Menopause symptoms are commonly thought of as hot flashes and night sweats, but one of the most common and often most uncomfortable is vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is caused by decreased moisture levels in the vagina and can lead to itching, discomfort, and pain during sex. Recurring pain during sex can cause a person's libido to decrease and can have a negative impact on their sex life and overall well-being.
Getting Your Libido Back
Vaginal dryness and ensuing loss of libido can cause tension in relationships and increase a woman's stress levels. However, if you're suffering from vaginal dryness, there are ways to recover your libido and improve relations with your partner.
Try using a vaginal lubricant to make sex less painful. A vaginal lubricant is used before and during sex and is applied to the genitals in order to reduce friction during sex. Lubricant is not absorbed into the body.
Another option is vaginal moisturizer, which is applied to the vagina on a regular basis and is absorbed into the vagina. This helps increase the moisture level in the vagina over time. Vaginal moisturizer can also come with hormone replacement therapy. This is a prescription that comes in several different forms, and when applied to the vagina, is an effective way to reduce vaginal dryness.
Treating vaginal dryness shouldn't be embarrassing, and it doesn't have to be a chore. Try a fun new lube, buy yourself some lingerie, go to a sex store with your partner and see what you find. Having a positive body image and feeling happy with your appearance are important in regaining sex drive and enjoying yourself in the bedroom.
While having penile-vaginal sex may be painful, there is more than one way to have sex. Try masturbating, using a vibrator, having you and your partner touch each other, or oral sex. All of these ways can help increase sex drive and increase blood flow to the vagina, in turn increasing vaginal moisture.
In addition to positive mental health and water-based lubricants, certain medications can also help treat vaginal dryness. Talk to your doctor for more information if lifestyle changes alone aren't enough. Click on the following link to learn more about vaginal dryness treatments.
- Bachmann, G.A. & Nevadunsky, N.S. (2000). Diagnosis and Treatment of Atrophic Vaginitis. American Family Physician, 61, 3090-3096. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0515/p3090.html
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013). Vaginal Atrophy. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vaginal-atrophy/basics/definition/con-20025768