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Sexual dysfunction due to perimenopause
A new study describes a 30 percent increase in sexual dysfunction in women once their perimenopause begins. Women often experience vaginal dryness, decreased desire, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction in this context.
In a study, researchers from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found that around 30 percent of all women suffer from increasing sexual dysfunction at the beginning of perimenopause. The results were recently presented in the specialist journal "Menopause".
What is perimenopause?
The perimenopause describes the one to several year period before the actual menopause begins. When the perimenopause begins varies from woman to woman. The study examined women between the ages of 40 and 55.
Increase in vaginal dryness
For some women, sexuality becomes less satisfactory with age. Many women experience a significant decline in the course of perimenopause, as a recent study shows. The increase in vaginal dryness seems to have the greatest impact on desire and arousal in women.
Falling estrogen levels
As the researchers report, lowering estrogen levels during the menopausal transition can cause a variety of biological changes in a woman's body. In some women, this is associated with vaginal atrophy and increased inflammation of the vaginal walls. There are also other influencing factors such as emotional stress.
Process starts earlier than previously thought
It is already known from previous studies that the menopause of women is associated with a drop in estrogen levels and that this can affect sexual activity. However, this is the first study to describe how and how often these processes are initiated during the perimenopause.
Identify treatable factors
"This study examined sexual function in women aged 40 to 55 years and identified a connection between vaginal dryness and poorer sexual function," summarizes Dr. Stephanie Faubion from the study team. Given the high prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women in perimenopause, it is important to know the treatable factors.
What to do about sexual discomfort
The researchers identified vaginal dryness as one of the main factors in sexual dysfunction during perimenopause. This is a starting point that could be helped to "enable women to maintain their sexual function during the transition to menopause," Faubion said. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- North American Menopause Society (NAMS): Perimenopause Often Signals Beginning of Sexual Dysfunction (accessed: November 15, 2019), menopause.org