At a certain age, all women go through the menopausal transition. This transition comes with a number of side effects and symptoms, one of which is vaginal dryness. While vaginal dryness can be caused by a variety of things, the majority of women over forty experience it during menopause. This can lead to painful sex, as there is a lack of lubrication in the vagina, and eventually to a loss of libido. However, there are ways to help revitalize your sex life.
Vaginal dryness is caused by inflammation and thinning of the vaginal walls. In general, this is caused by a decline in estrogen, leading to a hormonal imbalance. While suffering from this symptom, lack of lubrication can cause sex to become painful and harmful.
Know the symptoms
Symptoms of vaginal dryness include: a burning sensation, itching, irritation, frequent urination, soreness, painful intercourse, and bleeding during sex. If your partner is experiencing these, then it can be harmful for her to have have sex without lubrication or treatment. It's important for the two of you to search for a solution together.
Adding more foreplay can help with vaginal dryness. Arousal increases the blood flow to the vaginal region, which creates more lubrication to alleviate dryness.
Suggest using lubrication to make sex smoother and more comfortable. Water based lubricants are usually preferred, as they don't dissolve condoms.
Suggest going to see a doctor
While any sexual issue can be an awkward topic to raise with your doctor, vaginal dryness is not something that should be left untreated. A doctor will be able to offer advice on lubrications, estrogen creams and menopause in general.
More Information about Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness can have many causes and symptoms, although the primary one is hormone fluctuations caused by menopause. While this can be an awkward symptom for you and your wife to talk about, its not something that you can leave alone, and its best to seek treatment.
Click on the following link for more information about how to deal with vaginal dryness.
- "Vaginal Dryness". Mayo Clinic Health Resource. 2007
- "Vulvovaginal Symptoms". The Changing Body: Menopause Handbook. www.menopause.org
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.