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Can You Still Have Sex After Menopause

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How to have great sex after menopause

Do things together to help build your intimacy. It doesnt have to be fancy, but a regular date night or time for just the two of you can help keep a relationship strong and can help you form a deeper connection once youre ready for sex.

Finally, we cant stress enough the importance of good communication. Learn what works for you and communicate that to your partner. Its easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to be having sex to be happy, but the truth is that whatever works for you is completely fine. That may be moving to more clitoral stimulation or snuggling – whatever makes you feel good. Focus on what makes you and your partner happy and dont worry about what you think others are doing or what you think you should be doing.

Physical Changes With Menopause

Around menopause, you may notice physical changes that affect your sexuality in positive and negative ways. These may include:

  • vaginal changes as oestrogen levels fall, the walls of the vagina become thinner and drier. Loss of lubrication can make having sex uncomfortable
  • slowed sexual response it may take longer for you to get aroused and reach orgasm, and orgasm may be less intense
  • infections your vagina and bladder may become more susceptible to bacterial infections
  • menopause symptoms can include hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and unusual skin sensations like prickling, itching or ants under the skin
  • touch avoidance you may find you dont want to be touched. You may not feel like getting close and intimate because your skin feels more sensitive and you dont like the feeling of your combined body heat
  • physical discomfort of menopause symptoms may reduce your interest in sex or make you tired
  • absent periods if you experienced heavy or painful periods you may feel relieved and positive about no longer having periods. This can lead to a renewed interest in sex
  • no fear of pregnancy if you were trying to avoid pregnancy during your reproductive years, you may find menopause a time of renewed sexual interest. Without the risk of pregnancy, sex may become more relaxed and fun and you may feel like it more often.

Why Men Should Be Involved

Sexual symptoms are typically a problem for women because they cause a mismatch between her partners sexual needs and her own. For example, a woman who takes longer to orgasm after menopause may only be bothered if her partner experiences quicker orgasms as he ages. Menopausal sexual problems are a joint problem, most effectively treated by involving both partners. It helps when the male partners of menopausal women are educated about why the sexual symptoms of menopause arise and what might exacerbate them. Educated partners are in a better position to help menopausal women treat the symptoms and have a great sex life after menopause.

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How Sex Changes After Menopause

Reviewed By:

Chris Kraft, Ph.D.

With no need to worry about getting your period, becoming pregnant or being walked in on by your kids, your postmenopausal sex life should be stellar, right? It can be good, but dont expect it to be the same type of sex you were having in your 20s, says Chris Kraft, Ph.D., director of clinical services at the Sex and Gender Clinic in the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

While you may have greater freedom at home, this is also a stage of life with a lot of changes that can affect your intimacy, he says. Youre redefining your roles and your relationship as the kids go off to college and your careers wind down. And youre also physically changing.

Womens Wellness: Painful Sex After Menopause

Cramps after menopause: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am in my late 50s and have recently found that sex is becoming quite uncomfortable. I am assuming this is because Im past menopause, but whats the best way to make sex less painful?

ANSWER:Dyspareunia, the term for painful vaginal sex, is quite common. Estimates vary, but surveys of postmenopausal women not on hormone therapy report dyspareunia in as many as 20 to 30 percent. Its often divided into three categories: superficial pain, deep pain or both. Most women complain of superficial pain, which occurs upon vaginal penetration. Often, the pain has a sharp or burning quality. Deep pain occurs with deep penetration or thrusting. For some women, dyspareunia is temporary. For others, it can become chronic.

After menopause, painful intercourse often is associated with changes due to decreased estrogen levels. The vaginal tissues tend to become less elastic, more fragile, and more susceptible to bleeding, tearing or pain during sexual activity or during a pelvic exam. It can make sex painful or even impossible. The loss of estrogen can cause urinary problems, which also can make sex uncomfortable. Lack of sexual activity contributes to loss of tissue health and elasticity.

There also are a number of other treatment options. Vaginal lubricants help decrease pain during sex and can be applied as often as needed. Keep in mind that oil-based lubricants may degrade condoms. Vaginal moisturizers used every two to three days can help maintain vaginal moisture.

