For most women sex is fun and enjoyable. However, if there isn’t enough lubrication and the vagina is dry like the desert, sexual intimacy can be excruciatingly painful with fun placed on the back burner. It’s especially frustrating when the natural vaginal lubrication a woman is used to “dries up,” making it so much more difficult to enjoy what is one of life’s greatest pleasures— sex after 50! In spite of the list of physical changes from aging, studies have shown that sexual satisfaction increases, rather than decreases, as women grow older. This article will provide suggestions to fix the problem and help restore vaginal lubrication to its former friction free status that makes intimacy something to look forward to rather than to avoid.
Why women experience vaginal dryness
Menopause is results in a loss of estrogens and this can create more than hot flashes. This condition that affects every woman in her late forties and early fifties also results in less natural lubrication as the woman ages, resulting in vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, a medical term for post-menopausal thinning of your vaginal walls resulting in painful intercourse. You are not alone as one in four post-menopausal women experiences pain, either before, during and after sexual intercourse. Unfortunately, many are embarrassed to discuss female dryness and intercourse pain, either with each other or with their gynecologist. It’s time to get over that fear. Every woman experiencing intercourse pain after 50 should seek a doctor who is skilled in vaginal examinations, and one who isn’t afraid to ask you everything you need to know to help you address this pain.
The solution isn’t always at the tip of a pen with a prescription written by your primary care doctor or your gynecologist. There are several over the counter remedies that will put the slippery back into the bedroom activities.
Liquid Silk is topical cream used by many postmenopausal women for overcoming vaginal dryness. Another is Carrageenan, which has no smell or taste. A popular solution is Replens, which is a unique, estrogen-free vaginal moisturizer. It has the advantage of being long-lasting as one application can last three days and women can use it two or three times per week. As a result there is more spontaneity with sexual intimacy and the woman need not excuse herself to apply the cream when the opportunity presents itself. Astroglide’s name says it all as it does make things glide and slide. Women find this topical gel a nice companion to their toys and accessories. A little dab and a little water works just great. OH! Is the name of a product which can fuel the fire down there in a gentle, sensual way. And finally, don’t over look the ol’ standby, K-Y Jelly, mother of all vaginal lubricants. It’s inexpensive, effective, and now comes with more exciting names such as Silk-E and His and Hers. For those women who are reticient about requesting these products at the local drug store, you can buy them online at: GoodVibrations.com, A-Womans-Touch.com, or TabuToys.com.
Getting started. Suppose you may have purchased vaginal lubrication, or you may tried several out and found one that fits your fancy, how do you present this option to your partner. Two suggestions: First, invite your partner to apply the lubricant. Seeing how it works will probably turn him on, too, and encourage him to make it part of your sex play. Second is to try using some of the cream or ointment on him during foreplay. The way your hands will slide should make a believer out of him. If he is still resistant and I doubt he will be, try putting some lube on your inner lips of your vagina when you are planning to have sexual intimacy.
First line therapy consists of the vaginal lubricants just described. However, if lubrication isn’t enough, there are other options usually consisting of vaginal estrogen therapy, which I will discuss in greater detail in a following blog.
Bottom line: While female dryness which develops at the time of menopause can result in painful intercourse, the good news is that effective treatments exist for vaginal dryness and dyspareunia.