A new study finds that fear of experiencing pain during sex and urinary tract problems are a few of the key reasons why women stay away from getting intimate as they age.
According to the study, two in ten postmenopausal women are concerned that intercourse will hurt while one in ten say bladder issues put them off.
Researchers now are able to say that the typical decrease in sexual activity among women as they age is not because of fading interest in sex but rather the problem, predominantly, is physical.
Speaking about the findings, Dr Amanda Clark, lead author of the study from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portlan, Oregaon said that the the findings underscore the need to further expand the sexual history after a woman reports that she is not currently sexually active.
Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director, went on to add that the study provides just one more reason why healthcare providers need to have an open and honest discussion with peri- and postmenopausal women so that appropriate treatments options can be evaluated.
In the course of the study, pain during sex was reported as a reason for avoiding or restricting activity by 20 percent while nine percent cited the deterrent as bladder problems, such as fear of wetting the bed or having to interrupt activity to go to the bathroom.
The symptoms, called Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM), a term that has replaced that of vulvovaginal atrophy (or atrophic vaginitis), which was what doctors used to call vaginal dryness.
Here’s what you need to know about GSM
When a woman undergoes menopause, her estrogen levels decline and along with it other steroid levels go down as well. These decreases can lead to changes in the vagina, vulva and bladder. Decrease in estrogen makes the vaginal tissues thinner, drier, less elastic and more fragile causing discomfort during intercourse.
GSM ups the risk of urinary problems, including increased frequency or urgency of urination or burning with urination. Some women experience more urinary tract infections or incontinence.
It also brings the risk of vaginal infections due to changes in the acid balance of the vagina....