February is a time when many people celebrate love. But, for millions of post-menopausal women – making love hurts – due to a common physical condition that results in painful sex. It’s a symptom of menopause that is rarely talked about and frequently goes unaddressed. The truth is many women feel shame about admitting they have this condition. As women’s health professionals, we want to encourage women to start a conversation with their doctors and partners if they’re experiencing painful sex due to menopause.
Here are some quick facts you should know:
- Approximately 32 million menopausal women in the U.S. experience vulvar vaginal atrophy (VVA). VVA is a result of decreasing estrogen levels, which can cause sexual intercourse to become painful.
- There are millions of women experiencing painful sex due to menopause, yet only 22% of postmenopausal women age 50+ have discussed sexual issues with a physician.
- There are prescription treatment options that can help provide significant relief from moderate to severe painful sex due to menopause.