Vaginal Dryness and Muscle Tone During Perimenopause and Postmenopause
Many women reach
postmenopause without noticing a change in their
sexuality. You may find that the freedom from birth control and menstrual
periods increases your sexual interest and pleasure.
have physical symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and loss of vaginal muscle
tone, that require adjustments around the time of
menopause. If sexual intercourse is painful because of
Since you've recently been diagnosed with menopause, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit.
1. What, if any, treatment do I need for menopause?
2. Is hormone replacement therapy right for me? What are the side effects, and how can I deal with them?
3. How will menopause affect my sex life?
4. How does menopause affect other diseases or conditions I have?
5. Does menopause increase my risk for other conditions? What tests or screenings should I have now, and how often?
Lubricate the vagina with a nonprescription
lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly, prior to having intercourse.. Avoid using petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, because
it increases the risk of vaginal irritation and infection.
Vaginal moisturizers such as Replens or Lubrin can be used on a regular basis to help reduce vaginal dryness.
low-dose vaginal estrogen (cream, tablet, or ring) can help restore thin,
sensitive vaginal walls.
Firm muscle tone will help prevent other problems, such as
the bulging (prolapse) of the bladder or rectum into the vagina. To help
maintain the muscle tone of the vagina:
Have sexual intercourse
frequently. Sexual activity increases blood flow to the vagina and increases lubrication.