Menopause. It hits us all at one time or another. For some women it’s an easy transition, and for others it’s a hot mess. Often women are confused, wondering whether symptoms that they are experiencing are due to menopause, or to something else. And there is really no one to speak with. Gynecologists try to help but they often have limited time with patients and may not be equipped with the psychological support to help a woman negotiate her way happily and comfortably though menopause.
Painful sex and menopause: Maze was the best decision I ever made.
As I exited your offices yesterday, I felt both regret- that I had waited so damn long to get help, and great excitement- that there was hope in resolving my issue.
I had not realized how menopause was slowly taking away some of the emotional treasures of my life. I had made peace with my suddenly furry face and having to throw off my blankets in the middle of the night, but painful sex was taking away the cherished intimacy between my husband and myself.
I had gone to my gynecologist a few months earlier and when I brought up the pain, my gynecologist dismissed it as peri-menopausal and recommended a different lubricant. More recently, when I mentioned the pain to a close friend, she insisted that I go to Maze center and get evaluated. That it was too early in my life to start compromising on the quality of my sex life. Initially, I was resistant at setting up the appointment and having to reveal such intimate details to a group of strangers but after another episode of painful sex, I made the appointment. I consider it one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The Maze team was lovely, compassionate and very respectful. They were patient and explained to me everything was taking place in my body and that there was no need to live with the ongoing pain. They laid out several options and made me feel that there was hope in resolving my issue. I walked out of the office feeling great relief and excitement.
When I had discussed my issue with many of my friends, they mentioned having similar issues but had taken no action- and they asked me to report back if I had found a solution. Well- I have a solution and it’s the Maze center. I will be sharing my findings with any woman that mentions this challenge. It is horrible that so many women are suffering needlessly with symptoms of menopause that can be so easily treated.
I cannot thank the Maze center enough.
– B, NY, Age 48 –
Positive hormone treatment experience:
I saw an article in Redbook featuring your medical center and kept reading this article over and over, until one day I decided to call. I had a severe medical illness that put me into full menopause. I am 46 years old. I had a bone marrow transplant 3 years ago, I had a-plastic anemia and was given 3 weeks to live without the transplant. I am 3 years out and healthy but I am in menopause and thought no doctor could help me; that was until I saw your article.
About 3 weeks ago I saw Rachel and Cathleen in the Great Neck office. I had no idea what to expect or know what was going to happen at my visit. I researched your practice online but still wasn’t sure.
My husband and I went together to the visit. First I saw Rachel, who was amazing. She talked with me for a while and asked me questions and she was so kind, unassuming and non-judgmental. I have been to numerous doctors so I brought a package of blood results with me. Then I saw Cathleen who gave me an examination and also spoke to me, she was so kind and caring. We spoke about my options since I had a comprehensive blood work with me I was able to get started on my plan of action that day.
We then brought my husband in and we went over all of this with him. Rachel was so sensitive while talking to the both of us. Both Rachel and Cathleen really get it and understand where we are coming from. They are so gentle! I was amazed at my visit. I was prescribed testosterone gel.
I had some questions so I called my team Rachel and Cathleen. They both got right back to me and were so helpful. I am so happy I came to the center. You guys understand what women are going through!!!
I saw my gynecologist and brought her all the info on your center. I told her all about my visit and what medication I was given. She was so happy that a place like this existed on Long Island!
I just want to tell you that my experience with Rachel and Cathleen has been outstanding, and I am so looking forward seeing them again. My husband is on board with this as well. He feels so comfortable talking to both Rachel and Cathleen.
– A, NY, Age 46 –
Low sexual desire after menopause success story:
I went into menopause abruptly at age 46 — my period disappeared and never returned. Even though I had once had a robust sex life, gradually I felt sexually numb, dry and neutered. When I remarried at age 50 my new husband was patient and loving. He would gingerly initiate sex hoping I would show some interest but I just couldn’t fake it anymore. It was upsetting but it seemed we would just have to accept it. Then one day I read an article about Maze Women’s Sexual Health in the New York Times that featured Bat Sheva Marcus. I felt, at last, maybe there is something I can do. With some hesitation, I made an appointment. My husband was skeptical but I just wasn’t ready to give up sex without a fight.
From the first visit Bat Sheva and Melissa at Maze were so helpful. First, they did some tests, and sure enough my hormones were practically undetectable. They took a thorough sexual history, with no judgement and listened to my questions and allayed my anxieties about whether or not I would ever feel sexual again. Through trial and error we tried various combinations of hormones, other forms of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and although we thought the problem would be solved in a few months, it took over a year. But they never gave up, and neither did I. This fall, 18 months after starting the hormone therapy I had sex with my husband 7 times in one weekend — all on my own initiative — and it was wonderful. I am 53 now and while I didn’t feel thirty again, but I sure felt like I was forty! My husband, who was resigned to a bland sex life, is thrilled and I feel like myself again. I learned that it takes time for your brain and body to kick in, but the many months of therapy were worth it.
