By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: October 17, 2018
I collaborated with AMAG Pharmaceuticals to develop this post to educate women about painful sex due to menopause through the PAINFULLY AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS campaign. All opinions are my own.
Sex can sizzle after menopause – it doesn’t have to fizzle! It should and can remain pleasurable at any age!
Sex plays an important role in our lives and has positive health benefits. It decreases our stress levels; improves our sleep and relaxation (what a great way to overcome insomnia!); it helps with losing weight (sex burns about 150 calories every half hour-so say goodbye to those “quickies”); it also increases our longevity (it slows the aging process, enabling us to stay younger). So with all these positives, why should women want to give up one of life’s most pleasurable pastimes?
Sizzle or Fizzle…Sex During Menopause
Feeling the Fizzle? Changes and Symptoms of Menopause
It’s important for women to understand what to expect when menopause arrives and how to manage its course. Some women have symptoms which are mild and easily tolerated. Unfortunately, for others, hot flashes, mood swings, poor sleep, vaginal dryness and painful sex become intolerable. These changes greatly influence “life between the sheets” and bring about sexual challenges that many women aren’t prepared for.
Pain during sex, along with vaginal dryness and other discomforting symptoms like loss of vaginal tissue, lubrication, and flexibility, is a common problem experienced by postmenopausal women due VVA, or vulvar and vaginal atrophy. In fact, millions of women in the U.S. aren’t enjoying sex because of the pain or discomfort with sexual intercourse that result from the changes in our bodies that happen after menopause.
The Sexual Sahara
VVA symptoms, like painful sex will not get better without treatment, and can often get worse. For some women, sex becomes mission impossible and as a result they flatline sex. This creates a sexual Sahara (sexual dry spells) in their relationship.
There is a definite gap in women’s knowledge about both the symptoms and treatment of painful sex. Women need to be better informed about this prevalent issue. Vaginal dryness occurs around the time of menopause and may lead to discomfort, itching and pain during sex. Over time, the vagina mucosa becomes thinner and leads to vaginal atrophy. These changes are driven by the decrease in sexual hormones that start at the time of menopause. Left untreated, the symptoms worsen and impact quality of life and sexuality.
That’s why I was so excited to partner with AMAG Pharmaceuticals on their PAINFULLY AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS campaign to help bridge the gap and educate women on this common and treatable condition. Take a look at how Emmy nominated actress Cheryl Hines and her friends discuss painful sex due to menopause and see that you’re not alone.
More details about this issue are available at the PAINFULLY AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS campaign website, www.pausesexpain.com. Learn more and educate yourself on painful sex due to menopause. Also, learn how to feel comfortable discussing this condition with your healthcare provider.
Don’t be embarrassed to discuss your changes and communicate your needs with your partner. You will be surprised to find that the challenges you face at menopause may open up new sexual dimensions. Remember, sex is not an exclusive birthright only for the young. It may need cultivating, a wee bit more at menopause, but it should last a lifetime.
Treasure it and Respect It.
Overall, even after menopause women can enjoy sexual intimacy if they have the knowledge to recognize the symptoms associated with painful sex and they can clearly communicate their needs with their healthcare provider.