The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

I no longer enjoy sex, could age be the matter?

Between The Sheets

I am 49 years old and I have a problem. Of late, sex has become painful and I feel hot and dry. What could be wrong?


Dear Nimo,

Thank you for your question regarding painful sex. There can be many varied reasons for painful sex for women. One that comes to mind is menopause. As you have mentioned that you are 49 years old, and experiencing pain during sex as well as feeling hot and dry, this reason may be worth considering.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a season that women go through as part of their normal development over the years. During this time, a woman's ovaries cease to release an egg for fertilisation. A woman's body also slows down the production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that are responsible for vaginal lubrication.

When does it begin?

Even though it can begin in some women as early as their 30s, it usually begins in most women in the mid-to-late 40s. It comes in three stages: perimenopause, menopause and post menopause. Perimenopause is the period when the ovaries' production of an egg slows down. A woman may notice irregular periods, vaginal dryness, painful sex (dyspareunia) and general discomfort e.g. mood changes.

How do you know for sure?

A woman is considered to be in menopause after she has gone one year without having her period. At this point, her ovaries have stopped producing an egg for fertilisation. Post menopause is the period after menopause. At this point, many of the troublesome symptoms of menopause have resolved, even though other risks for particular diseases remain.

The good news

It's not all doom and gloom, however. If the cause of your pain and dryness is perimenopause then you have several options. First, visit your gynaecologist to rule out other potential reasons for painful sex. Next, consider several options for vaginal lubrication: silicon and water based gels and lubes applied before sex would allow you to enjoy sex without the pain caused by dryness.

What can the doctor do

Your doctor can also prescribe something to be applied or ingested to help your whole body cope with the changes. Please be sure to mention any history of diseases such as cancer in your family so that you and your doctor may make informed decisions. Sex is a beautiful thing and vaginal dryness need not rob you of its joy. I wish you a happier, wetter sex life.

Maggie Gitu is a marriage, family and sex therapist.

She can be reached on [email protected] and via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu

Related Topics


Recommended Articles