Washington, June 6 (ANI): The pain that can come after menopause can rob women and their partners of a satisfying sex life.
However, a global survey including some 1,000 middle-aged North American men and women shows that treatment can help restore it.
Sexual pain at this stage in a woman's life is usually the result of the typical drying and thinning of tissues in and around the vagina after menopause, called vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), coupled with a decrease in sexual activity.
Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers, vaginal estrogen, and ospemifene, a recently approved oral drug that is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), can all be used to treat it.
Known as Clarifying Vaginal Atrophy's Impact on Sex and Relationships (CLOSER), the survey was commissioned by Novo Nordisk, the maker of a vaginal estrogen treatment.
It included postmenopausal women volunteers age 55 to 65 who had VVA and their male partners. This part of CLOSER looked at how treatment with vaginal estrogen affected their sex lives.
Before treatment, a majority of these women (58 percent) said they had been avoiding intimacy because of the pain, and 68 percent said they had lost their desire because of it. An even higher percentage of the men (78 percent) thought their partner's vaginal discomfort caused them to avoid intimacy. About a third of the men and women had stopped having sex altogether.
After treatment, a majority of women and men reported sex was less painful for them and their partner, and more than 40 percent of the women and men said sex was more satisfying. Twenty-nine percent of the women and 34 percent of the men said their sex life had improved.
Treatment also had a positive impact on the women's self esteem. About a third felt more optimistic about the future of their sex life, and a similar number felt more connected to their partners.
The study is published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (ANI)