Make no mistake: menopause can impact your sex life. Arousal and orgasm are like a delicate dance between your mind and body. And anything that messes with your libido can also mess with your ability to get in the mood and experience that mind-blowing climax.
Understanding the Changes
When menopause hits, it can bring along some not-so-fun changes. The blood flow to your nether regions might take a hit, making it a bit harder to get aroused and reach orgasm. It’s important to recognize these changes and explore ways to maintain intimacy and pleasure during this transformative stage. Menopause does not signify the end of a satisfying sex life. On the contrary, at Maze, we firmly believe that the pleasures of intimacy are still very much within reach. Whether you’re flying solo or with a partner, there are plenty of ways to keep the spark alive and enjoy some steamy moments.
Hormonal Changes: Managing Desire and Vaginal Health
While menopause brings about hormonal changes that may affect the way you experience sex and perceive your body, rest assured that there are numerous strategies to cultivate a happy and pleasurable sex life tailored to your preferences and needs.
Safety First: Contraception & STIs
During perimenopause, it is also important to maintain discussions about contraception, as pregnancy is still possible. For those employing barrier methods with their partners, it remains vital to continue using condoms. The decreased lubrication and thinning of vaginal walls that occur during menopause can increase vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Factors Influencing Desire: Estrogen Levels and Sexual Function
One significant factor that can impact your sexual function during menopause is the decline in estrogen levels. As menopause approaches (defined as when you haven’t had a menstrual cycle in 12 months) and during the preceding perimenopausal years, the decrease in estrogen can result in lower sexual desire and difficulties becoming aroused.
Managing Vaginal Dryness, Discomfort & Pain
Vaginal dryness, pain, and itchiness are common concerns experienced by many women during menopause. Creams, suppositories, or rings can help restore your vaginal tissues and improve lubrication. You can even team them up with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for extra support.
Restoring Comfort and Moisture: Practical Tips for Vaginal Health
By restoring moisture and lubrication to the vaginal lining, estrogen cream significantly improves comfort during everyday activities such as walking, exercising, and penetrative sex. Additionally, adopting the practice of wearing cotton underwear and limiting vulva cleansing to water helps maintain optimal vaginal health. Over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers or lubricants can also provide relief and comfort.
Understanding Sexual Desire or ‘Libido’
Menopause affects every woman differently, often resulting in changes to their sex life. Sexual desire, commonly referred to as “libido,” may fluctuate during this phase. It is essential to recognize the diversity of experiences and reactions women have to menopause.
Testosterone Replacement and Sexual Function
Reduced testosterone levels during menopause can impact your sexual desire and arousal. At Maze, we often prescribe testosterone replacement to increase libido in women in their 40s and beyond. Research indicates that more than a third of women in perimenopause or post-menopause report experiencing sexual difficulties, ranging from a lack of interest in sex to trouble achieving orgasm.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Daily stresses, family responsibilities, lack of privacy, and concerns about children or aging parents can significantly reduce interest in sexual activity. Stress and anxiety can make it challenging to experience feelings of sexual arousal simultaneously. Effectively managing stress can alleviate various menopause symptoms and positively influence your perceptions surrounding sex.
Nurturing Intimacy: Exploring Pleasure Beyond Intercourse
If the thought of giving up on your sex life during menopause concerns you, take comfort in the fact that many couples continue to be sexually active well into their senior years. However, it is crucial to recognize that what feels good sexually may change.
Alternative Techniques and Positions
As we age, things slow down a bit, including blood circulation to our nether regions. That means less sensitivity and a longer journey to orgasm. So, ladies, don’t be shy about embracing the power of direct and intense clitoral stimulation. It’s like your secret weapon for pleasure and satisfaction.
If intercourse becomes painful, it’s time to switch things up. Explore different positions and techniques that make you feel comfortable and bring the joy back to your sex life. And remember, vaginal intercourse isn’t the only path to pleasure. Genital stimulation and oral sex can be equally fulfilling. Oh, and don’t forget to add some adult toys into the mix. Vibrators can be a game-changer, increasing lubrication, intensifying orgasms, and genital sensation.
Navigate Menopause with Confidence
Navigating the changes in your sex life during menopause requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to explore new avenues of intimacy. By acknowledging the impact of menopause on sexual function and embracing the need for adaptation, you can create a fulfilling and satisfying sex life well into your senior years. At Maze, our Menopause Practitioners are committed to supporting you throughout this journey, providing you with treatment options, the resources, and guidance needed to maintain intimacy and sexual well-being during and after menopause.