Alternative Names Vaginitis - atrophic; Vaginitis due to reduced estrogen Symptoms Burning on urination Light bleeding after intercourse Painful sexual intercourse causing a loss in sexual interest Slight vaginal discharge Vaginal soreness, including itching or burning sensations Signs and tests A pelvic examination reveals thin, pale vaginal walls. A wet prep test of vaginal discharge may be done to rule out other causes for the condition. Hormonal studies may be done to determine if you are in menopause.
Q. Since I've started going through menopause,
I'm really not in the mood for sex very often. And even when I am, it's
painful! What's going on?
A. Loss of sexual desire and painful intercourse
are two hallmarks of menopause. The villain is your body's lack of hormone
production. Your ovaries' and adrenal glands' production of estrogen and
progesterone diminishes over time; and, while it takes longer, eventually
testosterone production lessens, too.
What does all this mean? Testosterone is the
hormone that produces sexual desire (libido) in women. Without it, you have a
hard time getting excited at the prospect of making love. Think of how you
felt, sexually, as a child; the lack of testosterone is taking you back towards
that libido-free zone.
What can you do about this? It used to be
thought that testosterone cream, applied topically to the vagina, would bring
back your feelings of sexual excitement; but recent studies have pretty much
disproven that. So, ...
Recently I have had two very enlightening conversations. First of all, in my conversation with Dr. Tara Allmen about her new CD, “Menopause in an Hour,” she stated that all women need to start thinking about the health of their vagina as they enter menopause. A couple of weeks later, I was at happy hour with several girlfriends who are in various stages of “the change”. One woman expressed how painful it became to have sex once she reached menopause.
Vaginal dryness is caused by the loss of estrogen that women experience as they enter menopause. “Estrogen…helps keep vaginal tissue healthy by maintaining a normal vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity and acidity,” the Mayo Clinic reports. “These factors create a natural defense against vaginal and urinary tract infections.” But the potential issues with vaginal health don’t end with dryness. “Over time, vaginal dryness can turn into vaginal atrophy, which means that th...
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