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Can A Woman Enjoy Sex During Menopause

Obstacle To Treating Desire Trouble: Testosterone Isnt Fda

How To Enjoy Sex After Menopause

One barrier that stands in the way of treating HSDD is the lack of an U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved testosterone for women with HSDD, even though there is quite a bit of published research on how and when to use it, says Faught.

Faubion agrees, saying Testosterone is fairly well studied for sexual health in women and is effective in almost all areas of sexual function.

RELATED: Women Need Testosterone Formulation for Low Libido

You’re Not On Your Own

Women worry that they’re on their own with these issues and that their partners wont understand. It may feel uncomfortable asking for help, but there are things that can be done. Even in the post-menopause, women can still feel like women, they can still enjoy their femininity and enjoy intimacy.

Often a simple blood test, known as an endocrine investigation, can identify the hormone imbalance brought on by menopause which can then be used to tailor hormone replacement therapy to suit your personal needs.

Dont suffer in silence. A quick conversation with your GP or a womens health specialist is the first step to taking back the intimacy you desire.

Body Image And Menopause

Some of the things that may contribute to your body image around menopause include:

  • social attitudes Western culture rarely portrays older women as sexual or desirable. These ingrained social attitudes may make you feel less attractive. Some women wrongly believe that sex is only for young people. If you feel this way, it may cause your sexual interest and activity to wane
  • possible weight gain you may find your body fat increases at this time, especially around your abdomen. This is due to hormonal changes and other age-related factors
  • changes to body hair growth.

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Say Goodbye To Night Sweats

Unfortunately, things can heat up in the bedroom for the wrong reasons with around 70% of women affected by hot flushes and night sweats during menopause.11

What to try: Dietary changes can help, so avoid hot-flush triggers such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, and include plenty of plant oestrogens in your diet, like soya and flaxseeds.12 These lightly mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body and can reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes in some women.13

Ways To Increase Your Sex Drive:

How to enjoy sex during the menopause
  • Reduce dryness with moisturizers and lubricants
  • Talk with your partner about what you like
  • Rest up. A recent study found that women who get enough sleep are much more likely to experience sexual interest or pleasure
  • Schedule time for sex. Making a plan for sex gives you time to get in the mood
  • Spend more time on foreplay

Recommended Reading: Estrogen Dizziness

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder occurs when there is a persistent or recurrent absence of sexual fantasies or desire for sexual activity that results in personal distress. For the diagnosis of HSDD to be made, iatrogenic or organic causes for sexual dysfunction must be ruled out and the patient must report marked distress or interpersonal difficulty . Recently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Addition grouped HSDD with female sexual arousal disorder under the category of female sexual interest/ arousal disorders . The DSM-V criteria for the diagnosis of FSIAD is shown in .

Stay Fit And Eat Well

Im 48 and in perimenopause. I have had zero libido for a few years, but recently something has changed and it’s slowly ebbing its way back in. The only change I have made is that I have re-joined the gym and am loving that again. I just feel like I have more energy again and we have had more sex in the last few weeks than in the last year!User1473450164

Regular exercise and a healthy diet not only boosts your health and well-being, but it can also improve your self-esteem. This can only lead to a happier you in between the sheets.

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So What Can You Do To Help Your Partner During Menopause

  • Be informedThere are so many books with good information on the topic of men and menopause. Dr. Diana Bitners book, I Want to Age Like That, has an entire chapter dedicated to helping men understand menopause, and it includes a long list of suggestions to help you help her. You may also want to share Dr. Bitners Seven Essential Elements of Daily Success article with her.
  • Do your researchWebsites like menopause.org and isswsh.org have so much FREE information that can help both men and women navigate the struggles of menopause symptoms . If you have some information before you talk with your partner, she will see that you are really trying to understand what she is going through.
  • Be sensitiveAlong with sensitivity comes compassion and understanding. Try not to place blame on anyone and stay nonreactive when having a conversation.
  • Use I languageStart every sentence with I: Saying I feel hurt when I try to be intimate with you and you turn away is much better than saying, You never want to have sex anymore. It takes the blame away from your partner and makes for a much more productive conversation.

Theres No Shame In Rebalancing Yourself With Medications

How to have great sex after menopause

For some, the desire for sex may still be strong, but other physical symptoms can get in the way. For example, the effects of decreased estrogen can cause vaginal atrophy, which narrows and shortens the vagina. The uterus can also prolapse and lead to discomfort, painful sex, and urinary leakage.

These symptoms can be managed using medications, including hormonal replacement therapy . HRT can come in various forms, like pills, foams, patches, and vaginal creams. The goal of this therapy is to help vasomotor symptoms and vulvovaginal atrophy.

HRT is an effective treatment for vaginal changes and libido, but discuss your needs in detail with a medical professional before starting a regimen. They can ensure that no medical risks are overlooked.

Another option is testosterone. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasnt approved this option yet, some clinicians do administer it. A few studies have shown that its led to a noticeable improvement in sexual dysfunction. Testosterone therapy options include pills, patches, creams, and oral therapies. All of these should be monitored carefully. Theres specific dosing for each type of transdermal testosterone product.

