Following menopause and due to hormonal changes, many women experience Dyspareunia (painful intercourse). With this drop in estrogen, the tissues in the vagina and surrounding area become thinner and dryer. This condition is known as Vulvovaginal Atrophy or VVA and is the most common form of painful sex (dyspareunia) in women over 50. In addition to dryness, during post-menopause sex, many women experience sexual pain, tightness and an uncomfortable burning sensation.Studies show that approximately 50% of post-menopausal women will experience VVA related symptoms, such as:
- Vaginal dryness
- Painful intercourse (Dyspareunia)
- Trouble with urination
- Inflamed tissues
Although experiencing all this discomfort, women frequently do not report their vaginal symptoms and go untreated. Without treatment or frequent comfortable sexual activity, many women begin a cycle of painful sex and become afraid of vaginal pain. This can trigger performance anxiety and possible Pelvic Floor Myalgia (involuntary tightening of the women’s pelvic floor). The regular use of vaginal dilators can be helpful.
Did you know?
- During menopause a woman’s body slowly makes less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone
- The average age of US women at menopause is 51
- Approximately 4,900 women enter menopause each day in the US
- Many women will spend up to 40% of their lives in the postmenopausal stage
- Women who smoke tend to experience menopause around 2 years earlier than non-smokers
- Approximately 55% women going through menopause don’t seek counseling or do anything at all to treat symptoms.