During perimenopause and menopause, women go through many physical changes. Some of those changes interfere with everyday life and can be difficult to cope with. One thing some women struggle with is intimate wellness during menopause.
As estrogen levels decline, both physical and emotional changes occur that can affect a woman’s sex life. She may feel less interested in sex or intercourse may be uncomfortable or painful. While this may cause stress, intimate health is something that can be improved with treatments and therapies supervised by a menopause specialist.
Effects of Menopause on Intimate Health
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal atrophy
- Vaginal tissue becomes thinner, dryer, and inflamed due to a lack of estrogen. It can also cause urinary symptoms.
- Vaginal laxity
- A feeling of looseness in the vagina which can also cause a loss of sensation during intercourse.
- Labial laxity
- The outer and inner labia tissue has a loose and sagging appearance. It can cause problems during activities like exercise and intercourse.
- Lower sex drive
- Difficulty becoming aroused/reaching orgasm
- Night sweats/sleep disturbances cause fatigue
- Mood swings/emotional changes cause stress and irritability
- Side effects from antidepressants
Ways to Improve Intimate Wellness
A menopause specialist can give you guidance or prescribe treatments to improve your intimate health. Some women only need to adjust their habits to experience relief from symptoms. Other women may need more targeted treatment. It varies from woman to woman.
There are certain things you can do in your daily life to improve your intimate wellness. According to the Office on Women’s Health, the following things may be helpful for sexual health during perimenopause and menopause:
- Stay active
- Don’t smoke
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Avoid drugs & alcohol
- Have sex more often
- Allow time for arousal/foreplay
- Avoid products like soaps that cause dryness or irritation
- Pills, creams, flibanserin to treat low sex drive
Topical Treatments & Medication
If the above steps are not working well enough, talk to your doctor about treatments that may help with discomfort or a decrease in libido. Some treatments are available over the counter and some require prescriptions. These treatments include:
- Pills or creams to treat low sex drive
- OTC water-based vaginal lubricant for vaginal dryness
- OTC vaginal moisturizer
- Vaginal estrogen creams
- Estrogen tablets or rings for insertion
- Oral tablet with the brand name Osphena. It works like natural estrogen to treat painful intercourse and vaginal dryness
- Oral tablet with the brand name Addyi. A nonhormonal medication that treats a lack of sexual desire in women by targeting serotonin receptors.
vFit PLUS Device
The vFit PLUS is a device you can use at home that uses a combination of three technologies to treat the intimate symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. It is the first and only solution that utilizes red LED lights, gentle heat, and sonic technology. According to the makers of vFit, it promotes hydration, improves sensation, and will increase sexual confidence. Plus, you can do it in the privacy of your home. Your doctor may recommend it as a solo at-home treatment or as a maintenance treatment for women who have had prior professional treatments. It is less expensive and less invasive than other intimate wellness treatments like Mona Lisa Touch.
The vFit PLUS is easy to use and treatments only take 10-12 minutes per day. Users get fast results, with some seeing noticeable improvement within the first 3 weeks. Over 90% of women who have tried the device have reported results. The vFit PLUS can help women with intimate wellness during menopause by treating the following symptoms:
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain with intercourse
- Pelvic relaxation
- Urinary incontinence
If you are having difficulty with intimate wellness during menopause or perimenopause, seeing a doctor that specializes in menopause management or hormone therapy can help. Dr. Karen Clark of Chapel Hill Gynecology is a certified menopause practitioner with years of experience helping women care for their changing health. Dr. Clark is a member of the Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health and provides several services to help with intimate health. Sees only female patients & has additional training and experience with reproductive endocrinology issues specific to women. To talk to her about treatment options like hormone therapy, non-hormonal medication, or the vFit PLUS device, call (919) 960-2720 to schedule an appointment.