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Painful intercourse after menopause is a painfully common issue. Between 17% and 45% of post-menopausal women find intercourse painful. For these ladies, engaging in penetrative sex could cause deep pain that is sharp, and has a burning quality. It sounds like it’s enough to end someone’s sex life forever, right? 

Well, not so fast.

In this article, we’ll cover why this type of pain occurs, how it's treated, and ways to get around it in the bedroom. Exploring the fix for this could revolutionize your sex life.

Why is intercourse painful after menopause?

Let’s start with why this might happen. There are a handful of reasons sex after menopause could become painful.

#1 Vaginal dryness caused by hormonal shifts could make sex painful

The most common reason is hormonal changes and decreased blood flow.  

A natural dip in estrogen can cause a lot of things to change downstairs. Estrogen is largely responsible for the lubrication of the vaginal canal and the vulva tissue. This lubrication keeps everything elastic. When tissue losses its elasticity any type of stretch or moment of the tissue can be painful.

Before menopause, your estrogen levels kept your vaginal tissue lubricated, and elastic and everything ran smoothly. 

#2 Decreased genital blood flow could make sex less enjoyable & painful

As you progress into menopause the natural blood flow to the clitoris and the vaginal canal can decrease. This contributes to vaginal dryness and may cause less enjoyable sex. Less blood flow means less vaginal sensitivity (fewer orgasms) and less natural lubrication. 

When aroused and having sex the natural increase of vaginal blood flow triggers the body to create natural vaginal lubrication. If this process isn’t happening as it used to, you might be experiencing friction when having intercourse. This could totally be painful and cause sex to become unenjoyable. 

#3 Decreased sexual activity worsens the problem 

Unfortunately, there is a bit of a self-perpetuating aspect to this common issue. 

You may have less sex because it’s less enjoyable and painful. (A natural and understandable reaction.) But the less sexual activity you have, the more the condition could progress. Continuing to get aroused and enjoy orgasms and get the blood pumping down there, the healthier your tissues will remain. 

This isn’t to say you should push through the pain. DON’T push through any type of pain during sex. If sex is painful, stop and consider treatment options.

Is this type of pain treatable? 

The short answer is –yes! 

We recommend talking to your doctor about this pain and exploring treatment options. There are a few things you can do for vaginal dryness and pain during sex. 

#1 Natural treatment: Increase blood flow with clit vibrators 

Did you know the regular use of vibrators could curb the symptoms of menopause? Sounds like a win-win to me. 

Vibrators, specifically for the clitoris, increase blood flow to the genitals because they are incredibly stimulating and arousing. Giving yourself that boost of stimulation can boost natural vaginal lubrication. 

Read more: The Best Vibrator For Older Women: Boost Libido & Lubrication

Stimulating with a clit vibrator and working up your arousal can boost blood flow like no other. Increased genital blood flow helps with vaginal lubrication, vaginal sensitivity, and orgasm potential. 

#2 Natural treatment: Use lubrication before sex

Using a personal lubricant before and during sex is always a good idea. If you’re experiencing pain during sex, try applying lubricant to your vulva and to your partner's penis before having sex. This easy treatment might curb the issue for you.  

#3 Natural treatment: Begin vaginal moisturizing  

You could also begin a moisturizing practice both externally and internally. Consider moisturizing vaginal suppositories and creams containing hyaluronic acid or vitamin E. 

Speak with your doctor about hormone therapy 

Hormones are a complicated matter and not our area of experience. But if all other treatments fail, consider speaking with your doctor about hormone replacement. This has been shown to improve menopause symptoms in many women. 

If intercourse is painful, try outercourse 

There are ways around painful intercourse. One easy way is to start focusing on outercourse during your intimate time. Outercourse is simply defined as non-penetrative sex. And believe me, there is a lot of fun to be had during outercourse for both parties. 

“Penetration is an option. It’s not the definition of good sex.”

Have a conversation with your partner and explain that penetration is painful at the moment and you need to try something new. Your partner does not want to hurt you, they want you to experience pleasure while having sex with them. So ask them to explore other avenues of pleasure with you.

Try exploring things like:

  • Using sex toys on each other
  • Edging with sex toys or manual stimulation
  • Engaging in oral sex
  • Manual stimulation 
  • Mutual masturbation
  • Anal sex 

This exploration might last the rest of your relationship or it might just be until your vaginal discomfort has been treated by your doctor. You get to decide. 

Your body is changing, you can change with it 

You deserve to experience pleasure as much as the next gal. But when your body is changing, it may mean you have to change with it. Try altering your self-care practices, sexual wellness routines, and sex explorations to accommodate natural changes in your body. 

Sexual wellness routines such as using clitoral vibrators, and personal lubricants, and exploring alternative routes of pleasure are all revolutionary acts for the mature sexual woman. 

For 15% off any clit vibrator use code MYREVOLUTION at check out. All US orders ship free & discreetly. 



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