Menopause is a time of change in the way a woman’s body functions, which is why menopause is often called ‘the change of life’. Some women look at menopause as a very freeing thing, while others look at menopause as the end of their youth or even let menopause affect how they see themselves as a woman. How a woman views menopause can affect how she feels about herself and her body while going through menopause, and those feelings, along with physical changes in the body, can have a profound impact on an otherwise normal sex life.
Even though there are many body changes that can result from menopause, the one thing that doesn’t have to change is having an active, satisfying sex life after menopause. In fact, for a wife and a mother, menopause might just be the best sex time in her life! Think about it: no worries about pregnancy or birth control; the kids are grown or almost grown; and since men go through their own hormonal changes at about the same age, he might just have to physically spend more time on foreplay!
Human sexuality doesn’t end at a certain age. Nowadays, men and women are both enjoying active and healthy sex lives well into the ‘golden years’. Of course, there are certain changes that happen to the body that might need to be addressed when going through menopause to ensure maximum sexual satisfaction during and post menopause.
Let’s look at a few things a woman and her partner can do to minimize any potential menopause sexual pitfalls.
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Hormones Change Sex After Menopause
Some woman will find hormonal changes happen after menopause that can reduce or increase sex drive. Other woman may find no noticeable change from hormones. If mood and libido are negatively impacted during or after menopause, doctors can prescribe hormone therapy, from prescribing birth control pills to prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If you are a woman older than 35 or so and you are experiencing negative changes in your sex drive or mood, discuss these with your doctor – it may be nothing but pre-menopausal symptoms and not a sign of anything wrong.
Vaginal Dryness Changes Sex After Menopause
Only about 20% of all woman experience vaginal dryness significant enough to require medical or product intervention. That means the majority of women experience no vaginal issues from menopause. If, however, you happen to be one of the unlucky 20%, there a wide variety or products sold over the counter to assist with vaginal dryness. From KY to Astroglide, you can now find exceptional water-based products, and there are even fancy and fun ones now, such as warming lubricants, and stimulating lubricants, and even the new KY His & Hers, which you’ll just have to buy and try to see what they do!
Besides lubricants, there are also vaginal moisturizers that are used after bathing instead of during or before sexual activity, and these work directly on the vaginal lining to provide moisture instead of just lubrication. Products like Replens moisturize instead of just lubricate.
The point is, vaginal dryness is not a big problem, and if you approach it with a sense of humor and a little playfulness with your partner, vaginal dryness after menopause can actually make your sex life better. Talk to your partner about it too. Sometimes, post menopausal vaginal dryness can also be combated by having your partner increase the amount of time for foreplay to allow for proper excitement and lubrication. Can more foreplay really be a bad thing?
Decreased Sex Drive or Libido After Menopause
First, make sure you’re not taking any medication that has decreased sex drive as part of the side effects. You might be surprised how many do, particularly antidepressants, anti anxiety medication, and even some antibiotics and over the counter cold medication will too.
Next, before opting for hormones or speaking to your doctor, try something really simple: have more sex. No, this is serious. Believe it or not, sex releases hormones and endorphins that can actually help increase your sex drive. Whether masturbation or sexual activity with a partner, sexual stimulation actually increases sex drive without artificial hormones.
Sex After Menopause Is What You Make It
You’ve probably heard that sex is 90% in the mind anyway, and that is mostly true where sex after menopause is concerned too. If you come into menopause believing you’re going to have sexual problems, chances are you can create those very problems. Instead, if you look at menopause like you would any other condition, treat it appropriately if there are symptoms and keep positive about it in general, menopause doesn’t have to affect your sex life in any way.
In the end, while menopause is a time of change for a woman’s body, nothing significant in her life has to change. Most women, by the time they reach menopause, don’t want children or more children anyway, and the opportunity to skip a monthly cycle after so many years can be welcomed as a positive change.
Some woman said they feel like less of a woman after menopause, but if you really think about it: no more monthly crying spells, no more cramps, no more mood swings, no more risk of pregnancy, no periods – sex any time, anywhere you want it with your partner – well, all in all, sounds to me like menopause could actually be a time when a woman can focus more time on just being a woman. When you think of it that way, menopause doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all!