HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recent Mayo Clinic study published in Climacteric: The Journal of the International Menopause Society indicates that practicing mindfulness may be one solution for women suffering from menopausal symptoms, including vaginal dryness, as a way to reduce anxiety and stress, as symptoms can be related not only to physiological changes of menopause, but also to a woman’s state of mind, with stress often the culprit.
“There is no reason that women in menopause shouldn’t enjoy intimacy as much as at any other stage of life. Yet stress, from which many women this age suffer, can have adverse effects in the bedroom,” says Mary Jo Rapini, licensed sex & intimacy psychotherapist and author. “We live in a stressful time. Obsession over work, kids, politics, money, and even the symptoms of menopause themselves can lead to relationship woes, including painful sex and, therefore, lost desire for intimacy and sex, which can lead to more stress – becoming a vicious cycle. Couples should try stress-reducing, intimacy-enhancing tactics, and practice mindfulness.”
The Mayo study’s lead author, Richa Sood, M.D., concludes: “Among midlife women, higher mindfulness and lower stress correlated with lower menopausal symptom scores . . .. Mindfulness may mitigate menopausal symptoms among midlife women.”
According to WebMD, mindfulness means being in the moment and paying attention to what's happening both within your mind and body without judging or labeling your feelings. The opposite of mindfulness is simply acting and responding without any consideration.
“Once you begin practicing mindfulness, being intimate without judging yourself and giving yourself over to all the joys intimacy can bring, you may find some of the stress and its effects are reduced,” adds Rapini. “And remember, there are also excellent hormone-free lubricants and moisturizers like Replens, as well as prescription hormone therapies, that relieve dryness and pain and enhance intimacy.”