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Menopause and Sex : How Does Menopause Affect Your Sex Life

Menopause and Sex

Sexual Health during Menopause image - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

STORY AT-A-GLANCE
  • Among the many changes that women experience during menopause, issues related to sex are included.
  • This article will go into detail about sex and the menopause and offer suggestions for treating sexual health problems.
  • Menopause is the period when a woman’s menstruation ends.
  • Irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin, and loss of breast fullness are some of the manifestations of menopause.
  • Menopause carries physical and emotional symptoms that relate to decreased levels of estrogen.
  • Speaking with your doctor during this period is vital.
  • There are various ways to manage menopause and low libido. These include hormone replacement therapies, estrogen-progesterone medications, and natural supplements.

Menopause and Sex

You may be surprised to hear that along with menopause, you may experience modifications in your sex life. Perhaps you’ve had a fulfilling sex life for decades and now things have changed. You may experience lower libido, meaning you don’t feel like having sex as often. You may have mood swings which enhance this feeling.

Some women begin to feel pain during intercourse because the decline in estrogen leads to thinner and more vulnerable vaginal tissue. According to Harvard Health Publishing, this is called dyspareunia. There are hormonal treatments for this problem, but they come with some risks. However, there are other remedies you can try that relate to sex and the menopause.

It’s important to remember that this is not the end of your erotic life. Sex during menopause is a new challenge, but there are medical and other treatments that can help you get back to having great sex in no time. It’s also a good time to appreciate the other aspects of your life.

Menopause Details

Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods and the end of a woman’s period of fertility. It tends to occur at the end of the 40s or into the early 50s, but there is some variation. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America reported that there are differences in the average age of menopause by country and socioeconomic status.

Menopause goes along with some physical and often emotional symptoms that relate to the decline of hormones like estrogen. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include irregular periods, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, thin hair and dry skin, and loss of breast fullness. There are also symptoms related to sex and the menopause, like low sex drive.

Do keep in touch with your doctor during this period and report any difficult symptoms so you can tackle them. It’s also important to stress that you can still get pregnant during this time, although you may not get your period very often.

menopause details

Menopause and Libido

During menopause, many women experience a decrease in sexual libido. There are both biological and psychological manifestations of this symptom, which can be distressing to many women.

1. Biological Manifestations

During menopause, vaginal dryness can develop due to hormonal changes. The vagina loses elasticity over time, as well as hydration. This is one manifestation of a decreased libido. It can make sex during menopause painful and uncomfortable, even leading to burning or bleeding during sex. Also, women often get repeated urinary tract infections related to this issue.

2. Psychological Manifestations

Menopause leads to fluctuations in hormones, which can cause mood swings. It’s not uncommon to experience irritability, anxiety, or depression during this time. These shifts in mood can greatly affect your sexual libido, as well as your general enjoyment of sex.

However, keep in mind that these changes are quite individual. Many women do not experience these shifts in mood or sex during menopause. Each woman’s journey is different.

Little Known Secrets About Menopause And Sex

If you want to know the real scoop on sex during menopause. This is everything you ever wanted to know about menopause and sex but were afraid to ask.

1. Sex May Decline For A While

There’s a chance that your sex life will slow down for some time. Whether it is because of painful intercourse or a decline in sex drive, it’s something you should be prepared for. It is a normal stage of life, and what’s more, there are treatments that can help you. Don’t let it get you down.

2. Menopause And Sex Can Be Very Liberating

It can be a very freeing time in your life. Your childbearing years are over, whether you had children or not. There’s a new freedom that can go along with being in a completely new phase of life. It, in turn, can be very liberating for your sexuality. Some women do find that their libido actually improves after menopause. Others just find that their newfound freedom really kick starts their sex life.

3. If Your Drive Declines, You May Find You Don’t Mind

Many women find that when their sex drives do decline, it’s not as upsetting as they thought it would be. They find other interests and aren’t as bothered about sex. Women often find it helps them to develop themselves as a person more as they widen their scope of pursuits.

4. Getting to Know Each Other Again

Issues with sex can put people into a new phase of their relationship, where they enjoy each other’s company without having to have sex all the time. It can be like getting to know each other all over again with some of the passion removed.

getting to know each other again

5. Communicating with Your Partner

Sexual problems create the need for open communication about your feelings and needs. So, if you do have sexual complications, it may help your bond with your partner as you work through these new changes.

6. Diversify Your Sex Life

Since this is a new stage in your sex life that may have some challenges, it’s a good time to work with your partner on new ways to satisfy each other. You can experiment with different ways of doing things and fantasies. It could end up being a new sexual awakening in your relationship.

There is Help for These Problems

You may feel like you’re on your own with these sexual issues, but that’s far from the case. Many women experience the same problems. Besides, there are treatments and techniques you can try to change the situation. Keep in touch with your doctor during this time and discuss any possible solutions.

Treatments for Sexual Problems

The most common treatment is hormone replacement therapy, which balances the levels of hormones like estrogen in your body. It can get rid of symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and night sweats. Additionally, it can get rid of vaginal dryness which can lessen the chance of having painful intercourse [1].

You can also get topical estrogen or progesterone medication from a physician. There are rings, creams, tablets, and suppositories whose purpose is to lessen vaginal dryness.

Another treatment option is an organic ingredient or supplement. There are a number of products on the market that use ingredients like dong quai, black cohosh, and soy isoflavones. These mimic estrogens, so they balance the levels in the body [2].

There are bio-identical hormone therapies available, which differ from HRT in the sense that they use plants. These are not regulated nor recommended [3].

In addition to these treatments, there are some steps you can take on your own to improve your sex life. Here are some tips for sex after menopause:

  • Unless it’s painful, continue to have sex often.
  • Foster your emotional connection with your partner.
  • Make your sex time romantic, light candles, and put on music to set the mood.
  • Stay away from products that can dry out your skin.
  • Use fun lubricants and vaginal moisturizers.
Treatments for sexual problems

Frequently Asked Questions

The symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, chills, vaginal dryness, sleep issues, mood swings, weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin, and loss of breast fullness [4].

Once you’ve reached menopause, you no longer ovulate and can’t get pregnant. Your hormones stay at a low level from then onward. You no longer menstruate. As you may experience some bone loss, it becomes important to consume calcium and Vitamins D and K. There are also issues related to sex and the menopause that become relevant, like low libido and vaginal dryness. 

The vagina and vulva experience some loss of elasticity as well as hydration during menopause. The tissue becomes thinner and more vulnerable to bruising and irritation. Also, there is less lubrication. This is an issue related to sex and the menopause because it can cause painful intercourse.

When it comes to sex and the menopause, the North American Menopause Society states that between 17-45% of women find sex painful following the change of life. This condition is called dyspareunia.

All women do not experience a decrease in libido during or after menopause. In fact, some actually have the opposite effect, with a great increase in sex drive. It all depends on your individual hormones and how they function.

The Final Word – Menopause and Sex

Menopause and sex can complicate a woman’s sex life, as it involves fluctuations in hormones that can lead to decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. The physical aspect of menopause and sex can lead to painful intercourse. The mood swings and hormone shifts can lead to less desire for sex. It is upsetting for many women and may even lead to relationship difficulties.

Some sex after menopause tips includes using lubricants and vaginal moisturizers, increasing foreplay, seeing a therapist, and bonding as a couple. The important thing to remember is that it is not the end of your sex life. Your drive may change, but there are also a number of remedies for this problem, including organic supplements and hormone therapy. It could be the beginning of a completely new sex life.

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