stayed until I retired,” said Veronica. “While we spent most of our lives in Rosebery, we finally realised it was time that we needed to be supported with additional care and chose Peninsula Villages’ Don Leggett House where we live together,” she added. Peter and Veronica Harris are one of many couples who reside at Peninsula Villages, where despite having their own rooms, live steps from one another under the same roof. Sharing meals, laughs, regular activities and social excursions, this couple are really showing what love is all about, no matter the age. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 – ISSUE 26 13