How Does Menopause Affect Sexuality
Youre officially in menopause once you havent had a period for a full year. By this point, youve probably noticed quite a few changes that have been happening to your body already. Hot flashes, insomnia, and irregular periods are all common features of the transitional time leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause.
The main culprit behind these shifts is a dramatic drop in your estrogen, the hormone that plays such an important role in womens sexual and reproductive development.
But its not just physical changes. This drop in estrogen can seriously affect your sexuality after menopause too.
Here are some things you may be going through:
A Womans Guide To Reviving Sex Drive
Know that old song Where Did Our Love Go? Many women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are asking, Where did our sex go?
Loss of desire is common in the years before and after menopause. Desire problems peak around ages 35 to 64.
Why? Itâs a time of life with a lot going on! Changing hormones can cause spontaneous desire or craving sex out of the blue to plummet.
âTo blame it all on hormones is unfair, though,â says Stephanie Faubion, MD, director of the Mayo Clinicâs Womenâs Health Clinic.
Whatâs called receptive desire being turned on when your partner makes the first move keeps going. At least, it can if related issues in your body, mind, or relationship usually some mix donât get in the way, Faubion says.
The fix for sex drive issues: Tease out the complex causes and address them.
Estrogen And Physical Menopausal Changes
The drop in estrogen that occurs after menopause affects the structures of the reproductive tract. People often notice problems with vaginal dryness, Many also experience atrophy of the vagina and vulva. These changes may be accompanied by symptoms such as pain during sex or discomfort with urination.
Vaginal discomfort is treatable. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can be helpful, as can vaginal estrogens, for those who are interested.
The same treatments that help with vaginal symptoms may also alleviate some urinary symptoms. However, if you are experiencing bothersome pain, including during sex or urination, it is a good idea to discuss it with a physician.
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How To Orgasm After Menopause
Putting the O in menopause: Tips on finding pleasure after the change from a sex therapist.
It can be difficult for many women to reconnect with their sexuality after the change, largely due to the many biological changes that can wreak havoc on the mind and body. However, its important to remember that sexuality and pleasure are well-within our control, and menopause doesnt change this fact.
Mia Sabat, sex therapist at Emjoy, the audio sexual wellbeing app for women, offers insights into experiencing sexual pleasure during, and after, menopause.
NSFW: The following content contains explicit references to the vulva and self-pleasure, and is best enjoyed in a private moment.
Ways To Improve Orgasms After Menopause
Change the Way you View Menopause
Yes, menopause brings with it a host of challenges, but its time to change the way you view menopause. Changing the way you look at things could help you improve that orgasm after menopause! Yes, its true! The female orgasm is strongly tied to emotions.
Think about the best sex you ever had and ask yourself this how did you feel about yourself? You probably felt confident, sexy and self-assured, right? If you can start viewing menopause as a positive transformative period in your life you could have better sex post-menopause! Being in menopause doesnt make you any less attractive or endearing. Age is just a number and does not define your sex life.
How is this possible? Think of it this way. By now you have amassed a good amount of life experience. You know what you like in and out of the bedroom and you probably know what your partner likes if youve been together several years.
You might well be older, but youre so much wiser too. Think of all the incredible things you have achieved in your life so far. Think of the challenges you have overcome!
Do Regular Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you dont already, try introducing pelvic floor exercises into your daily or weekly routine. This can help increase vaginal sensation and deliver more intense orgasms. Its never too late to start doing pelvic floor exercises.
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Keep it Exciting
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If Youve Lost It Never Had It Or Simply Want A Better One Read On Weve Got The Tricks To Help You Flip From Faking It To Feeling It
They seem so easy and straightforward in the movies: you have sex, moan a little, moan a little louder and, voila, you nail the Big O every time. But in reality, as many as 15% of women have never experienced an orgasm, and only 1 in 10 report having them during sexual intercourse.
Thats because orgasms are anything but simple. They require a complex dance of physical stimulation and reaction. Your genitals are touched and respond appropriately, sending a stream of electrical signals to your brain, which, in turn, barks back orders to lubricate the vagina, pump blood to the area, and increase breathing. When every link in the chain does its job, you explode in a satisfying torrent of sensation. But, as our bodies age, the chances that one of those steps will be skipped increases, making an already elusive goal that much harder to achieve. But have no fear its not impossible. Weve got the reasons you may have lost your groove and easy ways to get it back.
Dropping Hormone Levels
Well before women hit menopause, their bodies begin to make changes that affect hormone levels. The ovaries, which are the source of 50% of our testosterone, become less active, decreasing the production of the sex hormone that is key to our libido. So, it makes sense that sex drive often drops as we age. If youve noticed a significant downshift in your sex drive, hormones are one of the most likely culprits.
