Painful Intercourse after Menopause.
Menopause is a stage in the life of a woman when she stops releasing eggs from her ovaries. This is also associated with reduced production hormones. Most women typically experience menopause in their late forties or early fifties, though some may experience it earlier or later in life. Symptoms of menopause arise due to the decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone in the bloodstream; some symptoms are hot flashes, mood changes, insomnia, loss of skin tone, and painful intercourse.
Vaginal walls become thin after menopause. Vaginal dryness occurs due to decreased lubrication. Dyspareunia is painful intercourse. Also half of all women have painful intercourse after menopause. It is advisable to see a physician if there is a suspicion of dyspareunia because this condition can be due to multiple causes; further testing may be necessary to determine the cause.
There are several remedies available for women suffering from dyspareunia. Some of these include:
- Vaginal Laser Treatments with lasers such as the FemTouch and the Mona Lisa.
- Vaginal estrogen: This is a major remedy for dyspareunia due to menopause. They can be applied locally as creams, tablets or as a ring. The estrogen serves to reverse vaginal atrophy and increase lubrication
- Lubricants and moisturizers: These are typically nonhormonal and can be applied prior to sexual intercourse so as to minimize friction.
- Improved self-care: Vulvar care should be gentle and frequent. Mild soap should be used to wash; bubble baths, douches, or other substances that may dry out the vagina should be avoided.
Living with dyspareunia can pose a lot of stress in postmenopausal women. At First Care Family Practice, we have providers on hand able to manage all your menopausal issues including dyspareunia. We have the FemTouch laser which can treat painful intercourse. For more information on how to see any of our providers, contact us.