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Vaginal Dryness and Muscle Tone During Perimenopause and Postmenopause


Vaginal Dryness and Muscle Tone During Perimenopause and Postmenopause

Many women reach postmenopause without noticing a change in their sexuality. You may find that the freedom from birth control and menstrual periods increases your sexual interest and pleasure.

Some women have physical symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and loss of vaginal muscle tone, that require adjustments around the time of menopause. If sexual intercourse is painful because of vaginal dryness:

  • Lubricate the vagina with a nonprescription lubricant, such as Astroglide, or a polyunsaturated vegetable oil that does not contain preservatives. Avoid using petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, because it increases the risk of vaginal irritation and infection.
  • A low-dose vaginal estrogen (cream, tablet, or ring) can help restore thin, sensitive vaginal walls. For more information, see the Medications section of the topic Menopause and Perimenopause.

Firm muscle tone will help prevent other problems, such as the bulging (prolapse) of the bladder or rectum into the vagina. To help maintain the muscle tone of the vagina:

  • Have sexual intercourse frequently.
  • Do Kegel exercises several times each day.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last RevisedMay 4, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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