Vaginal dryness main cause of sexual health problems for older women: report
Vaginal dryness is the main cause of sexual health problems to women who are about to reach menopause, a report has revealed.
According to Reuters, while 55% of the women in early to mid 40s appeared to have sexual dysfunction based on lubrication, desire, arousal, orgasm and sexual satisfaction, this number increased to 83% of women in their mid 50s.
“Given the high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women, identifying an eminently treatable contributing factor such as vaginal dryness may allow women to maintain their sexual function during the menopause transition,” Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Medical Society, said in a statement.
Women go through menopause typically between ages 45 and 55 when they stop menstruating.
As the ovaries curb production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the years leading up to menopause and afterward, women can experience symptoms ranging from vaginal dryness to mood swings, joint pain, memory trouble and insomnia.
As estrogen levels drop, the lining of the vagina changes and releases less fluid. Intercourse can become painful due to this lack of lubrication and women may also experience more bacterial infections.
Declining sexual health may start sooner than women expect and this persist throughout the menopause transition.
According to the study, women were more likely to experience sexual dysfunction when they were ex-smokers, overweight, sedentary or experiencing hot flashes and more than twice as likely to experience sexual dysfunction when they had vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse or thinning and drying vaginal walls.