What is Dyspareunia? An Explanation and How You Can Treat It

What is Dyspareunia

You have heard the term from your doctor before, but you may not know much about it. What is dyspareunia? Could it affect you?

While dyspareunia isn’t exactly a household word, it’s almost definitely a household problem. Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful sex, which is defined as persistent or recurrent genital pain that occurs just before, during or after intercourse, and it afflicts as many as 45% of the 65 million menopausal and post-menopausal American women, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

So now that we’ve answered the “what is dyspareunia” question – and told you how unbelievably common it is— it’s time to ask, “what can I do about it?”

If you happen to fall into the 45% of women who are affected by dyspareunia, you don’t need to say good-bye to sex. There are several things you can do alleviate dyspareunia and get back to pain-free sex.

Vaginal dryness can be treated with estrogen through hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but many doctors and their patients would prefer to avoid the side effects and risks of HRT. For those of you who choose to opt for a non-hormonal option, vaginal moisturizers are widely available and proven to be as effective as hormone therapy at addressing vaginal dryness.

Dr. Don Dizon, specialist in medical gynecologic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discussed this topic in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Clinical Journal (SRM). He found that over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers are great options for decreasing dyspareunia and improving vaginal dryness when used regularly.

According to the study, the composition of Replens "binds directly to the vaginal epithelium. The hydrating property restores the vaginal pH...and reduces the incidence of vaginal dryness, itching, and irritation." So what does that mean to you? It means that Replens can help make sex less painful and more enjoyable.

Does Replens actually work? It’s been clinically tested and proven to be effective by multiple independent studies! A clinical study in The New England Journal of Medicine that concluded over-the-counter Replens is as effective at treating vaginal dryness as prescription hormones. For those who choose not to go the HRT route, it is reassuring to know there is an estrogen free way to positively affect a woman’s sexual health – especially when she is suffering from a health problem like dyspareunia.

There is no need to miss out on sex due to dyspareunia. There are steps you can take on your own, like buying a vaginal moisturizer, or steps you can take with a medical professional, like HRT. If you experience pain during sex, ask your doctor what they recommend to do about it. They have the knowledge and tools to help you find what works for you to help you enjoy sex again.

Vibrant Voice Ambassador at Replens
The Vibrant Voice Ambassador’s mission is to collect interesting stories and useful articles that are relevant for mature women.  Our goal is to help you maintain an active lifestyle - to Fifty and Beyond!
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