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Women discuss menopausal changes

Painful intercourse? It’s not just you. It might be menopause.

About Painful Intercourse


Menopause Symptoms

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. 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.

Find information on common menopause and vaginal atrophy symptoms. Read about the risks and benefits of PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream.
PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream | Safety Info

Menopause Happens In Stages

A guide to menopause.



  • Defined as no menstrual periods in prior 3 months
  • Typically begins in mid-40s
  • Symptoms include declining estrogen levels and menstrual cycle irregularity
  • Reduced estrogen levels may cause hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings


  • Defined as going without a period for 12 consecutive months
  • Average age at onset is 52 years
  • Ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and producing estrogen
  • Symptoms may include hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings


  • Includes all of the years after menopause
  • Some symptoms—like hot flashes—may decline over time
  • Symptoms of vaginal atrophy, like painful intercourse, have been shown to increase over time
Learn about the three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. See risks & benefits of PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream.
PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream | Safety Info

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider

You may find it hard to talk to your healthcare provider about painful intercourse.

But there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Many other postmenopausal women have similar symptoms.

Your healthcare provider can properly diagnose your condition after a physical exam and a brief conversation. He or she can help you understand menopause-related symptoms and effective treatment options.

So let’s start the discussion.

Only about 25% of women with symptoms seek help from a healthcare provider.


Start the Discussion

Get an inside look at treatment through the eyes of patients and healthcare providers.


Talk to your doctor about moderate to severe painful intercourse due to menopause. See risks and benefits of PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream.
PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream | Safety Info

Is Treatment Right For You?

Some things to consider.

Symptoms of vaginal atrophy, such as moderate to severe pain during intercourse, are unlikely to go away on their own. They may even worsen over time.

If you experience any of these common symptoms of vaginal atrophy, talk to your doctor to see if Premarin® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream may be right for you:

  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching in and around the vagina
  • Painful intercourse

There are certain risks associated with Premarin Vaginal Cream therapy. Premarin Vaginal Cream should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration consistent with the treatment goals and risks for the individual woman.

Do not start using Premarin Vaginal Cream if you have unusual vaginal bleeding, currently have or have had certain cancers, had a stroke or heart attack, currently have or have had blood clots, currently have or have had liver problems, have been diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, are allergic to Premarin Vaginal Cream or any of its ingredients, or think you may be pregnant.

Premarin Vaginal Cream is a prescription therapy that, when used as prescribed, treats vaginal changes due to menopause and moderate to severe painful intercourse caused by these changes.

You should discuss your symptoms as well as risks with your doctor before beginning treatment.


Learn about the treatment of moderate to severe painful intercourse after menopause with PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream. See risks and benefits.
PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream | Safety Info