When women enter menopause, many changes occur due to loss of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These changes can impact libido and sexual function. The vaginal tissues become thinner, and vaginal dryness is a common phenomenon in postmenopausal women. This same thinning of the tissues can happen around the clitoris, changing sensation during sexual activity for women - in some cases, even turning pleasure into pain.
Women without risk factors for taking estrogen (such as a family history of female cancer) can see their gynecologist about options for hormone treatment. These can include systemic hormone replacement as well as topical (local) hormonal therapies.
Women can also use pH balancing, over-the-counter topical preparations or lubricants (that do not contain hormones) to help the body accommodate to these normal menopausal changes. While these changes in the tissues cannot be reversed, they can certainly be improved.