Vaginal Dryness and Muscle Tone During Perimenopause and Postmenopause
Many women reach
postmenopause without noticing a change in their
sexuality. You may find that the freedom from birth control and menstrual
periods increases your sexual interest and pleasure.
have physical symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and loss of vaginal muscle
tone, that require adjustments around the time of
menopause. If sexual intercourse is painful because of
Lubricate the vagina with a nonprescription
lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly, prior to having intercourse.. Avoid using petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, because
it increases the risk of vaginal irritation and infection.
Vaginal moisturizers such as Replens or Lubrin can be used on a regular basis to help reduce vaginal dryness.
low-dose vaginal estrogen (cream, tablet, or ring) can help restore thin,
sensitive vaginal walls.
Firm muscle tone will help prevent other problems, such as
the bulging (prolapse) of the bladder or rectum into the vagina. To help
maintain the muscle tone of the vagina:
Have sexual intercourse
frequently. Sexual activity increases blood flow to the vagina and increases lubrication.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine