Are you menopausal and experiencing a decline in your sexual function?
Do not worry, you are not alone.
A study which used data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) provides more information to us about sexual decline during the menopause. It was published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Researchers gathered data from about 1,400 women who were in either the natural menopause or hysterectomy groups of the SWAN study.
NAMS explains the findings for us:
- No decline in sexual function was documented until 20 months before the final menstrual period.
- From this time until one year after the final period, sexual function scores decreased by 0.35 annually and continued to decline more than one year afterward but at a slower rate.
- The decline was smaller in black women and larger in Japanese than in white women.
- Women who had a hysterectomy before the final menstrual period did not show a decline in sexual function before surgery but did experience a decline afterward.
- In total, sexual decline persisted for five years after the final menstrual cycle.
- Although menopause is often accompanied by such related symptoms as vaginal dryness, depression, and anxiety, these factors did not explain the effect of menopause or surgery on sexual function.
- The problem of declining sexual function is a serious one, because more than 75% of the middle-aged women in the study reported that sex was moderately to extremely important.
Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, the executive director of NAMS further explained, “This study highlights the need for healthcare providers to have open conversations with their patients about their sexual issues, because there are many options for women to help maintain or improve their sexual lives as they transition to and beyond menopause. Low-dose vaginal estrogen, for example, which has minimal risks for most women, is an effective and safe treatment for painful intercourse as is a non-estrogen therapy called ospemifene.”
Information is power!
If you are experiencing sexual issues, please reach out to your menopause specialist. If you don’t have one, I have some helpful tips here!
Click here to download my free eBook, MENOPAUSE MONDAYS The Girlfriend’s Guide To Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.
My motto is: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!