Throughout the menopausal transition, a decline in estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness and atrophy, causing vaginal walls to become thinner, drier, and more fragile, thus making vaginal intercourse extremely unenjoyable. Fortunately, help isn't far from reach.
Continue reading to find out how to enjoy sex when suffering from vaginal dryness to get back in the groove.
Lubricant is applied before intercourse in order to reduce friction that happens during sex. This can help make sex more enjoyable for both parties involved. Water-based lubricants are usually recommended because other types of lubricants can cause condoms to break and raise the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. A study has found that chamomile vaginal gel is as effective in relieving painful intercourse as estrogen gel.
Consider other types of arousal
Arousal can encourage blood flow to the vagina, which can, in turn, increase natural vaginal wetness. Aside from sex, other types of stimulation or masturbation can also be beneficial as they help the vagina produce its own lubrication. Using a vibrator or doing more foreplay can also help reduce dryness.
Talk to your partner
Be open with your partner about how you are feeling and what is happening with you during this time of hormonal flux. The more you understand each other, the more you will be able to figure out how to best approach the situation for mutual respect and understanding. Try to be supportive and understanding of each other, and speak through best treatment and management options for both.
Consider hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective - yet one of the riskiest - treatments for menopausal women experiencing vaginal dryness. HRT can be applied vaginally in the form of a suppository or cream in order to directly target vaginal dryness. Speak with your doctor about the various HRT options before you decide if it is right for you.
Treating Vaginal Dryness
Even though these years mark the end of your reproductivity, it does not mean that they also have to mean the end of sexual pleasure. While many of the aforementioned tips will help manage vaginal dryness, the most effective way to be able to enjoy intercourse again during menopause is by treating the underlying cause safely and effectively. Find out more vaginal dryness treatments, and get back to pleasurable sex once more.
- Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. (2020). Evaluation of the influence of chamomile vaginal gel on dyspareunia and sexual satisfaction in postmenopausal women: A randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508318/
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Vaginal dryness after menopause: How to treat it? Retrieved October 19, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/vaginal-dryness-after-menopause/expert-answers/faq-20115086
- The North American Menopause Society. (2008). Vaginal and Vulvar Comfort: Lubricants, Moisturizers, and Low-dose Vaginal Estrogen. Retrieved October 19, 2018, from http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/vaginal-and-vulvar-comfort-lubricants-moisturizers-and-low-dose-vaginal-estrogen