Painful Sex After Menopause: Causes and Solutions

There are a number of different components that may additionally contribute to dyspareunia amongst menopausal women. The hormonal modifications alter acidity levels of the vagina, Dr. Streicher mentioned, which may result in recurrent urinary tract infections amongst menopausal women, creating discomfort within the space whether or not or not they’re having intercourse. And some frequent health situations amongst older individuals, like diabetes or heart problems, may dry out the vagina, she added.

It all is determined by the diploma of modifications to the vaginal space, Dr. Streicher mentioned, and the most secure option to decide what therapy you want is by in search of out an knowledgeable who will do an intensive examination. “There’s a big difference between ‘Oh, you know, I’m not as wet as I usually am’ versus it is so dry, so tight and so thin that the tissue literally splits.”

Here are just a few of the therapy choices:

Lubricants: This is a fast and straightforward answer for women who are suffering solely from dryness. Dr. Streicher recommends warming the lubricant as a result of “cold is a vasoconstrictor, which will make you have even less natural lubrication, whereas heat is a vasodilator and will help the muscles relax,” she mentioned. One choice is inserting a bottle of lubricant in a bowl of sizzling water for a couple of minutes earlier than use.

Vaginal moisturizers: These lotions and gels may be discovered over-the-counter. “What they actually do is increase water content in vaginal mucosal cells — the ones that are lining the wall,” Dr. Streicher mentioned, serving to restore their elasticity and lubrication, although they can be useful for many who have ache within the vestibule. Some moisturizers may assist decrease vaginal pH ranges, she mentioned. Beware that many lubricants market themselves as moisturizers; the distinction is {that a} moisturizer can have directions to use it contained in the vagina frequently, Dr. Streicher mentioned, whereas a lubricant ought to be used throughout intercourse.

Estrogen lotions: Studies have repeatedly discovered that this prescription choice is extremely efficient at reducing pain, together with within the vestibule space. They are usually low-dose, localized and come in several formulations that your physician might help you select amongst.

Lidocaine: This is an unconventional prescription choice that Dr. Goetsch has advisable for a lot of of her sufferers, notably those that can’t use hormones, like breast most cancers survivors. Liquid lidocaine is an anesthetic that numbs the nerve endings of the vestibule. In a small randomized trial in women with dyspareunia, lidocaine diminished ache considerably throughout intimacy for many contributors, Dr. Goetsch mentioned, and women who had intercourse whereas utilizing lidocaine not often reported residual ache after the anesthetic wore off. And, Dr. Goetsch added, software of liquid lidocaine didn’t numb the associate.

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