With menopause comes a drop in hormones--and a host of symptoms that can leave your vagina feeling dry, itchy, irritated, even smelling funny. Those symptoms affect more than half of all menopausal women, according to a study published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.
For many women, those symptoms are coupled with others--a need to pee often, urinary incontinence, and other pelvic disorders. Of course, all those symptoms can wreak havoc on your sex life. And a whopping 76 percent of women surveyed who had these symptoms agreed that they posed a problem during love-making.
Still, a full third of these women hadn't seen a gynecologist in the last two years; and even the vast majority who'd seen one--83 percent--weren't getting the standard treatment, which is low-dose estrogen in the vagina through creams, pills, or rings.
Researchers from Dartmouth and Yale, who conducted the study, speculated that women had been scared away from hormone-based treatments because they'd been linked with an increased risk of cancer, a fear that has since been debunked by recent studies.
Since low-dose estrogen creams can help women get their groove back, researchers urge them to see their doctors--and get treated right away.
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