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Menopause Symptoms May Hamper Sex

In Survey, Many Menopausal Women Say Vaginal Symptoms Are a Problem
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 5, 2007 -- Menopausal symptoms dim the sex lives of many women, according to a new online survey.

Murray Freedman, MD, and colleagues from the Medical College of Georgia evaluated the survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive in late June and early July. They presented their findings yesterday in Dallas at the North American Menopause Society.

More than 1,000 women aged 35 and older completed the survey. The women indicated that they were nearing menopause, currently going through menopause, or were postmenopausal.

Most of the women -- 81% -- reported menopausal symptoms. Nearly 60% of those women noted vaginal symptoms (vaginal dryness, pain during sex, vaginal narrowing, or vaginal shrinkage) or increased urinary tract infections.

Among women reporting vaginal narrowing or vaginal shrinkage (known medically as vaginal atrophy), 88% indicated that they found that symptom to be "at least somewhat problematic," 78% said it affected their sex life, and 47% said they had stopped or avoided sex because of physical discomfort.

The study was funded by the menopause education group Red Hot Mamas and Duramed Pharmaceuticals, which makes the estrogen drug Enjuvia for menopausal symptoms.

(Has your sex life changed after menopause? Tell us about it on WebMD's Menopause: Support Group message board.)

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