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Sixty-One Per Cent Of Women Say Their Sex Lives Are Suffering Due To A Condition Of Menopause

~ Survey reveals symptoms of vaginal atrophy are causing Canadian couples to avoid sexual intimacy ~

TORONTO, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - It may not be the most romantic topic for couples to discuss over a candlelit dinner, but it might be a conversation that helps rekindle the romance. A new study reveals that more than six in 10 Canadian women admit they avoid sexual intimacy due to the symptoms of vaginal atrophy (VA), a chronic condition of menopause that needs to be discussed. 1

Results from a first-of-its-kind study, CLOSER ( CLarifying vaginal atrophy's impact On SEx and Relationships), presented at the Canadian Menopause Society's (SIGMA) first annual Canadian Menopause Conference May 4, 2013, reveals Canadian women and their partners are one of the most likely out of nine countries surveyed to feel VA has caused them to avoid sexual intimacy. 1

Affecting more than two million post-menopausal Canadian women, 2 VA is a common, treatable condition where the vaginal walls become thin, fragile and inflamed due to a reduction of estrogen. 3 Vaginal symptoms include: burning, itching, dryness, irritation and painful intercourse. 4 Despite the physical and emotional burden VA causes, couples are still uncomfortable talking about it.

It takes two to tango - even when it comes to discussing VA

Regardless of its prevalence, VA is still considered a taboo subject when compared to erectile dysfunction (ED), which is now commonplace discussion. According to the CLOSER findings:

  • Nearly one quarter of Canadian women feel uncomfortable discussing VA with their partner 1
  • In comparison to other countries, Canadian men would rather their partner did not talk to them about VA 1
  • If a woman's partner was suffering from ED, three out of four women would talk about it with their partner 1
  • Eighty-six per cent of men surveyed say they would discuss ED with their partner, and 83 per cent would discuss it with their healthcare professional 1

Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Physician and NAMS Certified Menopause Expert, presented the Canadian results. According to Dr. Brown, the study offers the first opportunity to examine the impact VA is having on the intimacy between Canadian women and their partners.

"Unlike the discussion happening with ED, no one is talking about VA," said Dr. Brown. "We need to encourage dialogue between women and their physicians to ensure VA is properly diagnosed and treated; as well as encourage dialogue between women and their partners, so couples can continue to enjoy their relationship. Women can still feel sexy and desirable during and long after menopause, and it's important for couples to know this."

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