Can Menopause Affect My Sex Life
After menopause, your body has less estrogen. This major change in your hormonal balance can affect your sex life. Many menopausal women may notice that theyre not as easily aroused as before. Sometimes, women also may be less sensitive to touch and other physical contact than before menopause.
These feelings, coupled with the other emotional changes you may be experiencing, can all lead to a decreased interest in sex. Keep in mind that your body is going through a lot of change during menopause. Some of the other factors that can play a role in a decreased sex drive can include:
- Having bladder control problems.
- Having trouble sleeping through the night.
- Experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.
- Coping with other medical conditions and medications.
All of these factors can disrupt your life and even cause tension in your relationship. In addition to these changes, the lower levels of estrogen in your body can actually cause a decrease in the blood supply to the vagina. This can cause dryness. When you dont have the right amount of lubrication in the vagina, it can be thin, pale and dry. This can lead to painful intercourse.
Can Ovarian Cancer Be Prevented
The majority of women have at least one risk factor or two for ovarian cancer. These common factors generally only slightly increase your risk. Risk factors havent helped prevent most cancer cases as of now. There are some ways you can reduce your risk for epithelial ovarian cancer. There is little known about lowering the risk of stromal tumors or germ cell problems in the ovaries. The following discussion is of epithelial ovarian cancer, specifically.
Some strategies may only provide a minor reduction, while others are more helpful. Some may be easy to try, while others involve surgery. If you are worried about ovarian cancer, you should speak with your doctor, so they can help you develop a plan.
Taking birth control pills, or oral contraceptives can lower the risk of ovarian cancer, particularly for those who use them for several years. Those who used birth control pills for five or more years saw as much as a fifty percent decrease in risk of ovarian cancer compared to those who didnt take the pill for so long. Its important to think about the side effects and risk of birth control pills if youre considering using them. It should be discussed with your doctor to see if it is right for you.
A hysterectomy or even tubal ligation can risk your chance of ovarian cancer. Generally, doctors agree these procedures should be reserved for medical reasons other than prevention of cancer.
What Is An Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in the ovaries. Many women experience a cyst on the ovaries at some time during their lives.
Types of Ovarian Cysts:
Functional:;Most common that usually doesnt cause symptoms and often go away without treatment.Teratoma/Dermoid Cyst:;This cyst contains different types of tissues that make up the body, including hair and skin. It is possible that the cysts have been around since birth and have grown during reproductive years.
Cystadenoma:;Formed on the outer surface of the ovary growing very large but typically benign.Endometrioma:;Forms because of Endometriosis.
Don’t Miss: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
What Causes Ovarian Cancer
When cells multiply and divide in an unregulated way, it is referred to as cancer. When this is found in the ovary, it is ovarian cancer. The exact reason this happens is unclear. These risks can increase the chance of getting the symptoms of ovarian cancer after menopause.
Your Family History
Those who have relatives whove had breast or ovarian cancer are at a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer than other women. Genetic testing can be done to screen out genes associated with the risk.
Many cases of ovarian cancer happen after a woman goes through menopause. This can be especially true for those over 63 but is less common before 40.
Those who have had a pregnancy or more that went full-term are at a lower risk. This is especially true for those that were pregnant before 26 and your risk decreases the more pregnancies you have. Breastfeeding will also decrease your risk.
If you have used the pill for a minimum of three months, your risk may be reduced. The longer youve been on the pill, the lower the risk can be. Risk is decreased further if the birth control has been the Depo-shot and its been used for more than three years.
Fertility Treatment or Infertility
If a woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer, she has an increased risk of getting diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This is why those who test positive for BRCA2 or the BRCA1 gene may decide on oophorectomy for preventative measures.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Eating a balanced diet may help with cramps.
Research has found that diets with high levels of;red meat, processed foods, sweets, dairy, and refined grains are associated with higher estrogen levels. These dietary patterns have also been associated with increased risks of breast cancer and obesity.
Try healthier eating, focusing on the following foods:
- Whole grains: brown rice, whole-grain bread, oatmeal
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils
- Fruits: apples, mangoes, berries, oranges
You should also try to:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Take a warm bath or place a;heating pad;on your lower abdomen or back to help alleviate the pain from severe cramps.
- Incorporate physical activity into your day as exercise improves blood circulation and reduces cramps.
Is Mittelschmerz Pain Normal
In most cases, mittelschmerz doesnt require medical attention. Mittelschmerz is a German term thats translated to mean middle pain. Other names for this include, mid-cycle pain, ovulation pain, menstrual middle pain or just cramps. Mittelschmerz occurs during ovulation when an egg is released by the ovaries. This can cause severe pain and cramps for some women, typically on one side of the lower abdomen.
