Sex Never Gets Old
The 2022 Zoomer sex survey revealed that 30% of respondents believe sex gets better with age, and 42% described their current sex life as somewhat or very satisfying. But for some women, vaginal dryness is keeping them from having satisfying sex. Let’s bring pleasure back.
Vaginal dryness is most often associated with the normal decline or fluctuation of estrogen, particularly in perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) and postmenopause. “Drops in estrogen cause changes in the vaginal tissues, leading to loss of elasticity, vascularity and lubrication,” explains Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto. Hot flashes, trouble sleeping, skin and hair changes, and inexplicable moments of sadness and irritability are other symptoms.
“Perimenopause is an important life transition. Unfortunately, there’s still stigma in discussing it and not enough awareness about treatments,” she says. It’s time to normalize the conversation. “We can’t ignore the six million women who enter menopause every year worldwide or the soon-to-be one billion postmenopausal humans.”
Those who’ve experienced vaginal dryness know how raw and uncomfortable it can feel and how the irritation, itching and burning can interfere with everyday life and cause painful sex.
“Treating vaginal dryness is incredibly rewarding when patients no longer have to be aware of their vagina, daily discomfort or the compounding negative effects of painful sex that can affect their most important relationships,” says Dr. Kirkham.
To relieve dryness symptoms, she recommends easy at-home solutions, such as using a water- or silicone-based lubricant during sex and/or using a vaginal moisturizer regularly.
Replens Long-Lasting Vaginal Moisturizer provides both immediate and ongoing relief, preventing dryness from recurring. “Just as we care for our hands and face, we should treat our vulvas and vaginas,” says Dr. Kirkham. “Moisturizers with bioadhesive ingredients used every few days keep the vaginal tissues plump and resistant to the tearing and burning from friction. Replenishing the water content of vaginal cells improves and hydrates vaginal tissue and decreases pain.”
Physician-recommended* Replens provides immediate alleviation of dryness and delivers continuous moisture for up to 3 days. Since it’s long-lasting, you don’t need to apply it right before intercourse, allowing you the freedom to be spontaneous.
For women who wish to try hormonal options for their vaginal dryness, Dr. Kirkham says that prescription estrogen creams, rings or tablets are safe and effective.
“Sex can be pleasurable again,” she says. Book time away with your partner to escape home, work and other distractions. Connect over a romantic meal or read an erotic story together. Remember that only 30% of women climax from intercourse, so focus on outercourse. And keep at it. Practice makes perfect.
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* The Medical Post and Profession Santé 2018 Survey on OTC Counselling and Recommendations (re: physicians)