One of the more embarrassing things that happens after menopause--the one that hardly anyone ever talks about--is that your vaginal walls begins to thin and dry out. And that causes A LOT of pain during love making. The medical term is vaginal atrophy, and doctors estimate it happens to HALF of all postmenopausal women.
Low levels of estrogen are to blame for vaginal dryness. Other symptoms include frequent (and burning) urination, and itchier, more irritated private parts.
The trouble is that just a small number of women--7 percent of them--ever get treated for this. If they DO bring it up to their doctors, medical pros may recommend over-the-counter lubricants, which don't solve the problem.
Soon there will be another way to regain your sex life, though: vaginal softgel capsules that release estrogen. During clinical trials, women inserted the capsules once a day for two weeks, then twice a week for 10 weeks. After two weeks, women reported that sex was much less painful--and had relief from other symptoms as well. Best of all, there were no side effects.
The FDA still needs to approve the capsule for commercial use, but researchers expect that will happen in the next couple of months.
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