When you were younger, you undoubtedly overheard your mother and her friends talking about how sex just wasn’t the same after menopause. How the urge just wasn’t there and how it just wasn’t “good” anymore. They may have been experiencing a hormonal issue called hypoactive sexual desire disorder which acts to decrease sexual desire. Well, that was then, and this is now. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder still exists, but the times have changed and there are more open conversations about sexual issues. Today, sex can be great at any age, even post menopause.
Let’s back up a bit and think about when the first signs of change in the sexual experience began. Most likely it was when perimenopause started to make changes in your hormones. This change in hormone levels affect the genital tissues and circulation, which in turn affect the levels of sexual pleasure. Don’t despair. There are solutions.
Chances are that when you went through (or are going through) menopause, your household changed a bit. Your children have grown up and moved out creating an opportunity for more sexual freedom in the house without interruption! It would be a shame to not take advantage of this newfound opportunity. Let’s help things along. The following are a few ways to improve your sex life after menopause.
Vaginal Dryness. It’s completely normal to begin experiencing vaginal dryness during menopause. This dryness makes sex uncomfortable and automatically reduces the desire to have sex. There are many good vaginal lubricants available over the counter and by prescription. Using these lubricants will not only make sex comfortable, they will help keep the vaginal tissues healthy. I keep a variety of samples in the office, and we can talk about how these can be used depending on your dryness.
Genital Arousal. The lack of estrogen directly affects genital arousal. The blood supply to the genital area decreases resulting in a delay in arousal; it can even be responsible for creating fewer satisfying orgasms. Uh oh. This absence of estrogen creates tissue shrinkage resulting in elasticity greatly decreasing, and your natural lubrication drying up. As your doctor, we can work on a plan that can adjust your estrogen level to remedy this.
Sexual Routine. If the act of sex has become very routine over the years, it’s time to change your habits and become intimate again. The key is to have a true connection with your partner. However, you may find it difficult to discuss this with your partner. This is where, as your doctor, I can be of help. Don’t hesitate to open up and discuss your feelings, especially your desires and disappointments.
Knowledge. Knowledge is key. Let’s talk about everything you are experiencing from hot flashes to vaginal dryness to difficulty being aroused or reaching orgasms. Menopause can have a big impact on you emotionally and physically. By talking it out together, we can put a plan in place that can have you feeling great.
Sexual health is an important part of your overall wellbeing. I’m here to help you regain your sexual health and to remind you that you’re not alone. The majority of women experience similar issues!
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your body’s changing sexual needs with your gynecologist, please contact the staff at Parveen S. Vahora, MD. We are here to help.