Painful Sex & Menopause — Restoring Sexual Wellness

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Sex & Menopause

Menopause is a time of significant changes, some of which may affect your sexual life. Many postmenopausal women find sex less enjoyable and, in some cases, even painful. If you are a part of this group, find solace in the fact that you are not alone. Dyspareunia, the term for painful vaginal sex, is quite common. However, painful intercourse does not have to become the new normal.- Sex & Menopause

You can minimize pain associated with deep penetration by following a few steps. First, talk with your healthcare provider about the issue. More often than not, they will refer you to an appropriate specialist and offer valuable advice.

Besides, you might want to start using vaginal lubricants and sex toys to decrease pain during sex. Low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy is also a popular solution. It can boost your estrogen levels, potentially reversing vaginal tissue changes due to the loss of estrogen associated with menopause.

Here is a handful of guidelines to help you restore your sexual wellness:

Use Sex Toys

Sex toys are an excellent way to make sex more enjoyable for both you and your partner. They can increase arousal, stimulate different erogenous zones, and allow you to control the depth and angle of penetration. If you struggle with vaginal dryness, using a vibrator or dildo can also help increase blood flow and lubrication in the area, making sex less painful.

If you are open to explore your sexual fantasies and gain some much-needed relief during sex, going for these devices may be a good idea:

  • Vibrating strap ons — Strap on sex is a straightforward way to add more spice to your sex life. If your partner is up for it, you can even turn the tables and try pegging sex. This way, you can still enjoy rich sexual life without exposing yourself to the pain.
  • Arousal gels — Arousal gels, oils and lotions make penetration more comfortable. They are also great for women with vaginal dryness.
  • Clitoral vibrators — As you get older, the muscles around your genital area tend to weaken and cause pain during intercourse. Using a vibrator can help correct that problem and bring back sensation in your genital area. 

Although sex toys are often considered a possible solution for painful sex, they are not for everyone. So, make sure you thought your decision through before buying a sex toy.

Talk About It

If you are experiencing pain during sex, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Even if you are comfortable with the current amount of discomfort, your condition could worsen in the future. As such, if you experience pain during intercourse or your partner is concerned about causing you pain, talk with a healthcare professional.

You should not have to live with the pain, and your partner should not have to feel guilty every time they want to share some intimate moment with you.

At first, you may hesitate to tell your partner that sex is painful for you because you do not want to hurt their feelings. However, they might be able to help you find a solution and prevent further pain. Listen carefully to what they have to say, and take their advice into consideration. They will likely be open to trying different things and working towards a happier and healthier sexual relationship.

As previously mentioned, your healthcare professional will be more than happy to listen to your concerns and help you find the best solution for the issue. Use this to your advantage.

Use Lubricant- Sex & Menopause

One of the most common causes of painful vaginal sex is vaginal dryness. The lack of estrogen associated with menopause leads to thinning and decreased elasticity of the vaginal walls, making sex painful. Fortunately, there are plenty of great lubricants on the market that can reduce friction and make sex much more enjoyable.

Using a lubricant during intercourse can significantly decrease pain associated with vaginal dryness. In fact, many women report that lube helps them enjoy sex much more.

Water-based lubricants are ideal because they are gentle and non-irritating. They are compatible with condoms and work well even with toys made of silicone or other materials. Keep in mind that silicone-based lubricants are not safe to use with latex condoms because they erode the condom’s material.

There are many different types of lubricants available on the market today, so you should choose one that works best for you. For example, some people prefer warming lubes, while others prefer tingling or cooling alternatives.

Try Different Positions- Sex & Menopause

In the old days, missionary was considered the most “natural” sexual position. However, many women find it quite painful and uncomfortable.

When it comes to sexual intercourse, you are not tied to a specific position. On the contrary, feel free to experiment with different positions. For instance, try having sex while lying on your side. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid deep penetration.

If you need more stimulation, reverse roles and sit on top. This way, you can control the depth of penetration and move in rhythm with your partner’s movements. Use pillows to support your bodies and reduce pressure on your pelvis.

Regardless of your preferences, there is bound to be a position that makes sex more comfortable for you.

Opt For Vaginal Estrogen Therapy- Sex & Menopause

If other solutions have failed to provide relief, you might want to try vaginal estrogen therapy. This treatment involves using a low-dose vaginal cream, ring, or tablet to replenish estrogen levels in the vagina. It can help improve vaginal tissue thickness and elasticity, as well as increase natural lubrication.

The idea behind this treatment is that it restores hormonal levels or replaces the hormones that decline during menopause. As a result, your vagina becomes more akin to its youthful state, with higher levels of estrogen stimulating the growth and maintenance of vaginal tissue.

Vaginal estrogen therapy can provide some relief from painful sex and other symptoms associated with menopause. However, keep in mind that this is not a cure-all solution.

Vaginal estrogen therapy is generally safe and effective, but it is always best to talk with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment. If you still experience pain during intercourse after using vaginal estrogen therapy for a while, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.

Final Thoughts

Menopause is a natural and inevitable process. While it does not have to be accompanied by unpleasant symptoms, the transition may still be challenging for some women.

Nevertheless, as you can see, there are plenty of options available to deal with menopause-related side effects. If you are experiencing severe symptoms that are disrupting your life, consult your doctor to rule out any medical conditions and help you find the right treatment.

Work closely with your healthcare provider and try to find a treatment option that works best for you. For many women, the strategies mentioned above may be enough to restore their sexual well-being.

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