Sex After Menopause: How Sex Changes After Menopause, Tips, FAQs

Sex After Menopause: How Sex Changes After Menopause, Tips, FAQs

How do you know you have hit menopause?

As you approach your late 40s or 50s, your body enters perimenopause, defined as the menopausal transition phase. During this time, you may have irregular periods and most of the symptoms of menopause, but you are only officially said to have hit menopause when you don’t have your period for a full year.

It can be a difficult time in a woman’s life, coupled with plenty of symptoms and the huge amount of changes that the body undergoes, but with a little patience, lifestyle changes and medical help, you can have a smooth postmenopausal life.

Does menopause affect your sex life?

Sex is an important part of a person’s life, especially when they are young and in their childbearing years. You may experience a high libido and a smooth sex life, which can all become difficult after you have hit menopause.

Your body may undergo drastic changes during this time, which can make it difficult to get aroused or engage in sex. But, a common myth is that sex and orgasming become impossible during this time which is, however, far from the truth.

Even though you may experience difficulty in having sexual intercourse, or the sex may feel different than in your 20s or even 30s, sex after menopause is very much a possibility and you can even enjoy it.

Do all women experience a lowered sex drive during this time?

Even though your hormones can play a role in lowering your libido, not all postmenopausal women report lowered sex drive. In fact, some admit to having their desire improved due to less anxiety of getting pregnant or lowered responsibilities revolving around children.

Common problems with sex after menopause and what to do about them

With all being said, menopause can bring about a few hindrances to your sex life. But, there are remedies to tackle all of them. However, since your body undergoes a huge change, sex may not feel the same as before. But, different doesn’t always mean bad and with a little change in perspective, you may even start enjoying sex more than ever before.

Here is a list of the common problems you may face after menopause and everything you can do about them.

  • Lowered libido - Sexual arousal and libido depend on a lot of psychological and physical factors. One of the main reasons for a lowered sex drive is a fall in the level of estrogen. This makes it difficult to feel aroused and also causes your vagina to become stretchy or dry, making you uncomfortable down there. Furthermore, other menopause symptoms can make you feel less desirable physically, which can take a toll on your sex drive.
  • What to do: Try doing things that get you in the mood like watching romantic movies or touching yourself. If you want to have sex, but feel less desirable, try talking to your partner about it and get your insecurities addressed. Once you start feeling more comfortable with the changes, you can start to enjoy sex better.

  • Vaginal dryness - With lowered levels of estrogen, the vaginal walls become thinner and lose their elasticity, making natural lubrication lessen. This can result in vaginal dryness, giving rise to pain and burning or general discomfort during sex.
  • What to do: Use a lot of lubrication during sex to reduce friction. This will make sex more comfortable and less painful. Also, if you suffer from itching during normal times due to vaginal atrophy, try a moisturizing cream that will help with the dryness.

  • Vaginal tightness - As your frequency of having sex decreases, your vaginal muscles can tighten, causing more pain and discomfort when you do have sex. This can also increase your anxiety level and affect your overall sex life. Even if you want to have sex, you may be scared due to the pain.
  • What to do: First, let go of the anxiety. After that, try and engage in more foreplay or oral sex to get more comfortable. If that’s where you want to stop, it’s perfectly fine. But, if you want to engage in intercourse, use a lot of lube and try it more frequently to get rid of vaginal tightness.

  • Urinary incontinence - As you reach menopause, your vaginal muscles weaken, leading to urinary incontinence in some cases. This can make having sex psychologically more difficult as sudden movements are a part of sex, which can all trigger urinary incontinence.
  • What to do: There are many exercises that can help you in tightening your pelvic floor muscles, which can greatly help with urinary incontinence. Also, remember that sex already involves a lot of fluids and having one more as a probable guest appearance can’t be that bad, can it? Just laugh it off, if that helps!

  • Problem climaxing - As you hit menopause, the blood flow to your genitals can get slower. This means that achieving an orgasm can become more difficult. However, it is not impossible.
  • What to do: Just because it takes longer for you to climax now, doesn’t mean it is impossible. Try engaging the clitoris in more direct contact for a longer period of time. And remember to relax and not focus on the end goal so much. Focus on having a good time and you will be orgasming soon.

  • Intimacy with your partner - As your frequency of having sex decreases, you may start to feel more disconnected from your partner. This can give rise to more anxiety, which will make it even more difficult to connect sexually with your partner. Also, as you hit menopause, your idea of intimacy can change, Sex may no longer be the centre of your relationship and you may enjoy doing other things together.
  • What to do: If you and your partner feel that your relationship has evolved beyond sex and you have other intimate activities to bond over, that’s perfectly fine. But, if you feel more disconnected from your partner and want to enjoy sex with them, try getting in a romantic mood first by going on a date together or cuddling or do whatever works for you.

    Final words

    Even though sex can become more difficult after menopause, remember that it’s not impossible. Also, the reason can be different for every person. What’s important is to remember that your body is changing and that things will not be the same as before. But, embrace the change in a positive manner and let go of all the myths. Sex is very much a possibility after menopause. Just identify what’s stopping you and take it from there.

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