Sixty-One Per Cent of Women Say their Sex Lives are Suffering Due to a Condition of Menopause

Sixty-One Per Cent of Women Say their Sex Lives are Suffering Due to a 
Condition of Menopause 
~ Survey reveals symptoms of vaginal atrophy are causing Canadian couples to 
avoid sexual intimacy ~ 
TORONTO, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - It may not be the most romantic topic for couples 
to discuss over a candlelit dinner, but it might be a conversation that helps 
rekindle the romance. A new study reveals that more than six in 10 Canadian 
women admit they avoid sexual intimacy due to the symptoms of vaginal atrophy 
(VA), a chronic condition of menopause that needs to be discussed.(1) 
Results from a first-of-its-kind study, CLOSER (CLarifying vaginal atrophy's 
impact On SEx and Relationships), presented at the Canadian Menopause 
Society's (SIGMA) first annual Canadian Menopause Conference May 4, 2013, 
reveals Canadian women and their partners are one of the most likely out of 
nine countries surveyed to feel VA has caused them to avoid sexual intimacy.(1) 
Affecting more than two million post-menopausal Canadian women,(2) VA is a 
common, treatable condition where the vaginal walls become thin, fragile and 
inflamed due to a reduction of estrogen.(3) Vaginal symptoms include: burning, 
itching, dryness, irritation and painful intercourse.(4) Despite the physical 
and emotional burden VA causes, couples are still uncomfortable talking about 
It takes two to tango - even when it comes to discussing VA 
Regardless of its prevalence, VA is still considered a taboo subject when 
compared to erectile dysfunction (ED), which is now commonplace discussion. 
According to the CLOSER findings: 

    --  Nearly one quarter of Canadian women feel uncomfortable
        discussing VA with their partner(1)
    --  In comparison to other countries, Canadian men would rather
        their partner did not talk to them about VA(1)
    --  If a woman's partner was suffering from ED, three out of four
        women would talk about it with their partner(1)
    --  Eighty-six per cent of men surveyed say they would discuss ED
        with their partner, and 83 per cent would discuss it with their
        healthcare professional(1)

Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Physician and NAMS Certified Menopause Expert, 
presented the Canadian results. According to Dr. Brown, the study offers the 
first opportunity to examine the impact VA is having on the intimacy between 
Canadian women and their partners.

"Unlike the discussion happening with ED, no one is talking about VA," said 
Dr. Brown. "We need to encourage dialogue between women and their physicians 
to ensure VA is properly diagnosed and treated; as well as encourage dialogue 
between women and their partners, so couples can continue to enjoy their 
relationship. Women can still feel sexy and desirable during and long after 
menopause, and it's important for couples to know this."

Why VA is keeping couples out of the bedroom

More than 1,000 Canadian post-menopausal women and male partners of 
post-menopausal women participated in the CLOSER survey. They may not be 
talking to each other about VA, but couples are feeling the impact. According 
to the survey findings:
    --  Sixty-six per cent of post-menopausal women avoid sexual
        intimacy fearing it is too painful(1)
    --  Sixty-three per cent of women avoid sexual intimacy due to a
        general loss of libido(1)
    --  Canadian women are among the most likely to agree that due to
        VA sex is less satisfying(1)
    --  One fifth of women feel VA has made them emotionally distant
        from their partner(1)
    --  Forty-four per cent of women say VA makes them feel old(1)
    --  Sixty-eight per cent of men surveyed say they have sex less
        often because of VA(1)
    --  Thirty per cent of men say sex is less satisfying for them
    --  Twenty-six per cent of Canadian men say they have stopped
        having sex altogether(1)

When Joan Boone started experiencing symptoms of VA, she and her husband 
learned what it was like to put their intimacy on hold.

"The symptoms of VA really affected my relationship with my husband," said 
Joan. "I felt pain during intercourse, and it impacted my self-esteem. Talking 
about VA with my husband was difficult at first, but when I finally did, it 
gave me the confidence to speak to my doctor about treatment, and it changed 
my life. Treatment made me feel renewed and ready for intimacy again. I feel 
it helped repair a relationship strained unnecessarily by VA."

Breaking barriers and seeking a solution

VA affects more than a women's vaginal health; it can significantly impact her 
relationship as well. Yet, many women self-treat using over-the-counter 
lubricants and moisturizers, which may provide temporary relief of symptoms 
but do not treat the underlying condition.(1) On the other hand, local 
estrogen therapy (LET), treats the underlying condition.(5) As a result of 
LET, one third of Canadian women agreed their sex life had improved and that 
they felt more satisfied and optimistic about the future of their sex life.(1 )

"Sexual intimacy is important at any age, yet many couples are living with the 
physical and emotional burden of this condition," said Dr. Brown. "VA 
treatment is available and effective. Healthcare professionals are a primary 
source of information, and together, women, their partners and their doctors 
can find a solution. It's not just about intimacy; it's also about feeling 
good as a woman, in all aspects of your life."

According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), 
effective treatment options are available for VA, with local estrogen therapy 
being a standard of care.(5)

For more information about VA, and to learn what you can do, visit

About the CLOSER Survey
The CLOSER research was an online survey conducted by StrategyOne (partnering 
with Ipsos MORI) between December 13, 2011 and February 7, 2012. The survey 
was completed by 4,100 post-menopausal women, aged between 55-65 who had 
ceased menstruating for at least 12 months and have experienced VA, and 4,100 
male partners of post-menopausal women aged 55-65 who have ceased menstruating 
for at least 12 months and have experienced VA. The participants were located 
across nine countries: US, UK, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Italy 
and France.

About Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and 
biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical 
products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the 
medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the 
Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, 
and social responsibility to employees and customers. For more information, 



(1) CLarifying vaginal atrophy's impact On SEx and Relationships (CLOSER). 
European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) Annual Congress, March 2012. 
(2) Vagifem 10 AB12 Novo Nordisk Canada Inc, Data on File. 
(3) Mayo Clinic: Vaginal Atrophy Definition. Available at: Last accessed April 
(4) The Big Ow - Symptoms. Available at: Last accessed April 
(5) SOGC Clinical Practice Guidelines: The Detection and Management of Vaginal 
Atrophy. Available at: Last accessed 
April 2013.

or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact:

Lisa Cancian GCI Group (Canada) 416.486.5906

Amanda Federchuk GCI Group (Canada) 416.486.7231

Video with caption: "Video: Sixty-One Per Cent of Women Say their Sex Lives 
are Suffering Due to a Condition of Menopause". Video available at:

SOURCE: Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

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