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Does Menopause Cause Pain During Intercourse

Sex And Menopause: Treatment For Symptoms

Menopause and You: Painful Intercourse

Some women have vaginal dryness when their bodies experience the menopausal transition. This can make sex painful. Women may also experience a tightening of the vaginal opening, burning, itching, and dryness . Fortunately, there are options for women to address these issues. Talk with your doctorhe or she can suggest treatment options.

Talking To Your Doctor

Dont wait to seek help for pain. Most menopause-related pain can be reduced or eliminated with at-home remedies, medical treatment, or lifestyle changes.

The type of discomfort you have may determine what type of doctor you see. You may want to start with your gynecologist.

A good way to prepare for an appointment is by writing down your symptoms. The more specific you are, the better. For example, are your headaches on one side of your head, or all over? Are you able to tell if the pain you feel during intercourse is within the vagina, or in your vulva? The more detail about the pain you feel, the better armed your doctor will be to analyze your symptoms and help treat them.

Your doctor will give you a blood test to determine your hormone levels. You may also get tested for hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This condition presents many symptoms similar to those of menopause.

Pain, discomfort, and other symptoms of menopause can be treated different ways. Pain-reducing treatments include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication, such as NSAIDs may help with joint pain, or with headache.
  • Ice packs can help reduce knee and lower back pain.
  • Dietary supplements, such as evening primrose oil, may help reduce breast tenderness.

Talk to your doctor before you begin at-home treatments, to determine the benefits vs. the risks for you.

Painful intercourse can diminish your quality of life if left untreated. Some treatments include:

Will Foreplay Change Things

Intensifying and normalizing foreplay during menopause is a great way to get a better sex life and achieve orgasm through this horrendous time of a womans life.

If you communicate to your partner and he or she does contribute to sex the way you need them to, the uterine walls will get wet quicker. That means that insertion wont hurt as much as it did before.

Other additives can help, too, but I find that sticking with the natural option first is the best way to go.

You always have to be honest and see what works for you, though.

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Painful Sex And Vaginal Dryness

Sexual intimacy is supposed to be an enjoyable experience that brings you and your partner closer together. But when sex becomes painful, it can have a major impact on your life and your relationship.

An estimated three in four women experience frequent pain during sex at some point in their lives, often the following menopause. Some women only experience pain during penetration, while others experience deep pain with each thrust. In some cases, throbbing or burning pain sensations emerge slowly and continue long after intercourse has ended. ;;

Although a variety of factors can contribute to the development of dyspareunia, the problem is most common during and after menopause, when reproductive hormone imbalances are more likely to interfere with your bodys sexual response, weaken your vaginal tissues, and decrease your normal lubrication.

Pain During Intercourse Or Penetration

Does Menopause Cause Pelvic Pain Pyometra Treatment ...

Vaginal penetration that you desire typically doesnt hurt, especially if you and your partner ensure that you are stimulated enough;to be fully aroused.

Yet sometimes;discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse or penetration may occur, even when it seems like your body is ready. If penetration is at all painful during sex, find out;what the cause is and what can be done about;it. A gynecologist can help to determine if theres an underlying;physical cause and advise on treatment.

The following situations and conditions can contribute to or cause pain during intercourse or other forms of penetration.

Sexual Intercourse or Penetration for the First Time

The first few times you have intercourse or experience vaginal penetration, you may feel a small to moderate amount of pain at the entrance to the vagina. There can be some bleeding or no bleeding at allboth are normal.The reasons for the pain are not always clear, but it is typically temporary.

An unstretched hymen has typically been blamed for this pain at first penetration, but new understandings of the hymen suggest otherwise.

Insufficient lubrication

In most women, the wall of the vagina responds to arousal by producing a liquid that moistens the vagina and its entrance, making penetration easier. Sometimes there isnt enough lubrication; you may need;more time for stimulation, or you may be nervous or tense.

Local infection

Vulvodynia

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Your Vagina: Use It Or Lose It

Believe it or not, staying sexually active in menopause helps maintain a healthy vagina.

Regular sexual activity actually increases blood flow to your vaginal tissues. This increase in blood flow helps to promote vaginal health and maintain some of the elasticity and thickness of the vagina. And, you shouldn’t be afraid to take things into your own hands, literally. Direct clitoral stimulation through masturbation or use of a vibrator is an excellent way to encourage blood flow.

Even if you are taking a break from having sex, you need to maintain your vaginal health. When it comes to your vagina you really do need to use it or you will lose it.

What Role Does Alcohol Play

Alcohol, in large doses, can actually decrease your libido. A decrease in your libido, more than what its already declined, is not what you want to do to your body through menopause.

However, it doesnt hurt to drink a glass of red or white wine every now and again.

Its been known that alcohol can play a large role in both male and female sex life throughout life. It shouldnt come as a shock to us that it gets worse as our menopause age goes up.

Limit the alcohol intake if youre trying to maintain a healthy sex life; thats all there is to it.