What Are Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in a womans ovaries, generally during her menstrual cycle and they typically go unnoticed. While most are painless, cysts can become a problem when they are enlarged or dont go away.;
It is normal for a woman to experience having at least one ruptured cyst a month because during a normal menstrual cycle, the ovaries produce a cyst that intentionally ruptures to release an egg, allowing the woman to become pregnant. When the cyst ruptures, fluid is released into the pelvis in a process called ovulation. If the egg that was released is fertilized by sperm, a pregnancy occurs. If not, a period occurs.;
While the vast majority of ovarian cysts are benign and harmless, if you have abnormal pains or discomfort for an extended period of time, you should look out for these signs:;
Recommended Reading: What Are The Signs Of Menopause Symptoms
I Have Pcos Since Premenopause Does It Continue Into Menopause
It is possible for women to enter menopause with PCOS.
Interestingly enough, many perimenopausal women with PCOS find that their irregular periods begin to normalize as they get closer to their menopause date. Also, it is not uncommon for women with PCOS to reach menopause two years later than their non-PCOS counterparts.
Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Estrogen deficiency throws off how the brain regulates body temperature, and this may lead to hot flashes. A;hot flash;is a sudden, intense feeling of heat or burning in the face, neck, and chest, often accompanied by redness.
A night sweat refers to a hot flash that occurs during sleep. Night sweats can negatively impact your sleep cycle, which may lead to tiredness during the day.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Hot Flashes And Night Sweats Post Menopause
What Symptoms Are Caused By The Reduced Levels Of Estrogen In My Body
About 75 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause, making them the most common symptom experienced by menopausal women. Hot flashes can occur during the day or at night. Some women may also experience muscle and joint pain, known as arthralgia, or mood swings.
It may be difficult to determine whether these symptoms are caused by shifts in your hormones, life circumstances, or the aging process itself.
A Word On Perimenopause
Medically, menopauseis defined as a time when a woman has not had her menstrual period for at least12 consecutive months . The period before menopause, when you beginnoticing signs of hormonal changes, is defined as perimenopause. During thisphase, the ovaries gradually produce lesser estrogen, and your periods may movebecome farther apart from each other. On the other hand, some women may noticeirregular periods that come closer together and do not follow their previouspattern of being 25-40 days apart. To put it simply, when you experienceperimenopause, your periods become difficult to predict. You may alsoexperience heavier or lighter flow, or notice more blood clots duringperimenopause.
Menopause will kick in when your ovaries produce so little estrogen than it no longer leads to the release of a healthy egg from your ovaries, to trigger menstruation after 14-16 days. Remember, if your last period was less than a year ago, you are not fully menopausal yet, ;and could still become pregnant. We discuss the various symptoms of perimenopause in a different article, so give that a read too.
You May Like: When Does Menopause End In A Woman
Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire
Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.
However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.
Treating Cramps After Menopause
Treatment for postmenopausal cramps will vary depending on the underlying cause. Some possible treatment options may include:
Fibroids: If you do have pain caused by fibroids, painkillers will;usually be recommended first.
There are medications;available to help shrink fibroids. If these prove ineffective, surgery, such as a myomectomy or hysterectomy, may be recommended.
Endometriosis: There’s no cure for;endometriosis and it can be difficult to treat. Treatment;aims to;ease symptoms so the condition does not interfere with your daily life.
- Medication: Pain medication may be prescribed to ease discomfort.
- Surgery: Surgery is usually reserved for severe symptoms when hormones are not providing relief. During the operation, the surgeon can locate the sites of your endometriosis and may remove the endometrial patches.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Treatment for IBS can include changes to;diet and lifestyle,;mind/body therapies , and;medications. Often, a combination of treatments will provide the most relief. There is still much that is not understood about IBS, so it may take some experimentation with different therapies to achieve positive results.
You May Like: How Do You Know When You Finish Menopause
What Are Hot Flashes And How Long Will I Have Them
Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It is a brief sensation of heat. Hot flashes arent the same for everyone and theres no definitive reason that they happen. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with:
- A red, flushed face.
- A chilled feeling after the heat.
Hot flashes not only feel different for each person they also can last for various amounts of time. Some women only have hot flashes for a short period of time during menopause. Others can have some kind of hot flash for the rest of their life. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as time goes on.
How To Manage Surgical Menopause
If appropriate, your doctor will prescribe HRT to not only control surgical menopause symptoms, but to replenish the hormones your body is now lacking. The following lifestyle changes should further ease the effects of surgical menopause:
- Drop any bad habits which might trigger hot flashes. Avoid consuming spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol. Limit your exposure to very high temperatures and reduce stress as much as possible.
