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Why Sex Hurts Now—Understanding Vaginal Atrophy

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 vaginal symptoms like painful intercourse, but it’s more common than you may think. Over one half of all menopausal women experience vaginal symptoms.

Here’s what happens:

Prior to menopause, estrogen helps maintain the thickness and elasticity of the vaginal tissue.

During menopause, the drop in estrogen causes the vaginal walls to become dry and thin, which can make intercourse painful.

How do I know if this is happening to me?

These are common symptoms of vaginal changes due to menopause:

  • dryness, burning, or itching, in and around the vagina.
  • painful intercourse

What can I do?

Talk to your doctor. He or she can often diagnose your condition after a check-up and a brief conversation. For help starting the conversation, download our Doctor Discussion Guide here.

Next: About Premarin Vaginal Cream