Bleeding During Intercourse
Is it common to bleed during intercourse while going through menopause?
In short, yes, it is common to experience vaginal bleeding after intercourse during menopause. As you know, menopause changes the balance of hormones in your body, as well as physical changes that can affect sexual intercourse. The physical changes in some women often lead to a lack of sexual desire as intercourse becomes painful. The following are a number of physical changes that occur during menopause that can affect intercourse:
· Drying and narrowing of the vagina - once the estrogen hormone begins to drop due to menopause, it is no longer available to nurture the vaginal lining. Without the protective lining, the vagina can become more easily irritated during intercourse. This can affect your enjoyment.
· Diminishing vaginal lubrication - menopausal women have a harder time achieving and maintaining lubrication because as the estrogen levels fall, the blood flow and lubrication secretions to the genitals decreases.
· Labia Majora becomes smaller and thinner.
· Loss of breast firmness - the breasts tend to lose some of their shape and firmness and may even become less sensitive to stimulation.
· Irritating clitoral stimulation.
· Thinning urethra - the urethra is also affected by estrogen secretions. With the decline in estrogen, the urethra can become thinner and more sensitive which can become irritated during intercourse due to its proximity to the vagina.
· Less pubic hair.
These symptoms can affect your attitude and pleasure in sexual activity during menopause. They can also lead to dyspareunia which is painful sex. In addition to irritation during intercourse, postcolitial bleeding is also common. This is bleeding that occurs after intercourse mainly because the vaginal wall has been aggravated during penetration.
There are some steps that you can take to help ensure intercourse is a pleasurable experience for you and your partner during menopause:
· Use lubricants - they can help with vaginal dryness and reduce discomfort.
· Vaginal moisturizers - they help to rebuild the protective layer of the vaginal lining.
· Stay sexually active - having sex regularly can help keep up your sexual responsiveness and help the vagina stay lubricated and elastic.
· Oral contraceptives - if you are still having periods, oral contraceptives will help to balance hormones and protect you from pregnancy.
· Hormone Replacement Therapy - an option for women who experience serious menopausal symptoms and who have no other option of treatment available to them. HRT requires doctor supervision.
Bleeding during intercourse can also be caused by other problems, so it is important to see your doctor. He or she will be able to check if your postcolitial bleeding is due to menopause.