Surprising Sexual Changes During Menopause

Menopause comes with some unexpected sexual symptoms that can vary from person to person. Noticing them—and then trying to figure them out—can be confusing and even overwhelming. If this is how you’re feeling, you’re not alone. At AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY), we care for the whole you by considering the physical, mental, and lifestyle factors that impact your health. We’re dedicated to providing a care experience that makes talking about menopause as easy and comfortable as possible. Your ACPNY Primary Care Provider (PCP) and Care Team are there to support you every step of the way by listening to you and helping develop a plan for managing your symptoms and overall health. If you recognize or have questions about any of these symptoms, you should speak to your provider.

Talk to your Women’s Health Provider if you experience these symptoms:

  • Vaginal atrophy: Lower estrogen levels can cause thinning of the vaginal walls and therefore increase the likelihood of infections (e.g., STD transmission and yeast infections) and urinary function problems (e.g., UTIs and involuntary leakage).
  • Vaginal dryness: As a result of vaginal atrophy, you may experience a decrease in cells that secrete moisture, leading to vaginal dryness. This can cause burning, soreness, and itching of the vagina.
  • Painful sex: Because of vaginal atrophy and dryness, you may experience painful sex. The pain can be sharp and intense, and can occur before, during, or after sex. Painful sex is one of the leading causes of decreased libido in menopausal women, and it is important to discuss this pain with your provider.
  • Reduced libido: Hormone levels decrease during menopause, and your libido may be affected in several ways. Physical symptoms that lead to loss of libido include vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, and hot flashes. Changes to your libido can also be caused by emotional issues experienced during menopause like depression, mood swings, and embarrassment about weight gain and other symptoms.
  • Less full breasts: The decline in your estrogen during menopause can cause your skin and connective tissue to become less elastic. This leads to a loss of firmness and fullness and can cause a stretched, loose appearance in your breasts. It is even possible for your cup size to alter because of these changes. Keep in mind that all of this is normal, but if you notice the development of lumps, cysts, or leakage, you should schedule an appointment with your provider for an examination.

Your ACPNY Primary Care and Women's Health Providers are here to support you. If you recognize or have questions about any of these symptoms, you should speak to your Primary Care or Women's Health Provider.

 

Sexual Symptom Self-Assessment

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