Painful sex post menopause
I have been post menopausal for 8 to 9 years (turning 60 this year) and first noticed that sex was very painful about 3 years ago. As I hadn't been in a relationship a year or two before that I hadn't noticed it previously. I remember that in the relationship 3 years ago the pain did reduce with patient, sensual sex but the relationship didn't continue. I haven't worried about it until meeting someone a couple of months ago. I ordered the NatPro cream and have been administering it twice daily (vaginally at night). Our relationship has been limited by distance so it was at least 4 weeks after applying the cream before sex. It was so painful that I couldn't endure any penetration. With much patience and trial over several days together we managed a nearly full penetration with bearable pain. However, it was far from resolved as the next try (1/2 hour later) the pain was 10/10 intensity scale.
I have read FAQ replies that the NatPro cream has worked after several months. I realise I have been only using it for 4 weeks and need to wait. My question is about the other remedies such as oestrogen rings, and moisturisers like Replens cream (plumps cells for 3 to 4 days). Would I be better served to use those whilst I wait for the progesterone cream to kick in?
I have also read that regular sex will help as well. This will also be difficult as we live in towns 3 hours from each other. I wondered about using vaginal dilators (or dildos) in between seeing my new partner.
Reference is also made to other conditions that can cause it such as Vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, and vaginismus and wonder if I was checked what treatments doctors would offer for these? Can they tell by observing the vaginal tissue. I am due for a PAP smear so thought I would ask.
I also have very dry skin, dry eyes, mouth and joint pain but a blood test for Sjorgren's Syndrome was negative. I was also told there was nothing that could be done for it other than use moisturiser, eye drops etc.
Other medical/menopausal history: hot flushes for 9 years initially helped with Chinese herbs (a few months) but still get several each day, otherwise mood etc OK. Have IBS, fibromyalgia and did have depression (post miscarriages and infertility in my 30's) and PMT, moods and painful periods especially when teenager. Most symptoms helped by practicing mindfulness, diet and exercise regimes. Possibly hot flushes have reduced since being on NatPro cream.