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Menopause

Updated 21 July 2014

Vaginal dryness and sexual discomfort

The epithelial lining and the underlying tissues of the vaginal wall may become thinner and less elastic – a condition known as atrophy. This is due to decreased oestrogen.

Sexual discomfort due to vaginal dryness is a common symptom. Decreased oestrogen can lead to thinning of the epithelial lining and the underlying tissues of the vaginal wall may become thinner and less elastic , a condition known as atrophy. This causes decreased lubrication, which in turn may lead to substantial pain during and after intercourse. As painful intercourse is seldom a turn-on, it might lead to a decline in the desire for making love.

Risk factors
The following factors place women at greater risk:

  • Lack of regular sexual stimulation of the vagina
  • Premature menopause
  • History of temporary amenorrhoea (missed periods)

  • Short-acting, water-based vaginal lubricants such as K-Y jelly or oestrogen cream can be used. immediately before sexual intercourse to supply moisture Petroleum-based products such as Vaseline should be avoided.
  • It may also help to take a warm bath before intercourse.
  •  Regular sexual activity can help improve natural lubrication and keep the vagina moist and toned.

 

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