September 24, 2023



Sexuality in menopause: how to overcome difficulties in married life

4 min read

A complex period, we said: and in fact, often alla menopause the unpleasant and annoying are associated hot flashes with associated night sweats, i sleep disordersmood swings, theirritabilitythe difficulty in controlling body weight with an increase in abdominal fatthe difficulty concentratingit is and memory and the vaginal dryness which, combined with decline in desiremakes the couple life particularly delicate.

WHEN YOU ARE REALLY IN MENOPAUSE: a delay is not enough to think that we have entered this phase. The disappearance of the menstrual cycle for at least twelve consecutive months is the element that marks the woman’s entry into menopause, but it represents only one of the many effects related to the interruption of hormonal production by the ovary and the loss of reproductive capacity. It is a very delicate passage that is lived and faced in a different way by each one: in fact it determines a greater vulnerability as well as physical, also psychological due to the estrogenic collapse of hormones which determine repercussions at the level of organs and systems and above all on the bones, as well as on the cardiovascular system and the brain.

VAGINAL DRYNESS, ANNOYING AND AN ENEMY OF INTIMACY: vaginal dryness is a rather common problem among women, especially in certain periods of life. Typical of the climacteric and of the years following menopause, the drying up of the vagina is very often a brake on one’s sexual serenity, an obstacle that is anything but insurmountable. However, it should be kept in mind that vaginal dryness is the result of a pathological condition, namely vulvo-vaginal atrophy, which not only affects the psychophysical well-being of women, but also that of the partner, profoundly undermining the balance of the couple. Unfortunately this disorder is still a taboo, few speak spontaneously with their doctor, but on the other hand, even the gynecologists themselves have a certain reluctance to deal explicitly with the problem, which pertains to the intimate sphere. Sexual health is an important component of health and well-being, not only for women but also for couples, which must not be neglected to ensure a satisfactory quality of life even in a more adult stage of our lives.

VULVO-VAGINAL ATROPHY, A DISORDER THAT CAN GET WORSE: vulvo-vaginal atrophy is a public health problem that affects over 50% of women in menopause and which can manifest itself with a variety of symptoms: from itching to decreased vaginal lubrication to blood loss during sexual intercourse. These are disorders which, combined with the natural and physiological aging process, have negative effects on women and which often also affect their sexual life. In fact, the tissues of the urogenital system are particularly sensitive to the effect of estrogens, which help keep the vaginal walls elastic and lubricated and contribute to ensuring the balance of the vaginal bacterial flora, protecting against infections. Lack of estrogen leads to progressive thinning of vaginal tissue (vaginal atrophy) and decreased lubrication (vaginal dryness). Compared to other ailments, such as hot flashes which generally subside over time, vulvovaginal atrophy tends to persist and even get worse.

REFLECTIONS ON COUPLE LIFE: a disorder such as vaginal atrophy does not concern only the female universe, because unfortunately it has a decisive influence on the balance of the couple and the sexual sphere. The decrease in desire, due to any pain or discomfort, can lead the partner to feel rejected or unwanted, an aspect that can lead to the onset of male sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. The difficulties related to unsatisfactory intimate life undermine the relationship and are added to other factors that inevitably impact on sexuality, for example those related to aesthetic changes: in addition to weight gain, also the thinning and thinning of the hair and the aging of the skin, all modifications which certainly cannot be accepted easily.

THE EXPERT’S OPINION IS FUNDAMENTAL: vulvo-vaginal atrophy must be faced with serenity by resorting to the most effective therapeutic solution. To be able to identify it, you need to contact your trusted gynecologist, with whom you can deal without fear especially for issues related to the most intimate sphere. The treatment of this pathology today involves systemic hormone replacement therapy, which should be administered in the lowest possible dose to avoid possible side effects on the uterus and breast, local estrogen therapy, which however acts only on the superficial level of the vaginal mucosa, generating a transient improvement, various alternative therapies such as the use of vaginal lubricants and moisturizers and the administration of hyaluronic acid, solutions that can serve to improve vaginal symptoms without however allowing lasting improvements.

HYGIENE IS ALWAYS A PASSWORD: in general, without forgetting that health prevention passes through the balance of the vaginal ecosystem, it is undoubtedly advisable to focus on products for intimate hygiene with a neutral pH. It is important to take into consideration the potential soothing action against the most common annoyances, the degree of protection they can offer, their formulation. The ideal intimate cleanser should be delicate, low foaming, refreshing, soothing and moisturizing, even better if with antibacterial properties. You can also use specific products, specifically designed to counteract symptoms such as vaginal odor, itching or burning. In the case of very sensitive, fragile skin and mucous membranes or affected by irritation and redness, the formulations containing the colloidal proteins of oats, rice or other cereals are particularly useful, as are those with olive oil, sweet almonds or jojoba.

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