Grace & Frankie Tackle Vaginal Dryness

Wellness with a Wow

Grace & Frankie Tackle Vaginal Dryness


The original Netflix series, “Grace & Frankie” starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda tackles  the topic of ‘vaginal dryness’ in post menopausal women in one episode in the first season.

Vaginal dryness is is the biggest sexual complaint in women with diabetes. Vaginal dryness is, this  twice as likely if you have diabetes. If you are in menopause or postmenopause, less estrogen may be the cause. If you aren’t, damage to the nerves that lubricate your vagina may be. Vaginal dryness can become a painful cycle. If sex hurts because of it, you may tense up during sex, causing more pain, or avoid sex altogether.

“I did want to talk about sexuality with older women because people usually go “Ugh” when you talk about an older woman having sex,” says “Grace & Frankie” co-creator Marta Kauffman.

“We can have sex when we’re older, and we’re going to find a way to make it beautiful and lovely and important. And it’s just as important for us as it is for a 20-year-old, if not more so, because it’s about intimacy. I got a little excited about that one. See, the dry vagina leads to everything”, says Kauffman.

About 35% of women with diabetes seem to have sexual issues. That doesn’t mean you have to live with them. There’s help to get your sex life going again.

“Some women’s issues may be more complex to treat than those of men, but most can be treated,” says frequent Diabetes Late Nite guest,  Janis Roszler, a diabetes educator, marriage therapist, and author of Sex and Diabetes: For Him and For Her. “There’s no reason for any woman with diabetes to deny herself the opportunity to have a fulfilling and pleasurable sex life.”

On the Netflix series, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda play 70-something frenemies whose husbands (played by Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, respectively) leave them for each other— explores twilight years thrown into chaos, and Tomlin and Fonda anchor the emotional heft of the show. Though it has some missteps, seeing the two onscreen together feels like a victory.

Jane Fonda and  Lily Tomlin both want more “Grace and Frankie” — more seasons, more often. Spurred on by positive feedback for a terrific second season, the pair have gone so far as to lobby Netflix president Ted Sarandos about releasing more than one season per year.

dont-let-003LISTEN NOW: Don’t Let Diabetes Kill Romance podcast discussing sexual health issues related to diabetes.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to sexual health complications including vaginal dryness, sensation and performance. Up to 50% of men and 25% of women may experience some kind of sexual problem or a loss of sex drive.

Don’t equate sexual performance with love or a fulfilling relationship; focus on letting your partner know you care and want to give pleasure as part of your relationship

Mr. Divabetic’s Guests include Best-Selling Author Lisa Eugene, Jennifer Martsolf from Trigg Laboratories (the makers of Wet Lubricants) and Janis Roszler MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, FAND (2008-2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year (AADE).

If you or your partner is experiencing sexual difficulties, you may find it helpful to meet with a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, marriage counselor or sex therapist. These professionals can help you learn how to reduce stress and change behaviors and attitudes, particularly when impotence is caused by stress or other mental health issues.

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