An answer for painful intercourse after menopause

Posted , 8 users are following.

I am 55 years old, post menopausal, and celibate for 13 years after the death of my husband. I have never had children. Upon attempting sex after this time, I found it painful and impossible. There was a constrictive ring at the opening of my vagina that was not elastic and would not stretch. I have trawled through hundreds of website pages to get information on this, without success. Most of the information I have found is written by men, and dealt with disease, psychological problems, etc. Having been to my gynecologist, I feel compelled to post this, in case there are other women in the same situation - for post menopausal women who present no disease nor psychological difficulty with intercourse, but suffer from painful or impossible penetration nonetheless. In my case, although I was very sexually active, my hymenal ring never tore, but, due to my youth and continued sexual activity, was very elastic and stretchable. This is, in part, due to hormones, particularly estrogen found in the vaginal tissue. However, after years of inactivity, compounded by menopause where there was a great reduction of estrogen, my hymenal ring no longer stretches, but is impenetrable beyond 1 or 2 fingers. I have started a course of vaginal estrogen, but this was not quick nor successful enough for me. I have a surgical choice of either incisions to 'tear' this ring, or dilation by the surgeon (wherein the hymenal ring may tear anyway). Presently I am opting for the surgical dilation. I hope this post helps other women in the same situation, as there appears to be little information on the internet regarding painful sex occurring at the vaginal opening, where there is nothing else wrong. This is a natural occurrence in older women who have been inactive, are childless and have gone through menopause. And it can be treated so you can resume a normal sex life.

0 likes, 6 replies

Report / Delete

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Reading your post was very interesting. I had 3 children, the last one 15 years ago, then was divorced. I had happily been a single, celibate parent for 13 years, when I met a wonderful man. The first time we had sex, I bled profusely, although I didn't feel any pain. I thought maybe my period had started early. But it happened every time we had sex, so I went to my gp, who sent me for tests. I was told (after answering some very personal questions!) that as my partner was of \"more than the average size\", his penis was grazing a patch of endometriosis and causing the bleeding. I was sent for some sort of cauterisation, which was really painful (and smelled awful, burning flesh) and told not to have sex for 4 weeks. The subsequent discharge was disgusting, very smelly, a bit like after having a baby. Sure enough, after 4 weeks or so it stopped, we resumed our very healthy sex life, and everything has been fine since, apart from me going through the menopause! I have had a problem with dryness, making sex almost impossible, but have discovered Vielle lubricant, which works very well, so we are ok again.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    [quote:7729c734c2=\"Lo Guidice\"]I am 55 years old, post menopausal, and celibate for 13 years after the death of my husband. I have never had children. Upon attempting sex after this time, I found it painful and impossible. There was a constrictive ring at the opening of my vagina that was not elastic and would not stretch. I have trawled through hundreds of website pages to get information on this, without success. Most of the information I have found is written by men, and dealt with disease, psychological problems, etc. Having been to my gynecologist, I feel compelled to post this, in case there are other women in the same situation - for post menopausal women who present no disease nor psychological difficulty with intercourse, but suffer from painful or impossible penetration nonetheless. In my case, although I was very sexually active, my hymenal ring never tore, but, due to my youth and continued sexual activity, was very elastic and stretchable. This is, in part, due to hormones, particularly estrogen found in the vaginal tissue. However, after years of inactivity, compounded by menopause where there was a great reduction of estrogen, my hymenal ring no longer stretches, but is impenetrable beyond 1 or 2 fingers. I have started a course of vaginal estrogen, but this was not quick nor successful enough for me. I have a surgical choice of either incisions to 'tear' this ring, or dilation by the surgeon (wherein the hymenal ring may tear anyway). Presently I am opting for the surgical dilation. I hope this post helps other women in the same situation, as there appears to be little information on the internet regarding painful sex occurring at the vaginal opening, where there is nothing else wrong. This is a natural occurrence in older women who have been inactive, are childless and have gone through menopause. And it can be treated so you can resume a normal sex life.[/quote:7729c734c2]
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi I am Geri,

    I am going through the menapause and my sex life is nil ,

    I am 53 I don't take any thing like H-R-T 

    geri

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thank you for your post. It was a relief to know that I wasn't the only one. I am 51 and have been celibate for a number of years. Having very much enjoyed sex in the past I was devastated to find it painful now. I went through menopause early, around 47. I need to check on options like you have mentioned above. 
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Finally, an answer! I am 52 and have never had children. Like you, I had a fairly active sex life until about 5 years ago when my ex boyfriend found another woman. In the past few years, we have seen each other occasionally, more often in the past few months. I have the same muscular ring and never had any idea what itight be. Sex is very painful, even with lubrication. After a while it gets easier, but I end up getting torn and bleeding every time. I may have surgery, now that I know what it is, but I may try manually manipulating it myself first. I figure I can stretch out the muscle on my own with little embarrassment. Thank you so much for an answer to a question I've had for a very long time.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I have this same thing! I am 50 and have just begun estrogen. What happened with you? Did you have surgery? Like you, I can't find anything on the internet about this.

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up