Sometimes sex just isn’t as good for women as they age for many reasons. Women often do not realize the  the impact on health and/or intimate relationships when they experience vaginal and/or sexual concerns. It is very common that women in menopause experience vaginal atrophy.

Women are also hesitant to bring these concerns up with their doctors which is why I was happy to see a new study from the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Centre which assessed the effect of sexual concerns on the quality of romantic relationships presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Orlando on October 5-8, 2016.

I was even happier to have Dr. Jose Goncalves a generalist obstetrician-gynecologist who is practicing in Penticton, British Columbia join me on the CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show on October 16, 2016. He answered many questions about vaginal health, sexual health and the new laser treatment the Mona Lisa Touch.

Dr. Jose Goncalves  explained that vaginal atrophy and/or sexual concerns like low sexual desire, arousal and difficulties experiencing orgasm are common conditions in women.  This occurs when estrogen decreases in the vagina and the urogenital tract at menopause. The condition is also referred to as Genito-urinary Syndrome of Menopause or GSM and the symptoms are:

  1. Vaginal dryness
  2. Burning
  3. Itching
  4. Painful Sex
  5. Thin watery discharge
  6. Post Coital bleeding
  7. Recurrent urinary tract infections

Many women experience symptoms that are similar to a urinary tract infection like burning, itching and painful urination (dysuria) at menopause. They believe it is a urinary tract infection and may even be prescribed antibiotics. The urine culture comes back negative. This is not because of an infection but the symptoms are the result of the decrease in estrogen in the vagina.

Other women may get recurrent urinary tract infections because of the decrease in estrogen in the urogenital tract. Estrogen is the hormone regulator of the vagina and urogenital tract which balances it’s ph and protects it against infection.

During menopause women may notice painful sex as the presenting symptom of the decrease in estrogen.  Penetration may be painful. Some women describe it as feeling like sandpaper. Vaginal dryness and or vaginal atrophy has the potential to shut down a woman’s sex life which may negatively impact her relationship.

That said, a woman does not need to be sexually active to experience vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy. Many women who are not sexually active can experience symptoms of vaginal atrophy.  Any woman may notice that when she self-stimulates arousal and/or orgasm may take longer and this too may be from the decrease in estrogen and dry vaginal tissues.

Another common concern for women that often goes along with vaginal atrophy is urinary incontinence which is so embarrassing. Some women may even leak at orgasm. Dr. Jose Goncalves has treated a few women in his clinical practice who were leaking urine associated with GSM and the results were fantastic. The women were very happy because no longer are they leaking urine.

Another condition experienced by women after they have had a baby is vaginal laxity, a condition where the vaginal tissues are more relaxed and sex may not be as pleasurable and/or sexual sensation may be reduced.

Dr. Jose Goncalves  mentioned a new novel laser treatment called Mona Lisa Touch for the treatment of all of these conditions:

  1. Vaginal Atrophy or GSM
  2. Painful urination
  3. Vaginal laxity

Mona Lisa Touch is exclusively done in a specialist’s office. MonaLisa Touch is an innovative laser procedure that delivers fractional CO2 laser energy to the vaginal wall tissue restoring it to a healthier state.  The procedure is virtually pain and side effect-free and is performed exclusively in a specialist’s office. Three treatments are required, one every six weeks.

Then women in Dr. Goncalves office are very pleased with the treatment as they have been able to return to a much improved and pain-free sex life!  For more information about Mona Lisa Touch please go to: www.MonaLisaTouch.com


To listen to Dr. Goncalves interview tune in here: CKNW Sunday Night Sex Show






Maureen McGrath

Maureen McGrath

Host of the CKNW Sunday Night Health Show on Corus Radio. As a leading women's health expert and Registered Nurse, I understand the importance that sexual, vaginal, bladder and bowel health has on overall health and relationships.

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