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What Causes Painful Intercourse

Pain during intercourse is one of the most common causes of problems of sexual dysfunction. The prevalence of such pain seems to be increasing over time. Possible reasons for this apparent increased prevalence include the following:

Vaginal Changes Around Menopause

Menopause and Painful Intercourse – What you can do about it – Naturally!

Before menopause, estrogen keeps the vagina lubricated and maintains its elasticity. The linings thickness folds allow it to stretch with sexual intercourse and childbirth.;

With the significant drop in estrogen levels after menopause, the vagina often becomes thin, dry, and less elastic. This condition is medically known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy.;

People who develop this condition may experience vaginal soreness, itching in and around the vagina, vaginal dryness and irritation, tightening or shortening of the vagina, urinary symptoms, vaginal discharge, chafing and burning, inflammation of the walls of the vagina, decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity, and/or more frequent yeast infections and urinary tract infections . All these symptoms can also cause pain and bleeding during sexual intercourse or vaginal penetration .;

Before menopause, the vagina is naturally acidic, but after menopause it becomes more alkaline, increasing the chance of UTIs. Low estrogen levels result in more UTIs and vaginitis in postmenopausal people.

For some people who experience discomfort with menopause, the desire for sexual intercourse declines. Vaginal symptoms can also contribute to changes in sex drive.;

In summary, vaginal changes around menopause vary from person to person. Often, they can include these signs:

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How To End Painful Sex And Dryness During Menopause

Menopause happens. It is inevitable.

At some point in your 40s or 50s, your period will stop and your reproductive hormone levels will drop. This drop in hormone levels causes changes in your body. Some of these;changes are silent like bone loss. Other changes are more obvious and symptomatic like hot flashes. Lying somewhere in between these two extremes are the changes that happen below your belt.

Although menopause;causes changes to your vulva, vagina,;urethra, and bladder that cause you significant discomfort and distress, you may not feel comfortable talking about it. And worse, your doctor may not ask you.

The symptoms associated with the changes of menopause in these parts of your body are collectively called the genitourinary syndrome of menopause . The evidence suggests that up to 50 percent of menopausal women experience GSM although this number is likely higher due to underreporting.

Can A Woman Orgasm After Menopause

When we go through menopause, one of our very first concerns is whether or not well be able to have a menopause orgasm afterward.

With low hormone levels, a decrease in libido, and a number of other contributing factors, you cant blame us for worrying.

Sex is a big part of life, and a big part of our relationship with our partner. Life after menopause isnt meant to be sexless.

To ease your overthinking mind early on, the answer to the question is yes, you can orgasm after menopause.

Its not necessarily an easy ride, though. You have to work for it, know what to and what not to do, etc. Your partner also has to be patient with you and not put any additional stress on the situation.

Be mindful of alcohol, depression, anxiety, emotional strain on a relationship, and lack of desire to have sex, as they may make it more difficult to experience a menopause orgasm. On the other hand, try masturbation, lubricants, vibrators, and foreplay.

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Read more about Menopause

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Try A Vaginal Lubricant

A vaginal lubricant is possibly the easiest way to elevate painful intercourse after menopause and ensure pleasure in the bedroom.;

Best used before and after sex, they can help make your intimate experiences pleasurable and free of discomfort.;

Finding the right formula and brand may require some trial and error, particularly if its your first time experimenting with lubes.;

A few words of caution:;

  • Its important to use proper lubricants and not resort to products like petroleum jelly, body lotion, or baby oil. These can irritate your skin and increase vaginal infections due to the harmful chemicals found in them.
  • Before shopping your choice of lube , be sure to do a patch test before applying the lubricants to sensitive areas.

Heres everything you need to know:

There are three types of lube: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based lubes.

Painful Sex Due To Vaginal Atrophy

Pain During Sex Treatment

    Recurrent or persistent pain with sexual activity that is perceived as a personal cause of distress affects an estimated 10-20% of women in the US. Discomfort during or after sex can significantly alter a woman’s perspective and perceptions about her sexuality, as well as negatively impact her body image, mental and physical health, create intimacy issues between her and her partner and impact efforts to conceive when pregnancy is desired.

    Most common cause for painful sex around or after menopause is Vaginal Atrophy.

    Painful sex that develops later in life – during peri-menopause or after menopause is very bothersome and it is caused by vaginal atrophy and/or vaginal dryness.;

    For women who do not wish to or cannot use hormone replacement therapy Monalisa Touch Laser therapy guarantees results and significant improvement and resolution of vaginal dryness and atrophy.

    Usually, 3 treatments sessions are required and they are scheduled 6-8 weeks apart. Depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the condition more treatments might be required to achieve goasl. An annual maintenance single session therapy is usually needed to maintain vaginal health and it is usually scheduled at 6 – 12 months depending on the age of the patient and the severity of her condition.;

    The Monalisa Touch procedure is not currently covered by Medicare or other insurance companies. The cost varies depending on whether you wish to pay each treatment as you go or select a prepaid package.;

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    When To Seek Medical Care For Painful Intercourse

    A woman should always consult a health care professional if she is experiencing new or worsening pain, bleeding, or discharge following intercourse.

