This is a frequent concern for women as they can experience the double whammy of lowered libido and increasingly difficult sex as the vagina’s natural lubrication and elasticity is reduced as the hormones shift at menopause. You may experience discomfort and pain which can last for several hours after sex and this is often more intense on the days just before and during a period.
The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. One study in the journal Menopause in 2008 reported that 40 per cent of women suffer, but really we have no accurate idea as many are too embarrassed to consult their doctor about it, or seek other help.
Initially it is best to consult your doctor to eliminate the following:
* illness or infection
* a coil that has slipped
* vaginal atrophy or thinning of the vaginal lining
* pain from scar tissue from a tear from an episiotomy in childbirth
* constipation or a bout of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
* irritation or allergy caused by soaps and shampoo
The problem of course is not just physical as stress and relationship difficulties can certainly affect your attitude and physical response. Communication is essential to discuss the issue and find solutions to help overcome any difficulty.
If you have eliminated any medical cause, but simply may need a little additional oestrogen then you can apply a bioidentical combination cream vaginally to help restore your hormone balance. As the oestrogen it contains is naturally balanced by progesterone there is no concern over oestrogen dominance and for women with vaginal atrophy this cream can be used after an initial oestrogen cream from the doctor when the condition has stabilised.
If you do not need any additional oestrogen then a progesterone only cream can also be used vaginally to help lubrication and there are a number of natural lubricants that are both organic and water based that are also effective such as Yes or Woohoo. You may find them online or at your chemist.