Millions of women experience pain before, during, or after sexual intercourse—a condition called dyspareunia from the Greek dyspareunos , meaning "badly mated". This condition not only saps sexual desire and enjoyment, it can also strain relationships and erode quality of life in general. For postmenopausal women, dyspareunia may also raise concerns about aging and body image. Many women suffer in silence and don't seek the help they need, or they have trouble finding a clinician who can diagnose and treat the causes of their pain. That is unfortunate, because treatments are available for many of the problems that underlie this vexing condition.
Painful Sex After Menopause: Causes and Treatments
Although every woman is different, symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, trouble sleeping, and weight gain are normal during this time. Between 25 and 45 percent of postmenopausal women say they have pain during sex. When sex hurts, you may avoid it, which could affect your relationship. Sex is painful during menopause due to a lack of estrogen. This hormone normally stimulates the release of natural lubricants and helps replenish the vaginal lining by growing new cells.
A thorough medical history. Your doctor may ask when your pain began, exactly where it hurts, how it feels, and if it happens with every sexual partner and every sexual position. Your doctor may also inquire about your sexual history, surgical history and previous childbirth experiences. Don't let embarrassment stop you from giving candid answers.
Back to Sexual health. If you get pain during or after sex, your body may be trying to tell you something is wrong, so don't ignore it. Find a sexual health clinic near you. You may find talking about sex embarrassing, but remember that doctors are used to dealing with problems like this.