- Keep cooling items close at hand. Carry a bottle of ice cold water or a portable fan to provide instant relief. Stay hydrated at all times. Dress in layers so its easy to remove clothing whenever needed.;
- Maintain a cool, comfortable, and quiet sleeping area in order to get a good nights rest every night.;
- Start exercising regularly, practicing meditation or yoga, and writing in a journal. Consider joining a local support group for women who have undergone surgical menopause or natural menopause. Reach out to family, friends, and colleagues or see a counselor to share experiences and relieve stress.;
- Begin using a water-based lubricant before sexual intercourse to eliminate the discomfort caused by vaginal dryness.
Also Check: Do You Get Sore Breasts With Menopause
Treatment Of Pelvic Pain
If the disorder causing pelvic pain is identified, that disorder is treated if possible.
Pain relievers may also be needed. Initially, pain is treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen. Women who do not respond well to one NSAID may respond to another. If NSAIDs are ineffective, other pain relievers or hypnosis may be tried.
If the pain involves muscles, rest, heat, or physical therapy may help.
Rarely, when women have severe pain that persists despite treatment, hysterectomy can be done, but it may be ineffective.
Should I Be Concerned
In general, menopausal women should not be too concerned over the presence of ovarian cysts.
However, postmenopausal women with ovarian cysts are at a high risk for ovarian cancer, making it all the more important for them to perform routine pelvic exams. While not all ovarian cysts are malignant in postmenopause, any cysts encountered will be monitored closely for changes in characteristics.
Are There Nonhormonal Options For The Management Of Menopausal Symptoms
Hormone therapy may not be the right choice for you. Some medical conditions may prevent you from safely being able to use hormone therapy or you may choose not to use that form of treatment for your own personal reasons. Changes to your lifestyle may help you relieve many of your symptoms without need for hormonal intervention.
Lifestyle changes may include:
Evaluating Cysts And Masses
Transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound have become a mainstay for the evaluation of pelvic masses due to their low cost and minimal invasiveness. When reviewing ultrasound reports, there are five characteristics that are important in differentiating ovarian cysts with a low likelihood of harboring an ovarian cancer from masses with a higher risk. These characteristics are:
- Complexity of the cyst
- Solid areas
- Projections into the fluid called papillations
- Ovarian blood flow as measured by colored Doppler assessment
In postmenopausal women with simple ovarian cysts less than 5 cm, the risk of an ovarian cancer is very small . In a large study conducted at the University of Kentucky, no women with simple ovarian cysts less than 10 cm in diameter developed ovarian cancer. However, 10 to 40 percent of complex cysts with solid areas and papillations will harbor a malignancy.
You May Like: How To Control Menopause Mood Swings
What Causes Ovarian Cysts During Menopause
Ovarian cysts during menopause can be caused by the same factors as ovarian cysts before menopause, which include:
Hormonal problems. One of the most common endocrine system disorders that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts is polycystic ovary syndrome . PCOS can continue into menopause.
Endometriosis. This painful disorder causes the type of benign ovarian cyst known as an endometrioma.;
Severe pelvic infections. Pelvic infections can cause ovarian cysts during perimenopause since it is not uncommon for the infection to spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
What Is Uterine Cancer
Uterine cancer is a general term that describes cancers of the uterus, or womb:
- Endometrial cancer develops in the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. Its one of the most common gynecologic cancers cancers affecting a womans reproductive system.
- Uterine sarcoma develops in the myometrium, the muscle wall of the uterus. Uterine sarcomas are very rare.
You May Like: Is There A Way To Stop Menopause
Home And Natural Remedies
- zinc sulphate
That said, the evidence is very limited. Supplements can sometimes have side effects or interact with medicines you take, so you should always check with your doctor before adding them to your routine.
You can also try these home remedies:
- Put a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen. Research finds that heat is as effective for relieving cramps as ibuprofen .
- Massage your belly. Gentle pressure can offer some relief from the pain.
- Practice stress-reducing techniques, like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. found that period pain was twice as common in women who were stressed out than in women with low stress. Stress can also make the cramps you have more severe.
Will I Start Menopause If I Have A Hysterectomy
During a hysterectomy, your uterus is removed. You wont have a period after this procedure. However, if you kept your ovaries removal of your ovaries is called an oophorectomy you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your ovaries are also removed, you will have symptoms of menopause immediately.
Recommended Reading: Is It Possible To Bleed After Menopause