If you had a painful, uncomfortable medical issue that interfered with your happiness and well-being, would you seek assistance from your doctor? For an overwhelming number of women who endure vaginal dryness, the answer, apparently, is no! These women believe that vaginal dryness is a sad fact of postmenopausal life and choose to just live with it. In some cases they are too embarrassed or uncomfortable to ask their doctors whether anything can be done to alleviate their distress.
In a recent HealthyWomen survey I worked on with funding from Pfizer, we found that 40 percent of women suffering from vaginal dryness believe that their sex lives are not a topic to be discussed with their doctors. And, interestingly, while almost every survey respondent reported that they were very well aware of male sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction, one in 10 women surveyed were not acquainted with female sexual issues.
And, the fact is, vaginal dryness is more than just an issue of comfort. It can negatively interfere with a woman’s sexual enjoyment and her relationship, and one in four women reported that it made sexual activity painful.
The good news is that the medical community is finally attending to female sexual issues along with male sexual issues, and these advances come none too soon. In fact, more than half of postmenopausal women experience vaginal dryness. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments — such as prescription estrogen creams — that can reverse vaginal dryness and restore vaginal tissue. Lubrication is crucial, but even better are lubricants that can actually increase your enjoyment; many products on the market can help intensify sensations and enhance sexual satisfaction for both you and your partner.
And remember, when it comes to sexuality, if you don’t use it, you lose it! Regular sexual activity will not only lead to more orgasms for you and your partner, but it will also improve circulation to your genitals and help increase natural lubrication. Sex aids can also be a wonderful way to increase your pleasure and heighten your sexual arousal, whether you want to use them alone or with your partner. And, if you are shy about heading out to a sex store, you can discreetly order from a site like drugstore.com — your neighbors will be none the wiser!