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Pain with penetrative sex

Rhea asks: What can I do about pain with penetrative sex?

My reply:

You are not alone! I hear from a lot of members who tell me things like “I've been experiencing pain with penetration for XX years.” This breaks my heart. And if this is you, I beg you to:

  • Not engage in penetration until we find you a viable solution!

  • Check out the list of options below and in this article

  • {Everyone reading along} Reply to this email if you have any questions at all!

Vaginal atrophy is the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls that occurs in over 80% of women when both hyaluronic acid and estrogen decline postmenopause. Vaginal atrophy not only makes sitting and moving uncomfortable, but it can lead to painful penetrative sex and distressing urinary issues, such as reoccurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.


Vulva & vaginal dryness can occur at other times in our life too—one of the biggest culprits is the birth control pill, which disrupts hormones in order to prevent a pregnancy--but can also disrupt other areas of health too. Other reasons for vulva & vaginal dryness include fluctuating hormones during postpartum, overuse of pantyliners and other absorbent pads, a side effect from cancer treatments, certain medications or other health conditions.


The bad news is vulva & vaginal dryness, if left untreated, does not get better with time. This is really important because many women have been socialized to believe hormone changes are something we have to “just get through” without realizing there are longer-term health implications if action to prevent and/or treat is not taken.


The good news is there is a full menu of options for both preventing and treating vulva & vaginal dryness, including some new developments in the last couple of years! Please be sure to address your options with a qualified health professional.




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