If youd like to go natural, there are herbal supplements that may help increase libido. Some supplements that have been recommended to increase libido in women include:

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Eliminate Pain During Sex

Many women experience pain during sex once they reach menopause. As with other symptoms, a decrease in estrogen is often to blame. Additionally, many women who have pain begin associating it with sex and may start to clench their muscles before intercourse even begins, making their pain worse.

If you experience pain during sex, talk to your doctor. She may prescribe hormone treatments like the ones listed above. Using lubricants during sex can also help a lot, and its important to remember to take your time. Give your body the time it needs to become aroused by engaging in extended foreplay and talk with your partner about what feels good to you.

How Common Is Sexual Dysfunction As A Side Effect Of An Ssri Medication How Can I Resolve This Issue

Unfortunately, SSRIs and other medications that treat depression can affect how you feel about sex. Our Reproductive Psychiatry team treats mood and anxiety disorders during times of hormonal transition. An appointment with an experienced psychiatrist can help you find the right type of treatment at 800.922.0000.

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What Effects Will Menopause Have On My Sex Life

Menopause may cause changes in your sex life, or you may not notice any changes at all. Here are some possible changes:

  • Lower hormone levels can make your vaginal tissue drier and thinner. This condition, called vaginal atrophy, can make sex uncomfortable or painful.

  • Lower hormones may lower your sex drive. It may take you longer to get aroused.

  • Night sweats can disturb your sleep and make you tired.

  • Emotional changes can make you feel stressed or irritable.

Being less interested in sex as you get older is not a medical condition that requires treatment. But if changes in your sexual health bother you, talk to your doctor or nurse about ways to help, such as .

The Physiology Of Sex After Menopause

4 Common Sexual Health Issues for Women in Menopause ...

You might be familiar with the stereotype of menopausal women portrayed in the mediacrotchety, dried-up, and sexless after menopause. And yeah, your body is changing and this change comes with side effects, but you dont suddenly have a vagina-less Barbie body. Sex is still a basic part of your human experience and you can still enjoy it.

However, its best to just come out and say it: menopause will change your sex life. There are several reasons why:

  • Vaginal atrophy. During menopause your body halts estrogen production. A decrease in estrogen can lead to vaginal atrophy, which the Mayo Clinic defines as thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls. While that sounds scary, dont worry, there are treatments available. But before we go further its important to note that vaginal atrophy doesnt just affect your vaginal canal. It can also come with symptoms like recurring UTIs, burning when you urinate, and an urgency to urinate. In short, vaginal atrophy affects everything about your vulva, and not just the parts you use for sex. Its normal, and you shouldnt be embarrassed or ashamed. Most menopausal people have some of these issues!

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Sex Is Better For Me Now Than Before The Menopause

Claire*, 37, experienced surgical menopause three years ago after she had to have a hysterectomy due to severe endometriosis which had damaged her womb, ovaries, fallopian tube and bowels.

She says: My self-esteem and body confidence were already low before menopause, due to my endometriosis symptoms, and although my DH and I did have sex, I was beginning to see it as a chore.

I had to have a total hysterectomy, removing everything along with my cervix. Afterwards, I was discharged from hospital without any information about HRT. I suffered anxiety, stress, low mood, hot flushes, heart palpitations, insomnia, fatigue, vaginal dryness and pain, and lost my sex drive.

I resented my DHs need for sex when I couldn’t imagine ever wanting sex again. The lack of sex soon lead to a lack of all physical intimacy, which in turn impacted our emotional connection.

Fortunately my GP, who specialises in endocrinology, worked with me to ensure that I was on the correct HRT – oestrogen gel including testosterone. The change this made to my mental and physical health was significant. It enabled me to want to have sex again and to feel confident about my body and my needs.

It also lessened my stress and anxiety and boosted my energy and confidence, all of which helped me feel more comfortable with intimacy.

*not their real names

Menopause Brings Fun Opportunities

Lets be real: Menopause does mean that your body goes through changes that impact libido and arousal. As women become more mature, it often takes more time to become fully aroused sexually. Estrogen changes mean that theres less blood flow to the genitalia, which impacts arousal and lubrication. We can start to experience arousal nonconcordance, where our brains are totally into it and were ready to have fun, but then theres almost no lubrication. And because theres less blood flow, the vagina can actually atrophy or get quite dry, which can lower elasticity and make intercourse more painful. So your brain wants to have sex, but your body just isnt responding like it should.

Dont interpret this as a failure. You arent less sexual. You just may benefit from a little help!

Thats why I love Femallays vaginal melts! Theyre vaginal suppositories, available in a wide range of flavours and scents, that help re-moisturize the vaginal area and improve elasticity. Plus they make sex a lot more comfortable and fun!

Recommended Reading: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

Changes In Hormone Levels

During menopause, your body produces fewer hormones. Lower estrogen levels can cause a variety of changes in your body.

For example, with less estrogen, your vaginal tissues can become thinner and drier, leading to a condition known as vaginal atrophy. When vaginal atrophy strikes, penetration, and intercourse may become painful or unpleasant.

