Pain during intercourse is a common complaint during menopause. As estrogen levels drop, physical changes occur in the vulva, vagina and lower urinary tract. The vagina experiences decreased blood flow and it becomes narrower and shorter. Its lining becomes thinner, dryer, more fragile, and easily traumatized.
Painful intercourse can be treated with over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers such as Replens, Luvena and others. Additionally, a lubricant such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly should be used during intercourse.
If over-the-counter remedies do not provide relief, you may be offered Vaginal Estrogen Therapy in form of a cream, pill or ring. This therapy works by increasing vaginal blood flow, increasing the thickness of the vaginal wall, and increasing lubrication.