Transitioning through menopause can certainly be beneficial for your sex life — no more periods and no threat of pregnancy. These benefits, however, can be offset by unwanted side effects, including painful intercourse, that develop due to the drop in your reproductive hormones.
If you’re struggling with painful sex, the good news is that Dr. Gary Willen and the team of women’s health experts here at Tahoe Women’s Care can offer solutions. Through vaginal rejuvenation, we can restore the health of your vaginal tissues so that you can enjoy pain-free sex again.
How sex can become painful
The transition through menopause occurs when your ovaries cease to release eggs, marking the end of your reproductive years. When your ovaries shut down, they also produce far fewer reproductive hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone.
While these hormones drove your ovulation and menstrual cycles, they also played no small role in the health of your vaginal tissues. For example, estrogen ensured that your vaginal walls were elastic and lubricated enough to accommodate intercourse and delivery.
As these hormone levels begin to drop, your vaginal tissues can suffer, becoming thinner and drier, and your vaginal canal can even shorten. All of these combined can lead to a good deal of pain in the one area of your life where you don’t want any discomfort — intercourse.
This development used to be called vaginal atrophy, but medical experts prefer the more inclusive (and less negative) name of genitourinary syndrome of menopause.
Enjoying sex again through vaginal rejuvenation
When we talk about the declining health of your vaginal walls, we’re largely referring to the decrease of collagen and elastin in these tissues due to the drop in hormones. These proteins are responsible for the structure, tone, and elasticity in all of your tissues, including those in your vagina.
If you’re experiencing painful intercourse, there are two ways we can help resolve the issue. First, we can turn to hormone replacement therapy to supply your vaginal tissues with estrogen and/or progesterone, which should boost the health of your vaginal tissues. Systemic hormone therapy can also tackle other side effects of menopause, such as hot flashes.
Since the loss of collagen and elastin is usually at the heart of painful intercourse, we also offer an innovative vaginal rejuvenation technique called MonaLisa Touch® that boosts the production of these proteins.
With the MonaLisa Touch laser system, we deliver energy into your vaginal tissues, which elicits a collagen response. As your vaginal tissues absorb the laser energy, they begin to rebuild the structural support, which leads to thicker, more elastic vaginal walls.
The treatments are quick and easy (about five minutes each) and the laser energy is absorbed deep in your tissue without harming the surface area. Most women undergo a series of MonaLisa Touch treatments, which we space apart to allow time for your vaginal tissues to respond.
You should realize gradual results as your collagen and elastin rebuild, ultimately allowing you to enjoy intercourse without discomfort again.
If you’d like to learn more about how vaginal rejuvenation with MonaLisa Touch can help put an end to painful intercourse, contact our office in Carson City, Nevada, to set up an appointment.