AMS Vulvovaginal symptoms after menopause This Information Sheet may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members and other health professionals for clinical practice is permissible.
Vaginal dryness can be a problem for many postmenopausal women. Vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause, also known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy. With this condition, vaginal tissues become thinner and more easily irritated — resulting from the natural decline in your body's estrogen levels during menopause.
Back to Health A to Z. Vaginal dryness is a common problem that many women have at some point in their lives. But there are things that can help.
Once you reach middle age, sex may not feel as good as it once did. Thinning vaginal tissues and dryness due to a lack of estrogen in menopause can make intimacy uncomfortable, or even painful. If vaginal dryness is mild or it only bothers you during sex, try a gel or liquid lubricant. Lubricants work quickly, and they offer short-term relief from pain and dryness during sex.
The hormone fluctuations that begin in perimenopause bring about many physical changes. Similarly, regular sexual activity helps maintain vaginal flexibility and pliability, presumably because it increases blood supply to the vagina and can also have a stretching effect. Penetration may be uncomfortable or even painful, and can lead to irritation.
Vaginal dryness is a common problem experienced by up to one in three women, particularly those who are going through menopause or those who experience early menopause symptoms. The female sex hormone oestrogen is responsible for maintaining your natural lubricant. When your oestrogen levels decrease you are more likely to experience vaginal dryness.
The dryness occurs as a result of hormonal changes that are a natural part of menopause and can cause discomfort and pain, particularly during sexual intercourse. While there are a number of treatments available on the market, most contain hormones or chemicals that can be irritating to your delicate tissues. Vaginal dryness is one of the most common symptoms of menopause and its onset can be fairly sudden at any stage of the menopause.
SWAN data demonstrate lack of communication when it comes to vaginal itching and burning that occurs during the menopause transition, but few women are taking action to correct the problem. It's a common problem that only gets worse during the menopause transition; yet, no one wants to talk about it, and even fewer women are doing anything to correct it. A study identifies those factors that contribute to the taboo problem of vaginal dryness.
This may occur naturally or as a result of the ovaries being removed by surgery, or damaged by chemotherapy or radiation. A natural menopause is usually confirmed by a year of no periods. In the UK, the average age at which the menopause occurs naturally is 51, and it happens about 2 years earlier in smokers.
Most seniors continue to want and enjoy an active sex life with their spouse or significant other. Maintaining an active sex life can sometimes be a challenge -- not because of a lack of desire, but because of changes associated with aging. For older women, vaginal dryness can play a part in decreasing desire for sex. During a woman's childbearing years, estrogen helps keep vaginal tissue healthy by secreting vaginal lubrication.