I encourage other women to visit the Center if they are feeling dry, menopausal, and uninterested in sex. Some of my friends scoffed at me – they still do. Who needs sex at our age? You should age naturally! Just let it go! Well I care about sex and so do Batsheva and Melissa. And they will persist and experiment until you feel better. I always had faith this treatment would work and I am glad I stuck with it. Don’t listen to your friends, or even your husband. Listen to your own body!
– M, NY, Age 53 –
Lubricants didn't seem to help.
My sex drive diminished drastically during my first pregnancy 23 years ago. It also remained that way after the birth of my child. Looking back, I believe it was hormonally related. I allowed this to go on until recently since it seemed we were always busy, and my husband was patient so there was no rush. I did find the ability to force myself to have sex and when I did I enjoyed it, once I got into it…but I never desired it and I didn’t initiate it either. I went through menopause sometime in the last 2 years and then intercourse was painful and lubricants didn’t seem to help me. This was new, disturbing and uncomfortable.
I spoke to my sister, who is a physician, about my low sex drive and discomfort. She mentioned to me that I should ask my physician about prescribing testosterone cream. I spoke to my OB/GYN about this and he recommended I go to Maze Women’s Sexual Health. Around the same time, my husband had seen an article in the newspaper about Maze and its successes. I decided to give it a try. It was difficult to make that first phone call but I am very glad I did.
The Maze staff is very professional, kind and discreet. They are warm and easy to talk to and extremely knowledgeable. I felt well taken care of and was very hopeful after the first visit. During the initial consultation, I spoke with a therapist (Rachel) and then had a thorough physical exam by a PA (Tara) who prescribed a cream for vaginal use on a regular basis, as well as a high quality lubricant. This alone immediately helped my comfort level during intercourse. My husband said he could feel the difference as well. They gave me ideas for helping to get in the “mood.” They prescribed testosterone cream to use and within 8 months, I got my old sex drive back and then some!
I feel the Medical Center for Female Sexuality took a very wellrounded approach to my treatment. They changed my life for the better and my husband and I are thrilled!!
– A, Age 53 –
Painful intercourse post-menopause:
It has been three months since my initial visit and I no longer experience painful intercourse. I have my sex life back!
I was experiencing painful intercourse for about a year and with proper treatment I got my sex life back in a short period of time.
My husband is a patient of Dr. Werner’s. I went with him to an appointment one day and I saw a pamphlet in the waiting room explaining how many women experience painful intercourse post menopause. After reading the pamphlet I immediately decided to make an appointment.
My first appointment was a very pleasant experience. I had a consultation with Tara Ford and Bat Sheva Marcus and they both made me feel very comfortable. I was able to speak freely about my sex life and what I was experiencing with painful intercourse. The next thing was the physical examination. Tara described each part of the exam to me prior to it being done. I was relaxed during the exam as I knew what to expect. My reaction did not change, but just reinforced my decision to seek treatment.
My treatment included medication first and then dilation. I began to see results within the first month and my condition kept getting better with every week that went by.
Women should know that they are not alone. There are many women experiencing the same problem. If you are experiencing post-menopausal painful intercourse like I was, don’t wait to seek treatment. Make an appointment right away. You too can get your sex life back.
– MC, CT, Age 51 –
Mid-life sexual changes:
I learned about Maze Women’s Sexual Health in a New York Times article about women and mid-life sexual changes. I had been having less and less interest in sex along with discomfort (dryness primarily), so sex itself was uncomfortable even when I was interested. My body just seemed to be drying up. I went through menopause about four years ago and I thought once that was done that the changes would stop, but they didn’t. That’s when the dryness and lack of interest and response became worse and worse.
I talked to my regular gynecologist about this and she prescribed Vagifem. It helped a little with the dryness, but sex was still uncomfortable and I still had very little interest or response. I thought about calling Maze for a while before I actually made the call because I felt embarrassed, but the staff was really nice and obviously knew how to handle the calls. I was nervous going to the first appointment, especially filling out the forms and answering questions that were embarrassing to me. When I met with Melissa and Rachel, I felt like my problem was nothing new to them but at the same time I felt like I was a unique person. They listened really closely, they had good senses of humor and I felt like they understood what I was trying to tell them.
At the first appointment, they took blood work, gave me some vaginal cream to use to complement the Vagifem (and explained why the Vagifem doesn’t always work alone) and talked to me about the role testosterone plays in a woman’s sexual response. I learned a ton!
I’m now taking the estrogen cream and Vagifem along with a testosterone gel and it has made a huge difference. I have no pain or discomfort during sex and I have a much better response than I’ve had in years! I know so many women could benefit from this kind of support and I’d encourage them to make a call and go see what can be done.
