If you’re experiencing painful intercourse after menopause, you’re not alone. First, you should know this: While what’s happening to your body is not often talked about, it’s a natural part of menopause. Many women are embarrassed to discuss painful intercourse, but it’s more common than you may think. Over one half of all menopausal women experience vaginal symptoms.
What are the vaginal symptoms after menopause?
While menopause is a natural process, the decrease in estrogen can cause some very painful symptoms.
Menopause can result in:
The symptoms you may experience are:
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. To help prepare for that conversation, print your own Doctor Discussion Guide.
What causes painful intercourse after menopause?
A woman’s ovaries produce the female hormone estrogen. Among other things, estrogen helps maintain the thickness of the vaginal lining and stimulates vaginal moisture. During menopause the ovaries produce less estrogen. This decrease in estrogen levels results in thinning vaginal walls and a decrease in vaginal lubrication. These changes are called vaginal atrophy and can lead to the painful intercourse you may be experiencing.
Here’s what happens:
Prior to menopause, estrogen helps maintain the thickness of the vaginal lining and stimulates moisture.
During menopause, the drop in estrogen causes thinning and inflammation of vaginal walls, as well as a decrease in vaginal lubrication. All of which could make intercourse painful.
What can I do about vaginal symptoms due to menopause?
Your doctor can often diagnose your condition after a check-up and brief conversation. Estrogen therapy is considered to be the most effective treatment for menopausal vaginal symptoms, including painful sex.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Using estrogen-alone may increase your chance of getting cancer of the uterus (womb). Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while you are using PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream. Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus (womb). Your healthcare provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause.
Do not use estrogens, with or without progestins, to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes or dementia (decline in brain function). Using estrogens, with or without progestins, may increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women 65 years of age or older.
Using estrogen-alone may increase your chances of getting strokes or blood clots. Using estrogens with progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.
You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream.
PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream should not be used if you have unusual vaginal bleeding; have or had cancer; had a stroke or heart attack; have or had blood clots or liver problems; have a bleeding disorder; are allergic to any of its ingredients; or think you may be pregnant.
Common side effects include headache, pelvic pain, breast pain, vaginal bleeding and vaginitis.
PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream is used after menopause to treat menopausal changes in and around the vagina and to treat moderate to severe painful intercourse caused by these changes.
Each gram contains 0.625 mg of conjugated estrogens, USP.
Please see Full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning and Patient Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.