While sexual encounters can bring much pleasure to women, studies show that 25 to 45 percent of women post-menopause say that they have experienced pain during sex, according to Healthline.com. Even though these women often try to avoid intercourse in these situations, this could greatly affect the health of their relationships. Millions of women tend to suffer quietly about such issues. Before finding a solution to the problem, it is important to know the causes behind painful intercourse menopause.
Vestibulodynia is a chronic pain syndrome that leads to discomfort when the vagina is touched or experiences pressure. Additionally, millions of women also have psychological aspects associated with this condition, especially with those who associate the vagina with pain or fear. Whether or not, a woman in menopause can identify any psychological cause or effect with this condition, it is necessary to get properly examined as early as possible to reduce side effects, which may include other sexual conditions, such as Vulvodynia and Vaginismus.
Additional Causes and Effects
During menopause, many women over 50 will experience painful intercourse menopause as a result of hormonal changes, nerve conditions, anxiety, depression and various diseases. It should also be noted that a decline in estrogen production can create a thin vaginal tissue, which can lead to dryness, burning sensations and pain. In addition, painful intercourse menopause can result in a non-menopause-specific condition called Vulvodynia, which is chronic discomfort around the vulva. There is usually no way to identify the root of Vulvodynia but its symptoms include burning and dryness in the vagina. This condition can last for a long time or may disappear after three months. Another condition which may result from painful intercourse is Vaginismus, which is an involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles.
Treatment for Painful Intercourse During and Post Menopause
For those who are experiencing painful intercourse menopause, there are various treatment options, such as pelvic floor physical therapy, low-dose vaginal estrogen, counseling and self-care.
• Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: this technique includes a gentle massage and pressure to relax and stretch tightening tissues in the pelvic area. Middle-aged women are taught exercises that will strengthen pelvic floor muscles as women who are in menopause often have weakened pelvic floors as a result of aging, hormonal changes or childbirth.
• Low-Dose Vaginal Estrogen: this treatment is the standard treatment for painful vaginal changes among women during menopause; it is known to help with Vestibulodynia and other vulvar problems. Typically, vaginal estrogen has much less side effects than estrogen in the form of tablets.
• Taking Care of Yourself: pain during menopause can also be treated with consistent self-care practices. For example, using mild, non-perfume soap and plain water before patting dry the vaginal area. Also, it is advised to not douche or take bubble baths. Instead of wearing tight underwear, use cotton underwear that allows your vaginal area to breathe.
• Talk to Someone: for those suffering with painful sex during menopause, it is important to also seek professional help from a therapist who can help address any feelings of anxiety, fear and stress. It will also help with addressing poor communication with your partner.
If women experiencing painful intercourse menopause does not seek immediate help, the soreness in their vagina may continue to worsen. Without treatment, the inflammation from sex without sufficient vaginal lubrication can lead to tearing of vaginal tissues during intercourse. This can result in bleeding. In order to prevent this condition from worsening, it is imperative to seek immediate medical and psychological advice.