During sexual arousal, two glands start producing extra moisture to aid sexual intercourse. However, a quarter of women aged 50-59 experience vaginal dryness problems during sex and 16% experience pain.
Vaginal problems during sex
Many women may experience vaginal dryness during sex because they are not sexually aroused – this is often caused by insufficient foreplay or psychological reasons such as stress. Other reasons for vaginal dryness before menopause can be linked to hygiene products such as feminine sprays and harsh soaps, swimming pool and hot tub chemicals and some washing powders. Certain drug treatments such as allergy and cold medications and some antidepressants can also dry out mucous membranes, including vaginal tissues.
Loss of lubrication and pain during sex increase after menopause. Thinning of the skin around the vagina makes it more easily damaged. This damage can often occur during sex, especially if lubrication is poor. Painful intercourse can have a contributing effect to a loss of sexual desire. The relief of symptoms often lead to increased sexual desire and arousal.
In many cases, vaginal dryness does not only cause pain during sex it can make it uncomfortable to sit, stand, exercise, urinate or even work. Vaginal dryness can affect everyday life, whether women are sexually active or not. This can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life.
Many women also find that their vaginal discharge changes, becoming waterier, discoloured and slightly smelly and they may experience irritation and a burning feeling. These symptoms can be worrying but they are simply due to hormonal changes and not an indication of something more serious.
There are different treatment methods to treat vaginal dryness. A hormone-free alternative is VagiVital. The product is clinically proven and as many as 83% of all women experienced improvement after using the product one month or longer.