In films, books and general parlance, the two most frequently cited menopause symptoms are (often comical) hot flushes and a significant loss of libido. However, while many women do find their sex drive has taken a nose dive, there are many others who have not lost interest in intimacy, rather the act of sex has simply become painful. At Amanda Tozer’s London menopause clinic she is often asked this one question: ‘do I just have to say goodbye to my sex life?’
What changes does the vagina undergo during menopause?
The term for pelvic pain felt during or after sex is dyspareunia, and its symptoms can be very distressing and have a negative impact on self-esteem and on relationships. Dyspareunia that has developed with the menopause is likely to be a consequence of vaginal atrophy, itself a result of oestrogen levels plummeting. The vaginal wall requires oestrogen to keep it strong and resistant by increasing the blood supply and the levels of secretions to make it softer and able to stretch; when oestrogen levels fall, the vaginal tissues thin and lose their stretch and lubrication, both vital to pain-free sexual intercourse.
Can I enjoy pain-free sex after the menopause?
Female gynaecologist Amanda Tozer is pleased to be able to offer an innovative new treatment at her London clinic for women suffering from menopausal vaginal atrophy: the MonaLisa Touch. Clinical trials have shown that after just three sessions 63.53 per cent of patients reported an improvement in their symptoms of dyspareunia.
The MonaLisa Touch is a non-invasive laser treatment that gets to the root of vaginal atrophy, promoting and recovering pre-menopausal metabolic activity. New collagen, hyaluronic acid and other essential elements are synthesised, helping to regain a hydrated mucosa and, as a consequence, a proper trophic supply to the vaginal tissues – allowing them to function more as they did before the menopause threw your sex life into disarray.
The Mona Lisa treatment works very well in treating other menopausal symptoms such as recurrent thrush and vaginal dryness.