Lower estrogen levels can also dampen your libido, causing you to have less interest in sex.

How To Have Great Sex During Menopause And Beyond

Wife Doesn’t Want To Make Love After Menopause

You can have an incredible, fulfilling sex life at any age. Menopause is a time of transition, so it’s perfectly normal to notice some changes. Treatments are available for these types of sexual issues:

  • Lower libido
  • Peeing during sex
  • Sexual changes due to medication

The Olson Center for Women’s Health is dedicated to meeting all of your women’s health needs. Our specialists are easy to talk to and can help you resolve physical issues that might be getting in the way of intimacy.

Read Also: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

Hormone Replacement Therapy Could Kick

Bio-identical hormones can be a safe and effective way to treat perimenopause and symptoms of menopause, and hormone replacement therapy is a great option for reducing symptoms in many women that may boost their libido as well.

Hormones for menopausal relief may not be a fit for all patients, including many who have prior history of breast cancer or epilepsy. But for many, correctly administered hormone replacement can improve quality of life dramatically, as well as help with bone density and reducing colon cancer and Alzheimers risk. To make the best choices for you, consult your health practitioner.

Hormones And Sex Drive

Sexual desire often wanes with age. Around the late 40s and 50s, many women begin to experience a reduced sex drive. While physical symptoms of menopause can undermine sex drive, hormonal changes also play a role. During menopause, the body stops producing estrogen. Testosterone levels also decrease in women around midlife.

During menopause, the hormones that regulate sex drive, reproduction, mood and more begin to ebb, and these declining levels can negatively impact sexual function and desire. Hormones act as messengers in the body to control a vast array of functions. Three hormones are believed to affect female sexuality to some degree:

  • Estrogen: The main female hormone regulates the menstrual cycle, female sex organ development and the lining of the uterus. During perimenopause, estrogen levels begin to drop dramatically. Menopause occurs when estrogen levels are too low for the uterine lining to thicken.
  • Testosterone: Women have natural testosterone levels. This hormone is produced by the ovaries to help make estrogen. Testosterone declines naturally with age, especially after menopause. Some studies have suggested higher testosterone levels are associated with greater sexual behavior and desire in women.
  • Progesterone: This female hormone supports pregnancy and controls the menstrual cycle along with estrogen. As with estrogen, progesterone levels decline during menopause. It’s believed changing progesterone levels impact female sexual behavior.

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Rediscover What Libido Means To You

In my office, women talk of changes in their sexual lives. Our conversation often surrounds what to do and what is available for treatment. Often it requires opening up the can of worms to discuss what libido is and what drives it.

Libido is a complex aspect of sexuality. Many people are uncomfortable discussing it. And many times, it isnt until menopause happens that we try to find the time to peel back the layers and figure out what libido really means for us individually.

Finding new ways to transform arousal and moments of excitement such as pelvic physical therapy or laser vaginal rejuvenation also restore intimacy in relationships. The incorporation of lifestyle changes, technology, and medications can together help maintain the results of arousal with vaginal lubrication and vaginal tissue changes.

Sex therapists are also extremely effective in helping foster a new sense of intimacy with partners. Their tips may include:

Vaginal Dryness Discomfort Or Pain

#SexColumn: Sex during menopause

If your vagina becomes dry, painful or itchy as a result of the menopause, your GP can prescribe oestrogen treatment that’s put directly into your vagina as a pessary, cream or vaginal ring. This can safely be used alongside HRT.

The oestrogen cream will increase moisture and lubrication in the lining of your vagina, making walking, exercise and penetrative sex more comfortable again.

Wearing cotton underwear and only washing your vulva with water will help to keep your vagina healthy.

You’ll usually need to keep using vaginal oestrogen, as your symptoms are likely to return when treatment stops. However, side effects are very rare.

You can also use over-the-counter vaginal moisturisers or lubricants in addition to, or instead of, vaginal oestrogen.

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Having Sex Is Becoming Painful: What Can I Do

Pain during sexual activity is called dyspareunia. Like other symptoms of the menopausal transition, dyspareunia may be minor and not greatly affect a womans quality of life. However, some women experience severe dyspareunia that prevents them from engaging in any sexual activity.

You may find relief from vaginal dryness using water-based lubricants or vaginal moisturizers, which can be found at most grocery and drug stores. Vaginal moisturizers differ from lubricants. They are to be used regularlynot just during sexto replenish vaginal moisture and relieve vaginal dryness. Do not use petroleum jelly for this purpose oil-based products can cause irritation.

If using water-based lubricants or vaginal moisturizers does not improve your symptoms, hormones may help. Local vaginal treatments are often used to treat this symptom and provide lower hormone doses to the rest of the body than a pill or patch.

Hormones arent the only option for treating vaginal dryness and dyspareunia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two non-hormone medicines, called ospemifene and prasterone, to treat moderate to severe dyspareunia caused by vaginal changes that occur with menopause. Your doctor can tell you about the risks and benefits of these medicines.

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