During menopause, your body goes through a number of changes, most of which are not pleasant: Your hormone levels change, your metabolism slows, you may gain weight, and, of course, you’ll experience hot flashes and mood swings.
But some women experience a more intimate symptom: painful sex. In fact, about 25 to 45 percent of menopausal women report that sex hurts. But you don’t have to accept painful intercourse as a fact of life. At Suncoast Women’s Care in Trinity, Florida, our expert gynecologists offer a life-changing treatment called MonaLisa Touch®. Keep reading to learn how this treatment can remedy painful sex after menopause.
Why does sex hurt after menopause?
Post-menopausal intercourse pain is due to the decrease in the body’s estrogen levels. Estrogen is responsible for the normal functioning of your reproductive organs, including the vagina. The hormone stimulates the release of natural lubricants and usually stimulates the repair of damaged cells in your vaginal lining.
Without your body’s normal production of estrogen, you may notice vaginal dryness, laxity, burning, pain, and itching. For many women, those symptoms amplify with sexual intercourse. Altogether, these symptoms represent a condition called vaginal atrophy.
What’s more, is that sexual activity encourages blood flow to the vagina. If you avoid sex, you may experience even more tissue thinning and pain.
How to relieve painful sex after menopause: MonaLisa Touch
You have many options for relieving painful sex, including lubricants, moisturizers, hormone therapy, and more. But the providers at Suncoast Women’s Care truly believe in the power of one special treatment: MonaLisa Touch.
MonaLisa Touch is a gentle, noninvasive treatment that can improve vaginal symptoms after menopause, including pain, laxity, and dryness. The fractional CO2 laser delivers energy to your vaginal tissue, stimulating your body’s natural healing processes. The laser energy also helps your body produce new cells and increase the production of collagen and elastin, two important components of healthy vaginal tissue.
The procedure is quick, with most sessions taking no longer than five minutes. You also won’t endure any downtime, so you can return to your normal daily activities as soon as you’re through. You should, however, abstain from sex for a day or two after your treatment. Some patients experience minor sensitivity or swelling after MonaLisa Touch and prefer to wait until it subsides. \You may notice improvements after just one session, but most patients return for a few sessions, each spaced out by about six weeks.
Complications of painful sex after menopause
Aside from the obvious — not being able to experience sexual pleasure — painful intercourse presents another potentially big problem. If you can’t enjoy sex, the lack thereof may take a toll on your relationship with your partner.
If you’re experiencing painful sex, discuss your situation with your partner. If they understand what’s going on, they’ll be better able to support you and encourage you to seek treatment.
To learn more about the MonaLisa Touch procedure at Suncoast Women’s Care, check out our MonaLisa Touch FAQ. To find out if MonaLisa Touch is right for you, schedule an appointment with one of our providers. Call us at 727-230-9508 or request an appointment online.