Also Check: How Can A Man Survive Menopause

Factors That Affect Desire

Your estrogen takes a nosedive during menopause and the years leading up to it, called perimenopause. This change has a huge impact on your sexual function. It can lower desire and make it harder for you to become aroused. It can also make the vaginal canal less stretchy and you may experience dryness, which can cause intercourse to be painful. More than a third of women in perimenopause, or who are postmenopausal, report having sexual difficulties, from lack of interest in sex to trouble having an orgasm.

Additionally, with age youre more likely to experience health problems. Chronic illness and injuries can deplete your energy, cause physical pain and lower your body image all of which affect your sex drive.

How Can Postmenopausal Women Improve Their Sex Life

First, you should accept the fact that it is normal to experience changes in sexual desire after menopause. Though you can continue to enjoy intimacy with your partner in ways, such as cuddling, sharing a bed, going on dates or weekend getaways, the intensity of the orgasms may not be as strong as before. This does not mean that your sex life is over. You and your partner may try techniques like clitoral massage because this may lead to better orgasms. There are other tips that can help menopausal women to take control of their sex life and derive maximum pleasure. Here are some of the effective ones.

Women should treat vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is a common reason for painful sex after menopause. Here are a few things that women can try to deal with this.

Both you and your partner can come together in bed and devise creative ways to experience sexual pleasure.

Women should also practice self-care, which includes

Read Also: Can You Go Into Early Menopause After Tubal Ligation

Reclaiming Your Sex Life

If youre upset by your waning sex life, there are some steps that we can take to restore your physical health, including hormone replacement therapies that can help your vaginal tissue with extra resources. We also offer the MonaLisa Touch®, an innovative laser therapy that can improve vaginal tissue health.

We also espouse a natural approach to the effects of menopause by encouraging you to explore your sexuality. Studies show that the more you engage in sexual activity, either on your own or with a partner, the more your body responds and boosts the health of your vagina.

Rest assured, were with you every step of the way, providing treatment and counseling as you go. If youd like to take charge of your sex life again after menopause, please call our Princeton, New Jersey, clinic at 609-246-5541 or schedule an appointment using our online booking tool.

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Sex May Become Painful

How To Enjoy Sex After Menopause

There are consequences to the estrogen drop that occurs at the time of menopause, namely less lubrication. And that desertlike dryness can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.

Changes to the vaginal tissue can also interfere with your ability to become lubricated, says Dr. Streicher, whos also the host of the forthcoming podcast Inside Information With Dr. Streicher. Thats where a good lubricant comes in. She recommends silicone-based lubes, because water-based lubes can actually be drying to vaginal tissue.

If lubricants arent enough to counter the dryness, you may want to use a vaginal moisturizer two or three times per week, which can help make sex more comfortable. Beyond that, talk to your doctor about other treatments, including vaginal estrogen, which is available in creams, rings, pills, and capsules.

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How Is It Treated

That depends on whatâs causing the bleeding.

Estrogen therapy: This hormone is used to treat vaginal and endometrial atrophy. Your doctor may prescribe it in one of the following forms:

  • Pills: Youâll take them by mouth.
  • Vaginal cream: Youâll use an applicator to get it inside your body.
  • Vaginal ring: You or your doctor can put it in place. It releases a steady dose of estrogen for about 3 months.
  • Vaginal tablet: Youâll insert it using an applicator. You may need to do it daily, or a few times a week.

Progestin therapy: This lab-made version of progesterone is used to treat endometrial hyperplasia. Your doctor may prescribe it in a pill or shot, a vaginal cream, or intrauterine device.

Hysteroscopy: This procedure can remove polyps. Doctors also use it to remove thickened parts of the uterine lining caused by endometrial hyperplasia. Theyâll insert a hysteroscope into your vagina and pass tiny surgical tools through the tube.

D& C : In this surgery, the doctor opens your cervix. . They use a thin tool to remove polyps or thickened areas of the uterine lining caused by endometrial hyperplasia.

Hysterectomy: This surgery removes part or all of your uterus. Itâs a treatment for endometrial or cervical cancer. Some people with a precancerous form of endometrial hyperplasia may also need it. In some cases, the doctor may also take out your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or nearby lymph nodes.

