Help! My wife (74) says intercourse hurts too much and lube is uncomfortable

Q: My wife no longer enjoys intercourse as it hurts, she is also dry. We have tried lubricants but it is still uncomfortable to have sex. She is 74, I find the situation so frustrating, I don’t force the issue with her. Any help would be appreciated.

I absolutely understand your frustration and acknowledge your consideration in not forcing the issue. The thought of pain during sex makes a lot of people feel anxious and reluctant to engage in anything sexual. Anxiety is hardly the aphrodisiac needed to create a natural lubricant!

Pain during intercourse and vagina dryness is one of the most challenging, and most common, side effects of hormonal changes and ageing. Unfortunately, lubricant by itself is generally not enough, however, there are other options. There is a product called Replens which your wife can ask her doctor about, as well as hormonal suppositories that can be prescribed. Both products have proven successful for a lot of women. 

I also have a number of clients who put coconut oil in their vaginas regularly after every shower as that works well to combat dryness. It has a similar result to the hormonal suppositories. 

However, I do caution that some women have found using these options can cause yeast infections, but not always. Perhaps your wife can try them and see what works best for her, and if you continue to use lube in combination with any of those other treatments, that may work even better.   

It may also be a good time to get experimental and redefine what sex is for both of you. If your focus has been goal-oriented intercourse sex with climaxing as the finisher, perhaps you can give yourself and your wife permission to find other likes and dislikes that may just revolutionise your sex life for the better!

Got a question you’d like to ask Polly? Submit your 100% anonymous question here!

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up