Symptoms of Midlife & Menopause
Painful Sex & Bladder Urgency
Vaginal dryness can cause irritation, burning, and pain with intercourse. It’s common after menopause, and it can also happen in the years leading up to menopause.
The medical term for vaginal dryness is Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM). Hormonal changes cause GSM. Levels of hormones drop in the lead-up to menopause, a period called perimenopause, and this can affect the genitals and urinary tract. Estrogen helps lubricate the vagina, and reduced estrogen levels can cause the vagina to become dry, itchy, and tight. Women may also experience bleeding after sex, painful intercourse, or bladder urgency with GSM.
true. Women’s Health works with you to find the best solution to your vaginal dryness or bladder urgency.
You are not alone. Vaginal dryness affects nearly 80% of postmenopausal women.
Treatment options for vaginal dryness
There are a variety of treatment options for GSM and vaginal dryness, depending on your personal situation.
Lubricants: Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants can supplement natural lubrication during sex. Some of our suggestions include water-based lubricants and coconut oil. Silicone-based lubricants are safe as well – but it’s a good idea to skip oil-based lubricants. They can cause irritation and make condoms less effective.
Moisturizers: Vaginal moisturizers are like lubricants, but they stay in the vagina longer and cling to vaginal walls.
Topical lubricants and moisturizers are considered short-term fixes that only address your symptoms. Hormonal treatments could work better long-term for some women.
Vaginal estrogen: If lubricants and moisturizers aren’t enough, prescription vaginal estrogen therapy can help. Vaginal estrogen is available as a cream, dissolvable tablet, or long-term insert.
Laser therapy: is a fractional CO2 laser that is proven to be effective in improving the symptoms of vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and bladder urgency. MonaLisa Touch® laser therapy has been shown to be as effective as estrogen and helps stop the suffering of women who cannot use vaginal estrogen safely or choose not to.
Regardless of the treatment you and your healthcare provider choose, it’s comforting to know there are several options for you to try. If you are a patient at true. Women’s Health, we can talk with you about any of these treatments, and we will find the option that works best for YOU! We can help you get back to living your best life.