A woman's normal sexual response can be divided into four stages: attraction, arousal, climax, and resolution. As women age, dysfunction in each of these stages becomes more and more likely.
For menopausal women the most common genital symptoms are urinary frequency, vaginal dryness and irritation. The most common sex-related symptoms during menopause are loss of libido and painful intercourse. Other menopausal-related symptoms include lack of orgasms and problems associated with the partner's sexual dysfunction.
The loss of female hormones during menopause can cause an increase in the frequency of vaginal atrophy, dryness, and inflammations. The atrophy of the vaginal mucosa can cause an avoidance of intercourse due to extreme vaginal pain.
Even under these circumstances, sexual encounters must be increased and enhanced with psychological stimulations to arouse sexual desires. Taking a warm bath before intercourse or using a topical lubricant can help. The most effective method of treatment, however, is estrogen supplements or applying estrogen-enhanced creams directly on the atrophied vagina.