If Youre Trying To O Like Right Now Try This
You really want to orgasm, but, for whatever reason, you just cant seem to get there. This can feel so discouraging that, eventually, you might decide theres no point in trying and give up entirely.
While you can try a few different things to make an orgasm happen, its also important to keep in mind that you can still enjoy yourself, even without an O.
Focusing on the pleasure youre experiencing in the momentwithout fixating on orgasm as a specific goal might just help you get there more quickly.
For more satisfying sex, solo or partnered, try these tips.
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Try Some Direct Stimulation
During the menopausal transition, blood flow to the vagina and clitoris decreases. If you usually need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, well, the resulting decrease in sensitivity can make orgasm more difficult to achieve.
More difficult doesnt mean impossible! It just may take a little longer or require a new approach.
Give these tips a try:
- Touching. Start by touching, rubbing, or stroking your clit or asking your partner to. Lube, like we mentioned above, can make a difference by reducing friction and increasing your pleasure. If youre new to direct touching, our guide to clitoral stimulation offers plenty of ideas for you and your partner to consider.
- Oral sex.Oral sex can be a great way to get things going. It stimulates your clit, for starters, but it also offers the added bonus of lubrication.
- Vibrators.Using a vibrator regularly, during solo or partnered sex, may help boost sensitivity and wetness and make it easier to reach orgasm.
Sex And Menopause: Studies On Etiology Of Decreased Coitus
Sexual research on sexual functioning during the climacteric has been studied for 30 years. This research has approached the issue from different points of view, including biologic, psychiatric, anthropologic, and sociologic. The two main conclusions are that decreasing sexual activity in a woman results in part from decreasing sexual functioning of her male partner and in part from anatomic and physiologic changes associated with her menopause. The representative studies are summarized in . The large majority of these studies found a decrease in coitus and sexual interest of greater than 40% within a few years of the menopause.
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Orgasm After Menopause How To Achieve
From the foregoing, there is no doubt about the question can a woman still have an orgasm after menopause? yes, she can. Sex after menopause brings no less pleasure than before it. However, some efforts should be made to maintain sexual activity. Many women are interested in whether there are special tools that help achieve orgasm after menopause. Of course, there is. And they are quite diverse.
Vegetable Canola And Other Refined Oils
You cant just grab any oil from your kitchen to use as lube.
Refined and hydrogenated cooking oils, such as vegetable oil and canola oil, go through heavy processing.
This usually includes heating, bleaching, and chemical treatments.
Thats why healthy cooking tips tend to recommend unrefined oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, instead.
This is a good tip when deciding on products to use on your body as well.
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How Can I Get A Girl Talk To Come To My Church
I would LOVE to bring my Girl Talk to your church! Its one of the most fun parts of my job, and I so enjoy meeting new people and touring around.
Girl Talk is fun, seeker friendly, and informative, and youll find its an easy womens event to get people out to
And its affordable, too. The ticket price can cover my fee and expenses, and its a great way to bring different churches together.
So while we were in line for the food , I asked her all the menopause and orgasm questions I could. And then we followed up with some emails. Heres what she said:
After menopause lubrication takes longer, and with the loss of estrogen lubrication diminishes. When its dry, it hurts! Talk with your doctor about vaginal estradiol. And dont be afraid using one of the many lubricants available. Your response will be much easier when it doesnt hurt.
And then she added this:
The orgasmic peak postmenopausal women experience may not feel quite as dramatic as in earlier years, but it can be intensely satisfying. If theres one encouragement I have for postmenopausal women when it comes to sex, its SLOW DOWN! Longer foreplay, more conscious attention to what feels good, alternating between lighter and more intense stimulation youve earned the right to take the time and enjoy it! You have every reason to continue to enjoy orgasmic sex for as many years as you wish.
So thats a little bit encouraging!
How Menopause Affects Sex Drive
A number of factors can affect a person’s sex drive, or libido. Because of this, not everyone’s libido is affected by menopause in the same way.
Although the changes in testosterone associated with aging can affect a person’s sex drive, research suggests that a loss of libido isn’t actually all that common. One study of 500 women in early and late menopause found that while 12% of the perimenopausal group reported a loss of libido, only 3% of the postmenopausal group reported the same.
What makes some people more susceptible to decreased libido? Testosterone fluctuations are only one factor. Other factors that have been shown to be associated with decreased sex drive during menopause include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Having children living at home
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What Happens To My Body During Orgasm
Possibly not exactly what happens to mine. Our bodies are all different and so are our orgasms. But generally, during orgasm your vagina, uterus and anus contract rapidly you experience muscle contractions in other parts of your body your heart rate and breathing quicken and your blood pressure increases.
Your orgasm could be more intense than mine, last longer than mine, be wetter than mine.
