Actress Cheryl Hines Opens Up About Painful Sex After Menopause
Sometimes it takes a star to make a point. And thanks to a new campaign launched by AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Cheryl Hines has center stage. The actress is now a spokeswoman for the company’s Painfully Awkward Conversations campaign which focuses on the painful sex many women continue to experience after menopause.
A Humorous Approach
Best known for her hilarious portrayal as Larry David’s ever sighing wife (and then ex-wife) on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Hines is well-versed in comedy. She’s using those same comedic chops to discuss what still appears to be the taboo topic of painful sex or a condition called vulva and vaginal atrophy (VVA).
Although this condition can be caused by a variety of factors, Hines’ campaign with AMAG is targeted at women 50 and older who are experiencing painful sex due to menopause. In one video clip, Hines sits down with a group of girlfriends sipping on mimosas. After they all raise their glasses to toast “being 50 and fabulous,” Hines points out her new “yolo” tattoo.
When the other ladies ask if it hurt, the conversation quickly turns to a discussion about “sex that feels like sandpaper”.
A Taboo Topic
Although at least 32 million women suffer from VVA, women still rarely bring it up to their physicians or think it’s a problem. While most women are familiar with menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes, many are not aware that painful sex is also a side effect.
Why do postmenopausal women suffer from painful sex?
- After menopause a woman’s hormones change and this shift can cause vaginal lubrication loss which can lead to dryness, irritation and pain during sex.
- Progressive estrogen loss may take three to four years and can lead to painful sex
- DHEA, a substance produced by the adrenal glands, declines as women age.
The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness around the topic of painful sex in this age group, so more women understand that it is a symptom of menopause and seek treatment.
How to Get Treatment
Sex should never be painful, no matter what. If you have already tried lubricants and moisturizers but only discovered temporary relief, there are other options available. Your physician may prescribe estrogen or non-estrogen to treat the dryness.
There is also a vaginal laser procedure available that helps reduce vaginal dryness. Dr. Ghozland has extensive experience helping provide relief for women dealing with many of the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call his office at 310.393.9359.