Throughout menopause, a majority of girls expertise a slew of signs: scorching flashes, evening sweats, coronary heart palpitations, interrupted sleep, and irritability—to call a couple of. Whereas many ladies find out about these hormonal negative effects earlier than they arrive, board-certified OB/GYN Maria Sophocles, M.D., FACOG, NCMP says one set of signs catches her sufferers off-guard essentially the most: vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. And, they’re much more shocked by how lengthy the signs can final. 

When ladies have had intercourse for years and the vagina has “at all times been their buddy,” it might probably come as a shock—and even a disappointment—when it stops functioning the way in which it at all times has, Sophocles says. “As one affected person advised me, ‘I really feel like my vagina betrayed me,’” she shares. 

The vagina isn’t betraying you although, and the change didn’t occur in a single day. In truth, the method happens slowly all through the menopause course of. When the physique stops producing estrogen, it might probably result in overall dryness—and sure, that includes the vagina

Sophocles tells mbg that girls should be educated about this, so that they perceive what’s happening to them is normal—and that it may not go away when the new flashes finish.

Accepting that vaginal dryness is a pure change within the physique, and not a personal issue related to age or sex drive, can empower folks to hunt out and take a look at completely different interventions. 

One software Sophocles recommends utilizing for on a regular basis consolation is a vaginal moisturizer. “A vaginal moisturizer is one thing you insert vaginally a few occasions per week to maintain issues feeling moist and lubricated, even if you happen to’re actually dry,” she says. “It does not repair the cells, but it surely’s a fantastic quality-of-life enhancer.” 

For much less painful intercourse, she recommends utilizing lubricant. Be sure to decide on the fitting one to your physique and your aim. “Water-based lubes are essentially the most pure feeling, and silicone-based lubes final longest,” she explains. Doing a spot therapy to see how your pores and skin reacts to sure lubes can be essential, because the vagina and vulva will be delicate areas. Right here: a information to natural lubes, together with some DIY choices.