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This Independence Day, help start a national conversation about an often-neglected issue in women's health: sex after menopause

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Thu Jul 10, 2014.

(BPT) - Some women say sex after menopause is fabulous. For millions of others, it’s the opposite. Something to avoid. Yet many suffer in silence finding it too awkward and uncomfortable to bring up with their health care providers, significant others or even their closest girlfriends. Studies show even fewer doctors ask their postmenopausal women whether they’re experiencing any issues with sex after menopause.

Beginning July 4, there is a new Thunderclap social media campaign designed to liberate women from their silence about sex after menopause by encouraging them, together with their doctors, significant others, family and friends, to have a conversation about this often-neglected area of women’s health.

It’s Time to Talk About Sex After Menopause is sponsored by the Women’s Health Foundation and Shionogi Inc. and runs through Sept. 1, the first day of National Menopause Awareness Month.  

“For millions of American women, sex after menopause is not a pleasurable, fun activity. Common gynecological problems make sex uncomfortable and medical issues can cause it to become downright painful,” says Dr. Lauren Streicher, Associate Clinical Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school, The Feinberg School of Medicine and author of new book, Love Sex Again. “Unfortunately, many women and their doctors are unwilling or afraid to bring these issues up.”

Here are the facts: 

* With increased life expectancy, today, women spend approximately one-third of their life after menopause.

* In a published study, 62 percent of women said they are not familiar with vulvar and vaginal atrophy (VVA), a condition suffered by 32 million women after menopause. Yet, 44 percent who suffer with symptoms of VVA have never had a discussion with their doctor. 

* Changes due to menopause are natural and some may be uncomfortable. Talk with your doctor.

It is easy to lend your social voice to It’s Time to Talk About Sex…After Menopause. Visit www.womenshealthfoundation.org, click on the thunderclap site and commit to having a conversation about sex after menopause. Share this link with your connections. Together, women can feel confident in talking about this often-neglected area of sexual health. As with all liberations, there is strength in numbers!

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