There’s more to menopause.
Hot flashes and night sweats—that’s what you usually hear about when it comes to menopause. But nobody really tells women that after menopause, intercourse may become painful. And it’s more common than you may think.
Up to 40%
of postmenopausal women experience vaginal atrophy, and painful intercourse is a common symptom.
Why intercourse may hurt.
Prior to menopause, estrogen helps maintain the thickness and elasticity of the vaginal tissue. But after menopause, estrogen levels drop. This can lead to:
- Dry and thin vaginal walls
- Diminished vaginal blood flow
- Painful intercourse
For many women, menopausal changes to the vagina can cause pain during intercourse. It's called vaginal atrophy, and it's unlikely to go away on its own. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule a time to speak with your doctor. For help preparing for that conversation, you can download our Doctor Discussion Guide.
I thought it was just me. After menopause, I experienced dryness, itching, and painful intercourse. I wasn’t comfortable talking about it with friends. When I finally did, they suggested I see my doctor, who evaluated me and gave me treatment options. It turns out, what I was experiencing is due to normal changes in the body as we age.
I thought it was just me. When I finally talked to my friends, they suggested I see my doctor. It turns out I was experiencing normal changes in the body as we age.