Many women fear menopause for the range of unpleasant symptoms the milestone can bring—night sweats, hot flushes, reduced sex drive, and vaginal dryness. While some women go through menopause without any symptoms, others may experience all of these and more. The fluctuation in hormones can make sex seem unpleasant for some. However, sex after menopause can be better than ever before.
As you head into this new stage of your life, it’s important to understand how it can change things in the bedroom. And, if you’re not feeling as sexy as you used to, we’ve got some options to help you reclaim your confidence in the bedroom. So let’s start with what the most common changes with sex and menopause and why it happens. Clinically, menopause marks the end of a woman’s regular monthly cycle. Once a woman has missed 12 months consecutively, she is post-menopausal. Menopause usually occurs when a woman is in her mid-40s to her early 50s. Though time and symptoms can vary depending on a person’s genetics and ethnicity. For some women, Menopause can lead to bladder issues. It is often the most commonly known symptoms of menopause that might impact your sex life, such as:
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain during or after sex
- Low libido
- Loss of confidence
There are ways to combat the most common symptoms of menopause that affect your sex life, to help you regain your confidence and sexual desire or understand your newfound sexual freedom.
Why it happens: Although women can experience vaginal dryness at any age (and for a number of reasons), vaginal dryness is common during menopause. This is because during this process the vaginal tissue becomes thinner, due to a lack of estrogen, and is easily irritated. This can also lead to pain during sex if appropriate lubrication isn’t used. Vaginal dryness could affect your enjoyment of sex during this time of your life if you’re not prepared.
Why it happens: If you’re experiencing pain during sex while going through menopause, or pain during sex after menopause, vaginal dryness may not be the only cause of this discomfort.
Why it happens: A decrease in sexual interest can have a variety of emotional and physical causes. Some of the emotional triggers include stress, anxiety, depression, overwhelming work or family responsibilities, and relationship problems between couples. Some of the physical factors that can reduce libido include menopause symptoms, hormonal issues, pain from intercourse, health problems, and certain medications or medical treatments. You have options! This is not a part of aging that you have to live with and we are ready to have “that” conversation with you! Because you are not alone. Making the choice to address these issues can improve our quality of life as we all age. So start taking action now as we share insights relating to each of the options below and contact us to discuss the treatment that works best for your specific needs!
Menopause-related treatment options
If your low libido, painful intercourse, and vaginal dryness is caused by menopause symptoms, the following treatment options may provide relief.
What are the benefits of this treatment?
MonaLisa Touch® allows for a functional restoration of the vagina (Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation), which helps fighting and attenuating symptoms related to vaginal atrophy, a widespread problem among pre and postmenopausal women. Thanks to its action on factors that determine dryness, fragility and loss of mucosal elasticity, this treatment can eliminate troublesome itching, irritation and pain, which become particularly acute during intercourse. The interaction with laser is, in fact, the ideal method to stimulate the collagen contained in the vaginal walls for the rehydration and functional tissue restoration. Its beneficial action can contribute to improve self-confidence and sexual pleasure. Is it painful? No, usually no anesthesia required. The sensation is a light vibration. Am I a good candidate for the MonaLisa Touch® laser treatment? For any woman who wants to prevent or treat the vaginal symptoms due to estrogenic decrease (in menopause, after a childbirth, after a cancer treatment) with most common symptoms such as vaginal dryness, laxity, burning, pain during sexual intercourse and mild urinary incontinence. MonaLisa Touch® is the ideal treatment for those who are looking for a less invasive procedure. What type of results can I expect? Most treated patients report a reduction in dryness, burning sensation, pain during intercourse, and urinary symptoms which contributes to a substantial improvement in the quality of life. These results are possible, thanks to the stimulation of the mucosa, which regenerates and rejuvenates. Can MonaLisa Touch® be used to treat vaginal laxity? The term “loose vagina” refers to a condition where the diameter of the vagina has increased. This is often caused by natural yet traumatic events, such as giving birth or tissue relaxation due to a natural ageing process. In these cases, it is essential to evaluate the cause and the state of the vagina to exclude a prolapse or an involvement of the muscles. The CO2 fractional laser allows treating those cases where the “loose vagina” is due to a mucosal tone loss. Are there any risks? There are some minimal risks. The treatment is performed