FabOverFifty collaborated with AMAG Pharmaceuticals to create this post. All opinions are my own.
Please take the below quiz and then read the article to learn more about an important issue facing millions of women.
Cheryl Hines and the Painfully Awkward Conversation
Millions of women in the U.S. are silently experiencing pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, caused by the changes in their bodies after menopause. Emmy nominated actress Cheryl Hines has partnered with AMAG Pharmaceuticals for its PAINFULLY AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS campaign. The campaign aims to educate women about the connection between painful sex due to menopause and empower them to start a conversation about this condition with their friends, partners, and healthcare providers. Cheryl knows how uncomfortable talking about painful sex due to menopause can be and has gotten together with a few of her friends to start the conversation about painful sex related to menopause, and vow to do something about it.
Still Think It’s Just You?
Now that you have taken the quiz and watched the PAINFULLY AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS campaign video, let me share a story with you of a woman who didn’t have the knowledge Cheryl and her friends have and didn’t speak up.
All through their 30s and 40s, Lisa and her two best friends would talk about their sex lives without inhibitions. New relationships would bring on new experiences, new revelations and fresh rounds of advice. The trio of friends always joked about being the real version of Sex In The City.
The conversion seemed to abruptly change when Lisa stopped being her usual straightforward self. The friends were in their 50s. “Whenever one of us would bring up sex, Lisa would clam up. We knew something was wrong, but we couldn’t figure out what,” Roberta said. “Lisa had a loving husband, a good job, and a son who was about to graduate college. We were worried, but were afraid to ask her outright, since she obviously didn’t want to talk about what was clearly bothering her.”
Turns out Lisa shared a medical problem with about half of all postmenopausal women in the United States; approximately 32 million suffer from VVA, or vulvar and vaginal atrophy, a common condition that can lead to painful sex. This condition caused Lisa’s vaginal tissues to become thinner and dryer.
And, like millions of her “sisters,” Lisa was embarrassed to talk about it to her best friends, to her doctor, even to her husband of more than two decades. Sex had become so painful, she started making up one excuse after another to her husband when he wanted to be intimate. “When we went out to dinner with them, I sensed a tension that was never there before,” friend Roberta said.
“Despite my education, I was abysmally ignorant about the changes in my body. I had no idea that they were related to menopause,” Lisa said. Astoundingly, neither do 75 percent of the women with VVA, revealed a survey of over 3,000 postmenopausal with VVA symptoms. And, the effects of the condition can be emotional, as well as physical.
If Lisa hadn’t been embarrassed to share her pain with anyone, she not only would have discovered that she’s far from alone, but that she didn’t have to accept it. As a matter of fact, she would have been thrilled to learn about a number of treatment options, including estrogen and non-estrogen prescription medications, which are available to help alleviate her painful sex due to menopause.
Don’t suffer with postmenopausal painful sex like Lisa did. You’re not alone when it comes to this fairly common condition. Learn how you can do something about it, too. Go to www.PauseSexPain.com to learn more.