New York: S*xual dysfunction increases by nearly 30 per cent during perimenopause and vaginal dryness most often has the greatest effect on desire, arousal and overall satisfaction, reveals a new study.
For some women, s*x becomes less satisfying with age, with a pronounced decline during perimenopause. Women start perimenopause at different ages. There are many factors that can negatively affect s*xual function, including mental and emotional status, ageing, chronic medical problems and menopause status.
Decreasing estrogen levels during the menopause transition cause a variety of biological changes in a woman’s body, leading to vaginal atrophy, the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls.
“This study examined s*xual functioning in women aged 40 to 55 years and identified a link between vaginal dryness and worse s*xual function.
“Given the high prevalence of s*xual dysfunction in women, identifying an eminently treatable contributing factor such as vaginal dryness may allow women to maintain their s*xual function during the menopause transition,” said Dr Stephanie Faubion, medical director with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in a paper published in the journal Menopause.
Although previous studies have documented the effect of vaginal atrophy on menopausal women, this new study is one of only a few to assess effect during perimenopause, a transitional time before menopause when the ovaries gradually begin to make less estrogen.
Largely as a result of vaginal dryness, researchers noted that s*xual satisfaction scores decreased while s*xual dysfunction increased by about 30 per cent during the perimenopause years.