on an outpatient visit. Most women report temporary side effects, slight redness or swelling: some discomfort that usually disappears. How many treatments are needed? It depends on how serious the symptoms are. We usually recommended 1 to 3 treatments, 40-60 days apart, followed by an annual maintenance treatment. How is the recovery? Most women report slight localized discomfort following the laser treatment and during the first few days after the session. Many have reported to have resumed their normal routine after one to three days. During the healing period, it may be recommended to avoid lifting weights or some activities, such as taking a hot bath, or physical exercise. How long do the effects of the treatment last? The results are immediate, even after the first treatment and improve over subsequent months. Are there any contraindications? There is no exclusion criteria for MonaLisa Touch®, other than those related to serious local or systemic diseases. How soon can I resume sexual activity? We usually recommend 3 to 4 days of rest before resuming regular sexual activity.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) pellets
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) pellets have actually been used in the United States since 1938. Bio-identical Hormones are all natural plant based products made from yams and a small amount of soy. These hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced within our own bodies. There are numerous studies worldwide that document the benefits and safety of BHRT. BHRT should not be confused with “synthetic hormones” which are typically found in many creams, gels, and injectables used for hormone replacement.
How are BHRT pellets inserted into your body?
BHRT is a short, simple in-office procedure using local anesthesia. Your doctor will insert the pellets in to the fatty layer just beneath your skin. A small incision is made in the buttocks or in the lower abdomen. The process is painless and takes just a few minutes.
What side effects can you expect? One of the greatest advantages of pellet therapy is the low incidence of side effects. Although extremely rare, side effects may include: slight bruising, minor bleeding, infection, or extrusion of the pellets.
When will you notice a difference? Women who receive testosterone have reported that they start to feel relief from symptoms in 10-14 days. After pellet insertion, you should avoid vigorous exercise for a few days.
How long does the treatment last? 3-5 months, depending on the patient. Everyone is different so it depends on how you feel. If you are really active, you are under a lot of stress, your treatment may not last as long. Absorption rate is based on cardiac output.
What if I’m already on HRT like creams, patches and pills? This is an easy transition. We will determine your needs even though you may be currently taking these other forms of HRT.
What if I have had breast cancer? Breast cancer survivors and patients with a family history of breast cancer may still be candidates. The physician consultation will include a detailed discussion unique to your situation and highlight the risks/benefits in these scenarios.
The O-shot is a revolutionary procedure available at Bela Vida Med Spa and Wellness that helps restore vaginal health with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP is a regenerative treatment that accelerates your body’s natural healing powers. PRP is a blood product we create from a sample of your own blood that contains a high concentration of platelets. PRP contains the growth factors responsible for healing and repairing tissue. When injected into the clitoris and vagina, the growth factors work to regenerate the tissue to improve health and function. The O-shot is an in office procedure that is a simple, safe, and effective way to help you increase stimulation, lubrication, and overall sexual wellness, without the use of any drugs or surgery. The O-shot stimulates vaginal and clitoral rejuvenation to give women better orgasms and may potentially reduce the symptoms of stress incontinence. The O-shot has gained wide popularity very quickly because of how well it works. What are the benefits of the O-shot? The O-shot helps to restore clitoral and vaginal function. While every woman’s experience is different, some of the benefits of the Orgasm Shot include:
- Longer, better, and more frequent orgasms
- Tighter vaginal opening
- Healthier vaginal lips
- Increased arousal during clitoral stimulation
- Improved libido
- Decreased vaginal discomfort during intercourse
- More natural lubrication What can I expect during the O-shot procedure? The O-shot is a virtually painless procedure that takes only about 30 minutes. To ease discomfort, we utilize a local anesthetic before we inject your O-shot. After we have prepared your PRP, we place your O-shot injection in your clitoral and vaginal tissue for the desired results. There’s no downtime following your O-shot injection, so you can go right back to your usual activities after treatment. You may begin to notice an improvement immediately following your injection, with continued improvements as the growth factors repair your tissue over the next few months. The results of the O-shot can last for up to one year, and the procedure can be repeated every year for continuous improvements.