“Use it or lose it” – it’s true. And in this case, we’re talking about….sex.
If you’re watching television these days, you might get the feeling that everyone is having a lot of great sex, and this includes us baby boomers. The TV writers may think so, but that’s not what the research shows. North American Menopause Society (NAMS) research shows that between 17 and 45 percent of post-menopausal women find sex painful.
These women can be suffering from vaginal atrophy, which is the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a drop in estrogen, which occurs naturally with menopause. This drop in estrogen also affects a woman’s ability to secrete lubrication and to expand and contract the vagina and vulva. With atrophy, the vaginal cells shrink and die off, and they are not replaced.
The good news: it’s all treatable.
Yes, we have our arsenal of products and therapies such as lubricants, personal moisturizers, vaginal dilators, estrogen, and pelvic floor therapy. But has anyone ever suggested another option which is natural, fun, and inexpensive? That option is having more sex! Here’s where “Use it or lose it” comes in. Sexual arousal improves the blood flow to your sex organs. This improved blood flow can reduce vaginal atrophy, or lessen its severity, by preventing the shrinking or dying of vaginal cells. More blood flow also reduces dryness.
According to Dr. Michael Krychman, a sexual medicine specialist and the Director of Sexual Medicine at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA, the bottom line is that sexual activity two times a week is the key to maintaining your sexual health.