Low Libido Heres How To Have Great Sex After Menopause

Would you rather watch TV than tear up the sheets with your honey? After menopause, sex doesnt have to be a distant memory. Heres expert advice to help you boost your low libidoThe kids have flown the nest, youre no longer worried about getting pregnant, and the man in your life is still hot to trot. So why are you spending Saturday night binge-watching? Chalk it up to menopause. For many women, a low libido is just one more irritating byproduct of aging. About 80% of women reported some decline in sexual desire during menopause, according to a study published in 2013 in Britains The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. Psychological issues including depression, stress and relationship problems can dampen sexual desire. But as women age, physical changes play a role too. A decreased production of estrogen, which can cause vaginal dryness, thinning and tightening, makes sex painful for 64% of women, according to the North American Menopause Society. When that happens, a protective mechanism kicks in and the brain starts deciding for you that its not interested in sex anymore, explains Ellen Barnard, MSW, owner of A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center in Madison, Wisc.

If youre not in the mood, should you still give it the college try?

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Why Do Women Stop Enjoying Sex After Menopause

When women stop enjoying sex after menopause, it can be for a number of reasons. Some of those are physical. For example, if you have vaginal dryness, it can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.

Other reasons can be psychological. After menopause, some people find it harder to tolerate behaviors in others that previously didn’t bother them.

If you’ve stopped enjoying sex after menopause, think about why. Depending on the reason sex has become less fun, the solution could change a lot. You might need more lubrication. You might also need to sit down and have a talk with your partner.

Try Some Direct Stimulation

Cramps after menopause: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment

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.

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Aiding Arousal And Orgasm

Both arousal and orgasm depend on a complex array of psychological and physical factors. Issues that reduce libido can also affect arousal and orgasm. In addition, when blood flow to the genitals and pelvis is diminished or nerves are damaged, it can be difficult to achieve either. Identifying and addressing lifestyle factors may increase your sexual response. These are the most common physical factors impeding arousal and orgasm:

Alcohol. Although a glass of wine might enhance your libido, heavy drinking can make it difficult to achieve orgasm.

Health conditions. Diseases that affect blood flow and nerve function, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis, can reduce sexual responsiveness.

Medication. Drugs to lower blood pressure can delay or prevent orgasm. Antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, can also impede orgasm.

Clinical trials have demonstrated that the following may be helpful in stimulating arousal and orgasm:

Zestra. A massage oil that creates a sensation of warmth throughout the genital area, Zestra increased desire, arousal, and satisfaction in 70% of the women enrolled in clinical trials required for FDA approval. It is available over the counter for around $10.

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And Keep In Mind That You Can Still Get Pregnant Even After The Menopause Process Starts

Because menopause is defined by not having a period for 12 months straight, when you’re perimenopausal, or transitioning towards menopause, your period may go MIA but then make a comeback at some point. Some people have breakthrough bleeding or periods in between, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. And while that doesnt necessarily mean that youve ovulated, it could mean that you have. And that means you could potentially get pregnant.

Try A Prescription Cream

Wife Doesn’t Want To Make Love After Menopause

If youve tried over-the-counter options and youre still dry down thereor your sex drive continues to circle the draintalk to your doctor about medical treatments that can help. One possibility: low-dose estrogen vaginal creams that contain the anti-aging hormone DHA.

A cream isn’t your only option. Tablets and rings that go into the vagina and are absorbed via skin are also available. Also, a once-a-day, hormone-free drug, Osphena, has been approved by the FDA that helps thicken vaginal tissue so pain and tearing are less likely. Osphena isn’t for everyone, so if you’re considering it, check in with your ob-gyn and find out if you’re a candidate to take it.

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Feeling Low After A Hysterectomy

Having your uterus removed can cause you to have feelings of loss or sadness. However, these feelings should pass.

You may find it helps to focus on your recovery eating healthily, getting some exercise and talking to your partner or friends about how you’re feeling.

If you’re finding it hard to cope with these emotions, talk to your GP or consultant. You may be able to have counselling to help you work through your feelings. Find a counsellor near you.

It can also help to read about how other women have coped with similar experiences. You can read about women’s experiences of hysterectomy at healthtalk.org.

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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