Painful Intercourse, a Symptom of Menopause
Painful intercourse can occur in women due to:
- the lack the natural lubrication of in the vagina due to menopause or
another disease or condition,
- the involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles,
- a condition known as vaginismus,
- genital infections, including the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),
- abnormalities or tumors of the female genital tract.
Quick GuideMenopause and Sex: 10 Ways to Deal With Menopause Symptoms
Menopause and sex facts
- Although menopause may have some negative effects on sexual function, this is not always the case.
- Each woman's experience of menopause is unique; not all women have the same symptoms or experience symptoms with the same degree of severity.
- Decreases in estrogen levels after menopause can cause a decrease in libido.
- Vaginal dryness is another symptom of menopause that can have an impact on sexual function.
- Hormone therapy and water-soluble lubricants are two ways to help relieve vaginal dryness associated with menopause.
- Other symptoms of menopause, such as trouble sleeping and mood swings, can also interfere with enjoyment of sexual activity.
How does menopause affect sexual function?
Just as every women experiences menopause differently, women may or may not experience changes in sexual function after menopause. Since estrogen levels are lower after menopause, some women may notice that their libido, or sex drive, is decreased. Low estrogen levels can also lead to a decreased blood flow to the vagina, resulting in difficulty with lubrication or in dryness which that can make sexual intercourse less pleasant and painful for many women.
Not all women report negative changes in sexual function after menopause. For example, some women may find sex to be more pleasurable without the fear of unwanted pregnancy or without the potential stresses of having small children.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/16/2016