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Does Sex Drive Return After Menopause
Menopause is defined as when you havent had your periods for 12 consecutive months. Menopause generally marks the end of the reproductive cycle in women. As your estrogen levels drop, many physical and psychological changes ensue. One of them is that sex becomes less pleasurable. This may be due to multiple reasons, such as
- Difficulty achieving orgasms due to dyspareunia
- The declining desire to have sex
- Other changes in your body, such as weight gain, joint stiffness and reduced stamina
Though many women can still have the desire to have sex after menopause, it may be not as passionate as it was in their 20s.
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The Problem: You Cant Get Aroused
The fix: Amp up the lubrication.
If you find that things have gotten a bit dry down there, dont fret. Your first step is to bring in some reinforcements, and thats where lube comes in. It might take some experimentation to find the right one, but OTC silicone-based lubricants work by reducing friction associated with thin, dry tissue, says Dr. Streicher.
If thats not doing enough for you, add a vaginal moisturizer like Replens, which is absorbed into your skin and sticks to your vaginal lining . You can also try a warming gel like Zestra, which is not a lubricant per se, but increases sensation when you apply it to your clitoris.
Pro tip: Stick to water- or silicone-based lubes: Oil-based ones like petroleum jelly and mineral oil can actually increase risk of vaginal irritation and infection, warns Dr. Streicher. And if youre trying Zestra, be cautious: I definitely felt more aroused using it, but I had burning and stinging for a couple days afterward, says Natalie, 53, from Fairfield, CT.
With All That Said You Can Still Have A Great Sex Life In Menopause
Pizarro and Brown-James both agree on this point. In fact, Dr. Pizarro says meno post-menopausal people have very active sex lives even without taking estrogen. Whats more, sexual satisfaction might increase once someones been through menopause.
There are a few reasons that might happen. The worry of being pregnant is no longer there, says Brown-James. Also, some people experience an increase in their sexual awareness of their bodies. Many women have not been taught to explore their bodies and have internalized ideas that the vulva or vagina are dirty or for someone elses pleasure, not theirs, she explains. A lot of times, if the knowledge that none of that is true hasnt taken root before, it gets dispelled at this point, and women realize their bodies are really for themselves. Bonus: That may also lead to more intense orgasms, says Brown-James.
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Causes Of Intermenstrual Or Postcoital Bleeding After Orgasm
Two basic conditions can cause bleeding after sex, or postcoital bleeding. First, there is possible damage to the cervix. Second-tier possibilities include those that cause bleeding from the uterine lining.
Indeed, bleeding after orgasm or penetrative sex may happen for a number of reasons. Following are a few most common causes that can lead to pain and bleeding after an orgasm.
Tips For Sex After A Hysterectomy
It is normal to be a little apprehensive about having sex after a hysterectomy. There are several things a person can do to make it easier, including:
- Not rushing things: Having sex too soon after surgery can be painful and may cause an infection. A person should follow the doctors recommendations about when it is safe to have sex, remembering that 6 weeks is only a guide. Some women may not be ready at that point in their recovery.
- Using lubrication: Using lubrication may make sex easier and more enjoyable. Lubrication is especially helpful for women who have had their ovaries removed and are in surgical menopause. A range of lubricants is available for purchase online.
- Talking with their partner: It is essential for a person to talk with any sexual partners about how they feel after a hysterectomy, especially if something is painful or uncomfortable.
- Trying different positions: Certain positions may be more comfortable than others, especially for people who are experiencing vaginal dryness. In these cases, they can experiment with different positions to find something that feels better.
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Less Intercourse Is Natural
Despite what the media and prescription drug commercials would have you believe, intercourse in later years often isnt as pleasurable for couples as it used to be. Thats because of bodily changes such as vaginal dryness and erectile dysfunction, says Kraft. Half of women in their 50s continue having intercourse, but by their 70s only 27 percent of women are doing it.
That doesnt mean that you cant be intimate with your partner whether youre having intercourse with the help of lubricants, vaginal moisturizers or prescription drugs, or choosing other ways of staying connected.
About a third of long-term couples dont have sex or have sex only occasionally. But they dont necessarily consider that a problem. Its just where their relationships have evolved, explains Kraft. They do other things that are intimate that they enjoy like cuddling, sharing a bed and laughing together. And theyre happy.
Why Your Menopause Symptoms Can Make Great Sex More Difficult
For some, this drop in hormone levels may also cause other upsetting symptoms alongside a lack of libido, that can have an impact on their sex lives, including:
- problems reaching orgasm
- vaginal dryness which can make sex uncomfortable, or even painful
These changes can make sex less appealing or pleasurable, and some people may choose to avoid sex and intimacy altogether.
You may also find that other menopause symptoms, which can continue postmenopause, may make you feel less like having sex, including:
- hot flushes and night sweats
Some of these symptoms may cause issues with your body image, while some may result in trouble sleeping , meaning you may have less energy for sex.
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