Menopause is something that every woman knows is another milestone in their life that they’ll eventually reach as they age. While it’s a milestone that some women dread and others welcome, but what many women don’t expect are the negative and mostly unknown side effects that can come with menopause. Painful sex, a mostly unknown effect of menopause, silently affects multiple women of all ages who’ve gone through menopause, despite it being a common issue that is treatable, many women are terrified of speaking up about this issue, especially to their own doctors and suffer in silence due to it.
What Can Cause Painful Sex?
In order to understand why there’s a stigma around talking about painful sex, there’s a need to understand why it can occur during menopause. There are a number of reasons and causes for why painful sex can occur for women before, during, or after intercourse. Many of these reasons can range from hormonal changes, medical and nerve conditions, skin diseases, emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, or stress related to work.Even decline in estrogen production which can occur during menopause and can cause vaginal tissue to thin which results in dryness, burning, and pain can be a culprit.
Vestibulodynia, a chronic pain syndrome that causes discomfort due to any kind of pressure or touch in and around the vaginal area can be a symptom of painful sex during menopause.Psychological fears can even come into play as a factor of painful sex as many women associate fear or injury with the vaginal area.
Many of these symptoms are easily treatable with self-care, counseling, vaginal creams, or even sexual consulting a doctor in physical therapy for the pelvic region or low-dose vaginal estrogen to deal with the problem.
Survey of Women Shows Alarming Results
HealthyWomen, the nation´s leading independent nonprofit health information source for women, along with Duchesnay USA, a speciality pharmaceutical company with a long-standing commitment to women´s health recently published the results of a survey on how postmenopausal women deal with one of the most common problems, namely painful sex. The result: More than half of the women surveyed (62 percent) had painful intercourse and almost 70 percent had no idea that it was treatable. 73 percent rated the pain as moderate to severe.
On the other hand, the fact that 73 percent of the respondents were still sexually active after the menopause was pleasing. This shows how important post-menopausal sex for many women is, so they should be well-informed about the changes they are undergoing at this time and not be afraid to talk with their health care providers about possible problems.
But many women have a fear of consulting their doctor for issues relating to menopause or painful sex, but why does this occur? Why do women fear about having to consult their doctor for an issue that impacts so many others?
The Embarrassment Surrounding Painful Sex
For many women, there’s an embarrassment surrounding even talking about their genitals that makes it difficult to even bring up talk about problems relating to sexual intimacy to their doctors or gynecologists. For many women using nondescript terminology, such as vulva, has a sense of taboo that surrounds aspects of gynecological health. For others, it can be due to their age that there comes a silence with talking about genital health, as many menopause sufferers are in their 50s, so it feels awkward to them to even mention that they’re having problems related to painful sex at their age along with the fact that many women are prone to put their problems last before everyone else and this intensifies with age. The result: Many women (33 percent of the respondents in the survey) avoid sex in this section of her life.
Medical problems of all varieties are fairly common, so you should never feel afraid to talk to your doctor about any issues you are facing. Doctor’s have heard it all, so never feel embarrassed to tell them about the issues you may be facing due to menopause or painful sex. Doctor’s are there to help and the only way your issue can be addressed is to make an appointment with your doctor and talk about any symptoms you may be feeling or have felt in regards to gynecological health.