Photo Courtesy of Nani Chavez on Unsplash
Photo Courtesy of Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash
For women in their late 40s and early 50s, hot flashes, weight gain, and mood swings may become a common occurrence. In addition, as a result of the end of your menstrual cycle and childbearing years, menopause may also impact your sex life.
While this may seem like your sex life is coming to an end, there are ways to have safe, fun, and pleasurable sex no matter your age. Follow along to learn more about improving your sex life after menopause.
How does menopause affect your sex life?
Leading up to menopause, your body goes through perimenopause. During this stage of menopause, your ovaries begin to make less of the estrogen hormone. This drop can start occurring anywhere from four to eight years before your final menstrual cycle.
Lower estrogen levels can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:
Vaginal dryness and thinning
While experiencing these symptoms may make you notice a difference in your sex drive, decreased libido is not a commonly reported symptom in menopausal women. Instead, it is the combination of symptoms that may make sex less pleasurable for you.
4 ways to help make sex more pleasurable during menopause
Just because you’re going through menopause doesn’t mean your pleasurable sex life should end. While it may be slightly different than it was before, there are ways you can adjust to make the experience enjoyable and safe for both you and your partner. Follow along to learn how you can increase your feelings of pleasure and intimacy during menopause.
1. Don’t be afraid to address discomfort
To make sure sex is pleasurable for both of you, it is essential to address any discomfort right away. Vaginal pain and dryness are common symptoms in menopausal women and can lead to uncomfortable or painful sex.
Some common solutions include:
Using sexual lubricant
Increased periods of foreplay
Discussing treatment options with your doctor
By addressing discomfort with your partner, you can ensure that you both are on the same page and adjust to make the experience more enjoyable.
2. Get tested for STDs
When sexually active, it is crucial that you stay on top of your sexual health. A great way to do this is by getting tested for STDs. This is especially important when exploring sexual relationships with new partners.
You can get tested at your local health clinic or with an at-home STI test. By getting tested together, you can ensure you are both making the best decisions for your sexual health.
3. Try new methods of intimacy
There are various ways to have a strong intimate relationship without penetrative sex. This is especially helpful if you’re experiencing a mind-body disconnect, where you want to have sex even though your body might not cooperate.
Examples of alternative methods of intimacy include:
Explicit games or conversation
By trying new forms of intimacy, you can help strengthen the emotional connection between you and your partner while increasing your sexual pleasure along the way.
4. Explore treatment options
If vaginal dryness or pain is frequent during sex, it should not be ignored. Instead, be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss potential treatment options to help make sex more enjoyable for you and your partner.
Treatment options include:
By educating yourself and listening to your body, you don’t have to let menopause be the end of your sex life. With a few small changes and by staying on top of your sexual health, you can continue having great sex no matter your age.