    Pain related to intercourse is a condition most appropriately checked by a primary health care professional or a women’s health specialist . Other specialists, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or a urologist, may also be consulted depending on the underlying cause.

    Pain during intercourse is generally not an emergency. A woman should seek care in a hospital’s emergency department if she experiences any of the following symptoms:

    • New onset of pain or pain more severe than previous episodes and that lasts more than just a few minutes
    • Bleeding following pain, particularly new onset or severe pain

    Tips For Talking To Your Doctor About Vaginal Dryness

    Discussing vaginal dryness with a healthcare professional can be daunting however it is often well worth it as they will be able to help. Here are a few tips to make the discussion as easy as possible:

    • Make a list of what you want to discuss
    • Discuss the most important or most difficult questions first
    • Write down what the doctor tells you
    • If there is anything that you dont understand, ask for clarification
    • If you feel embarrassed take along some information with you. It can be difficult to discuss embarrassing problems face to face, but if you find information on the internet about your symptoms you can use this to help explain and avoid having to make eye contact with your HCP whilst discussing the problem
    • If you still feel unable to discuss the subject, write it all down and hand it to the HCP
    • Dont wait to be asked, give the HCP any information that you may feel is relevant including a history of the condition, symptoms, the impact they are having on you, any lifestyle factors that may have contributed and any medication you are taking
    • Many women find that their smears become more difficult, if this is the case, speak to the nurse about your symptoms and ask for some further information and advice about vaginal dryness.

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    Menopause And Your Urinary Tract

    It has been debated whether the changes in a woman’s urinary tract with age are due to menopause and the lack of estrogen, or instead related to the aging process alone. We do know, however, that the bladder is loaded with estrogen receptors, so the reduction of estrogen that happens in menopause probably doesn’t help.

    With age, the bladder begins to lose both its volume and its elasticity, and it’s normal to have to go to the bathroom more frequently. As the bacteria concentration in your genital region increases your urethra may thin, allowing bacteria easier access to your bladder. For these reasons, urinary tract infections are more common as women age. This risk begins to increase within four or five years of your final menstrual period.

    The bladder also begins to thin, leaving women more susceptible to incontinence, particularly if certain chronic illnesses or recurrent urinary tract infections are also present.

    The pelvic muscles weaken as you age. You may find that exercise, coughing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or performing any other movement that puts pressure on the bladder can cause small amounts of urine to leak. Lack of regular physical exercise may also contribute to this condition.

    When To See A Doctor

    Why does intercourse hurt?

    If lubricants and vaginal moisturizers donât give you enough relief, make an appointment with your gynecologist or OB/GYN.

    Lauren Streicher, MD, clinical professor, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Northwestern University School of Medicine; founder and director, Northwestern Medicine Center for Menopause, Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Health.

    Kathleen Green, MD, assistant professor, department of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Florida College of Medicine.

    Alyssa Dweck, MD, gynecologist, CareMount Medical Group; medical consultant, Massachusetts General Hospital.

    Laurie Mintz, PhD, sexual psychologist; professor, department of psychology, University of Florida.

    Ellen Barnard, MSW, certified sexuality educator; co-owner, A Womanâs Touch Sexuality Resource Center, Madison, WI.

    The North American Menopause Society: âPain with Penetration,â âIllness, Medical Problems, Medications,â âPain in the Vulva or Pelvis,â âSex Therapy and Counseling.â

    Pain Research and Management: âDyspareunia in postmenopausal women: A critical review.â

    Harvard Health Publishing: âManaging postmenopausal vaginal atrophy,â âPostmenopausal bleeding: Donât worry â but do call your doctor.â

    Mayo Clinic Proceedings: âRecognition and Management of Nonrelaxing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.â

    UpToDate: âPatient education: Vaginal dryness .â

    Mayo Clinic: âWomenâs Wellness: Painful sex after menopause.â

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    Bacterial And Yeast Infections

    Bacterial and yeast infections are among the most common and best-known problems capable of causing painful intercourse. These infections include bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and cervicitis, which is an infected and inflamed cervix. Of these, a yeast infection is most likely to cause painful sex.

    As you can see, there are many possible reasons for painful intercourse before menopause. The good news is that we can help treat all of them: Call Fred A. Williams, MD, or book an appointment online.

    How Can You Prevent Dyspareunia Occurring

    To prevent painful sex depends on the potential cause. There are things you can do to help prevent some causes of painful sex including:

    • Increase foreplay to increase natural lubrication
    • Use oestrogen preparations if you are postmenopausal and it is appropriate
    • Use water-based lubricants, or olive oil
    • Practise safe sex to prevent the STIs which may cause dyspareunia

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    Speak To Your Healthcare Professional

    You must speak to your doctor or healthcare professional about your pain and sexual health. The doctor will ask you a few questions about your medical history, sexual relationships, when the pain began, if you have vaginal bleeding, and more.;

    If you have severe pain, be sure to explain when this happens and all your vaginal symptoms.; There will also very likely be a pelvic and genital examination to determine where the pain is coming from.

    All this will help him determine the cause and if you require specialist treatment.

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