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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, estrogens help maintain the thickness and elasticity of the vaginal tissue. But after menopause, levels of estrogens drop. This can lead to:

  • Dry and thin vaginal walls
  • Diminished vaginal blood flow
  • Painful intercourse

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a time to speak with your doctor. For help preparing for that conversation, you can download our Doctor Discussion Guide.


Not an actual patient.


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.


Menopause Happens In Stages

A guide to menopause.


  • 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

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 and see if prescription Premarin Vaginal Cream may be right for you.

Only about 25% of women with postmenopausal vaginal atrophy seek help from a healthcare provider.



Is Treatment Right For You?

Some things to consider.

Symptoms of vaginal atrophy due to menopause, 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 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.


See risks and benefits. Learn why painful intercourse after menopause may occur and how PREMARIN® Vaginal Cream may be able to help.
Menopause | PREMARIN® (conjugated estrogens) Vaginal Cream | Safety Info