Approximately 25 to 46 percent of postmenopausal women experience pain during intercourse. This condition is referred to as dyspareunia, which is most commonly caused by vulvovaginal atrophy, a condition where your vaginal area experiences a lower presence of estrogen.
As women experience menopause, estrogen production decreases, which lessens blood flow to the vagina. This causes the vagina and vulva to shrink and atrophy. Penetration during intercouse can create dryness, a burning sensation, soreness, and even bleeding during and after sex.
One natural way to reduce vulvovaginal atrophy during menopause is to have more sex. Sexual activity increases blood flow to the vaginal area, which naturally keeps your vagina and vulva healthy.
Of course, this isn’t always a good solution due to extensive atrophy already occurring. For women experiencing noticeable pain during intercourse throughout menopause, there are several treatment options to consider.
Vaginal Moisturizers and Lubricants
Over-the-counter moisturizers and lubricants are known to relieve discomfort during intercourse. (Everyday Health) Some lubricants do have cooling solutions to help reduce any burning sensations. As always, be careful when using any moisturizer or lubricant to see how your body reacts to application. If there is any sign of allergic reaction, it’s best to choose another product.
Experiment to maintain sexual desire
Many women find a decreased interest in sex as they age, often correlating with an uncertainty and discomfort due to menopausal hormones affecting their body. Decreased sexual desire in addition to pain during intercourse is enough for any woman to lose interest altogether.
However, an active sex life can help soften your hormone changes throughout menopause. (North American Menopause Society) Changing your appearance, experimenting new sexual activities with your partner, self-stimulating, and having honest, engaging, and romantic experiences with your partner are all known ways to help promote a healthy sex life throughout menopause.
The most effective treatment for dyspareunia in postmenopausal women is estrogen hormone therapy. Systemic estrogens in pills and patches have shown exceptional improvement in the sex lives of postmenopausal women. Local estrogen treatment, such as vaginal rings, creams, and topical tablets are also excellent treatment options with a reported 93% of postmenopausal women reporting noticeable improvement.
Our ReVital care team can help you learn how both systemic and local estrogen treatments can help improve your comfort during sex throughout menopause. We created a FREE eBook available here to help you understand our different types of hormone therapy for women. Download your FREE eBook today and schedule your next appointment with our ReVital team.