Menopause and AIDS – Tips and Advice

We are in a new age with a new problem. The advent of AIDS has changed sexual mores drastically. The fact that medical science does not have the answers to this devastating illness is distressing and makes our ability to advise anyone on how to avoid AIDS extremely difficult. If you are in a monogamous relationship with no outside sexual con­tact by either partner, you have no cause for fear. But if you are not sure of that, or if you wish to enter into a new relationship, we understand the real possibility of danger that gives rise to your fears.

Evaluation of epidemiologic information about AIDS suggests that women currently in the perimenopausal or postmenopausal years show an extremely low incidence of AIDS. This finding may apply to the group as a whole, but how do you interpret it as an individual? With great caution!

Because men and women are both fearful of AIDS, they are willing to talk about it. Communication between you and your partner-to-be is of paramount importance. You need to discuss your sexuality and sexual history and raise the question of a meaningful, honest, one-to-one relationship that you hope will last, at least for a while. Allow your relationship to develop, and when sexual activity becomes a possibil­ity, do not hesitate to discuss your fear of AIDS.

The simplest way to be sure that your partner is not going to infect you is for both of you to have an AIDS screening test. It does put an end to spontaneous first-time sex. But, if it is going to reassure you as you develop a longstanding monogamous relationship, then have the test done. The chances of receiving a positive result are very low; the chances of reassuring you are extremely high.

Without AIDS testing, and the knowledge that your partner is going to remain faithful to you alone, there are other steps that should be used in all future sexual encounters. Safer sex will not only help prevent exposure to AIDS but will help safeguard you against the whole range of so-called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Safer sex allows all your usual activities and feelings, as long as there is no exchange of body fluids. It essentially means using condoms during vaginal and oral sex with any partner that has not been proven to be free and clear of AIDS, and avoiding direct contact with any body fluids.

This new sexual environment places a new and heavy responsibility on you. Only you can ask the right questions of your potential sexual partner. And you must ask! Your health and your life may depend on it. Otherwise, your only alternative at this time is to choose celibacy, which may not be your preference. We suggest that you ask the right questions, insist on honest and open answers, and only then permit the relationship to move forward sexually.

Menopausal Dressing – Tips and Advice

Hems go up and hems go down, but yours do not need to move, providing you have found a length the flatters you. Pants went in and out of fashion many times; today they seemed destined to be part of a woman’s wardrobe forever. Now they simply swing from sleek to wide like a pendulum. All women like to adopt what is in style and to be fashionable, but if it isn’t right for you, our best advice is don’t do it.

Well, a role demands a few costume changes that, in every instance, complement the role. An artist dresses differently from an accountant; a home-maker dresses differently from a hard hat. In every case, it is important to determine what you want to look like and what flatters you. Have style; don’t be trendy. Style can be defined as your look that never goes in or out of fashion; trend is what you learn is in or out and follow when you have not selected your own style.

A stylish woman, at midlife or at any time in life, makes a strong statement about herself. She defines how she sees herself and how she wishes to be seen. It works for her as long as she does not pick a style that is out of sync with her physical frame or her age. When we try to adopt an unflattering look, we will often be uncomfortable with it. So go to your closet. Put together all the clothes that you live in and put them on one end of the rod. Take all the things you bought that you never wear (excluding dressy things for rare occasions). The group of clothing that you wear all the time consists of those that help to define your role. Study them carefully. Take an extra minute to consider each piece and whether you like yourself in it. Then add to them or subtract from them according to wear and tear, but learn to know them as your comfort-level clothing. If you do, then they are your style. Now, study the group of seldom-worn clothes and realize your mistakes.

If you still feel confused, visit a department store and meet with the personal shopper. Most stores offer this valuable service at no charge, and you will probably find out a lot about what you like, what looks best on you, and what goes with what. Remember, too, that just as you may want to change your cosmetic color palette, or your hair color, you may also want to consider whether the colors that you choose in clothing are still the best colors for you.

Figuring out your style should be an enjoyable experience, and one that will add to your confidence when you are choosing what to buy or what to wear. If an outfit “isn’t you,” forget about buying it, because ultimately you will not wear it. Mostly, have fun deciding your role and costuming it.