Understanding Dyspareunia

With the kids out of the house, older women can enjoy more privacy for intimate moments with a partner. However, getting older can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to sexual intercourse. Dyspareunia is a medical condition that is fairly common, but few women who have it are comfortable talking about it.

Eventually affecting roughly one of every three women, dyspareunia is usually caused by changes that can occur as a result of menopause. Diminishing estrogen levels leave vaginal tissue less pliable. Also, the vagina sometimes becomes narrower and shorter with age. Unfortunately, the result is friction and very painful intercourse.

Discomfort leaves women not wanting to be intimate with their partners, and because it is a sensitive issue, women are not getting the information needed to treat the condition. What's more, partners are left feeling unwanted without really knowing the circumstances.

The good news is that there are several natural alternatives to try before choosing prescribed medicines. However, the first and most important step is to communicate with a partner. While it can be difficult, the end result can be a closer, more intimate relationship. Individuals can sometimes feel personally responsible for their partner's lack of interest in sex. An explanation offers relief from this responsibility, and most partners are willing to help in whatever way possible. Here are a few natural options for dyspareunia.

Try a natural lubricant.There are a host of products on the market for lubrication, however many contain artificial chemicals, which can sometimes aggravate sensitive genitals. Fortunately, there are varieties made up of completely natural ingredients. These can be found online or through many whole foods markets.

Try non-estrogenic herbs to balance hormone levels.These trigger the growth of the body's own hormones, as opposed to replacing them with artificial forms.

Black cohosh: In addition to helping balance hormones, the molecules of this herb bind to receptors that regulate body temperature, which also makes it a great product for hot flashes. Black cohosh is also said to help in the regulation of mood swings and to enhance sleep in menopausal women. Lastly, this helpful herb may help reduce body weight gained because of imbalanced hormones.

Maca Root: This non-estrogenic herb grows in the Andean plateaus of Peru. In addition to the stimulation of natural hormone growth, maca can help reduce hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, and it can boost libido. It's often available in supplement form, such as IVL Maca Mineral Supplement.

Keishi-bukuryo-gan: Made up of four herbs and a mushroom, this is a traditional Japanese formula that is a popular remedy for peri-menopausal hot flashes. A similar over-the-counter product manufactured in the U. S. is H25.

Incorporate a few lifestyle changes. Stress can exacerbate symptoms of menopause, so try to manage stress with regular daily meditation, yoga, soft music or relaxation CDs. Eat foods like soy, yams, alfalfa and rice. These are natural estrogen boosters. Also, regular physical exercise boosts the flow of blood to all areas of the body, including the genitals.

Try Kegel exercises. These exercises also stimulate circulation to the genitals and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles one would use to stop urination in midstream. Kegel exercises simply involve tightening these muscles and holding the contraction for five seconds and relaxing for five seconds. Try three or four sets of 10 repetitions per day, and build up to ten seconds at a time.

Dyspareunia is a painful condition, but women who have it should not have to suffer in silence. What's more, it doesn't have to affect a relationship. Communication with a parr and a few natural alternatives can go a long way toward a happier and more comfortable sex life.

Read More on this Topic:
Breast Cancer and The Estrogen Connection
Hot Flashes: Hormones, Heart or Heat?
Brain-Boosting Supplements


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