– PB, NY, Age 59 –
Vaginismus and dyspareunia after menopause:
Shortly after going through menopause I started experiencing searing pain during intercourse. I spoke to my gynecologist about it and he prescribed some hormone cream. It didn’t help the problem and my doctor said there was nothing he could do. So for many, many years I abstained from intercourse with my husband.
On the Internet one day I found information about Maze Women’s Sexual Health. I was very interested and thought maybe they could help me. I waited four months before I gave them a call.
I called and filled out the necessary forms and set up my first appointment. I first spoke with a sex therapist and then with Melissa. She explained the treatment to me, which was simple enough. During the first treatment I did experience some pain, but worked through it and eventually it subsided. I progressed through the treatment quickly. It took about three months after which my husband and I finally tried to have intercourse again and I was totally pain free! I was so thankful to the Center for their patience and understanding. I am celebrating my 40th wedding anniversary and I feel like a young bride again.
– SS, NY, Age 65 –
Menopause and painful sex:
For about 5 years, around my menopausal period, sexual intercourse with my husband became painful. We stopped having sexual intercourse and we both got so busy between work, family (older parents), our own children and other things.
I told my gynecologist and she tried to help me, but we were not successful. My gynecologist referred me to Maze. After all that time, and all our attempts at solving the problem ourselves, I was ready to get help.
I made the appointment because I needed help, so I listened to everything they told me and followed their instructions the best I can. They did not ask me to do anything that I was not comfortable doing.
My condition needed a process called “dilation”. I did it gradually under their supervision until I reached the state where I may try to have sexual intercourse with my husband. It took more or less 5 months from my first visit due to several disruptions on my part.
I had some little setbacks during the process, but Maze was always there to help me. Now, I feel happy to be able to fulfill one of my duties as a wife.
It turns out my situation is common to many women my age. There is help out there. We have to ask and I believe the best place to start is with our gynecologist. If you can’t get help there, don’t give up.
This women’s condition is not a sickness. This is part of aging process which unfortunately we all have to go through. I am just thankful that nowadays there are professionals who can help us address this condition and not face it by ourselves.
– T, CT, Age 61 –
Thinning vaginal walls due to menopause:
Originally I thought I had an extremely bad yeast infection that just wouldn’t go away. I finally went in to see the doctor and he told me that I was inflamed and irritated and he prescribed a higher dosage of medication to deal with the infection.
The medication didn’t help with the inflammation and irritation and at the same time I started to complain about painful intercourse and light bleeding afterwards.
The doctor then recommended using Vagifem after explaining that what was happening was a thinning of the vaginal walls due to menopause. It was frustrating and disheartening. I used Vagifem daily for 2 weeks and the condition did not improve.
At the end of that 2 week period my husband and I attempted intercourse again and I had to have him stop due to the pain.
My doctor then put me on Premarin for 2 weeks nightly, and again at the end of that time period sex felt like someone was rubbing sandpaper in and out of my vagina. My husband of 34 years was supportive but he was also frustrated.
At that time my doctor suggested I make an appointment with Maze Women’s Sexual Health. From my first phone call to them, throughout the whole process, they were completely supportive and compassionate about my concerns and difficulties.
I did feel uncomfortable with their initial line of questioning since mine was only a physical difficulty, nothing to do with lack of desire before this whole condition started.
But eventually, I found that everyone I spoke to was understanding and this helped me to deal with the problem in a more positive manner now that I felt there was finally a solution.
I followed their procedure as prescribed, at times it was uncomfortable, but eventually I started to feel an improvement. I now do the procedure 4 – 5 times a week as maintenance and I use Premarin 2 – 3 times a week. If I feel any discomfort I just make sure that I keep up with the program and it feels better. My husband and I are enjoying our sexual relationship again.
Thanks so much for your help!
– LM, NJ, Age 61 –
Post-menopause treatment for painful sex:
I was having vaginal pain with intercourse that had developed after menopause.
I probably suffered for a year before I mentioned it to my gynecologist. After trying estrogen locally in various forms and not getting relief, she suggested I call the Center.
I did not call immediately…hoping it would magically go away just as it had started.
Finally I made the call and after reading all the emailed material on sexual malfunction and dysfunction, I felt I was definitely headed in the wrong direction…after all…there was no problem with my sex life…only that it was painful. Hesitantly, I kept my appointment. After spending some time at my first appointment with Barbara and Tara, I was really put at ease and fortunately they felt my problem was simple and could be dealt with quickly.
I’m happy to say after three weeks of using dilators regularly I am back to normal and feeling great.
Sometimes the golden years become a bit tarnished…….I should have called sooner to get the sparkle back!!
– S, CT, Age 64 –
Testimonials appearing on this site reflect the personal experiences and opinions of Maze patients and may not represent the experiences of others. Results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each patient. Maze does not compensate individuals in any way for testimonials or reviews.