Can A Sexless Marriage Survive
If menopause and sexless marriage are straining the foundations of the relationship by losing the emotional and physical intimacy provided by intercourse, then yes, the couple will need alternatives.
Emotional intimacy is whats truly important for any loving couple.
Sex is wonderful because it quickly develops emotional intimacy and is physically pleasurable. But thats not the only way to develop emotional intimacy.
Siblings, for example, can develop deep emotional bonds without sex . The same can be said with other relatives.
Any marriage can do the same with enough emotional intimacy.
Like relatives, all it needs is a strong foundation. Longtime couples in menopause and sexless marriage should have enough of a foundation as a family to weather through it.
More Sex After Menopause
Not all people experience a reduced libido after menopause. For some people, not much changes. Others actually experience increased sex drive after menopause. What makes the difference, and which is most likely to affect you?
Some of what predicts changes in sex drive after menopause is what happens to your body, but a lot of it is about what’s going on in your world. Changes in lifestyle factorssuch as not having children at home and not having to worry about pregnancy and menstruationcan be freeing. Furthermore, that freedom can be erotic.
In general, people who are less stressed and more active after menopause are less likely to experience libido problems. That’s also true for people before menopause. A lot of the sex drive takes place in the mind. If your stress goes down after menopause, your sex drive may well go up.
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.
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You Still Need To Use Protection
While the threat of pregnancy may be over, you still need to use protection during sexual activity, even if youre in a monogamous relationship. According to a study published in August 2017 in the International Journal of STD and AIDS, people over age 50 were more likely than their younger counterparts to say they never use condoms. And data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis have increased among people ages 55 to 64 and people ages 65 and over from 2015 to 2016.
Studying Gsm Symptoms In Aging Women
From March to October 2015,Dr. Clark and her colleagues surveyed more than 1,500 women aged 55 and above using email.
The women were predominantly white, and nearly half of them reported not having had any sexual activity in the 6 months leading up to the study.
The women were approached within 2 weeks after they had visited their primary care physician or gynecologist, and the researchers selected the participants using electronic health records. In the survey, the women were asked about their history of vulvovaginal, urinary, and sexual symptoms.
The researchers compiled questions from the International Urogynecology Association-Revised Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire, and they combined them with similar questions that they designed specifically for vulvovaginal atrophy symptoms.
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Itisdefinitely True That Sex After Menopause Can Be Painful At Least For Some Time
The most prominent change I hear about from my patients is that sometimes sex can become painful after menopause, board-certified ob/gyn Antonio Pizarro, M.D., tells SELF. Most of the time, this is related to a loss of estrogen. That can cause what’s known as vaginal atrophy or genitourinary syndrome of menopause, in which the vaginal tissue becomes thinner and more delicate, Dr. Pizarro explains. Issues like pain, vaginal dryness, and urinary problems can crop up as a result of vaginal atrophy. Around half of postmenopausal people experience these symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Doctors mainly treat vaginal atrophy with some form of estrogen supplementation, but there can be drawbacks. Pizarro notes that theres a small risk the amped up estrogen can contribute to uterine cancer unless a woman pairs it with the synthetic hormone progestin. But combining the two may then increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to The American Cancer Society, which has a comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of using hormones to deal with menopause symptoms.
Sexual Wellbeing And Intimacy During And After Menopause
Theres a myth that because youre going through the menopause, that your sex life is over, but this does not have to be the case. If you want to enjoy the pleasure that is available to you in your body, either alone or with a partner, it is all still there after the menopause.
While some of the hormonal changes of menopause may change the way you experience sex and your body, theres lots you can do to create a happy and pleasurable sex life that feels right for you.
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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.
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.
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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.
Menopause Can Have Mental And Emotional Effects Too
Most people dont like their period, but when it goes away you feel your age, Dr. Rowen tells SELF. For some people, the idea of losing their period can be psychologically distressing.And as we mentioned, your hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, change during menopause. And this change may cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Lower estrogen can also trigger hot flashes that make it difficult to sleep, leading to mood swings and anxiety. Coupled with any emotional distress from losing your period, and you understandably may not be in the mood to have sex. If you feel down for more than two weeks, you may be depressed and want to speak with a therapist, the Cleveland Clinic recommends. However, finding a therapist can be a long, and often stressful, process. . Generally, you will want to start by asking your insurance company for a list of providers. If you dont have insurance, websites like Open Path include therapists who offer reduced-fee sessions.
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Theres Nothing Wrong With Needing Help In The Lubrication Department
Whether you decide to opt for extra hormones or not, using vaginal moisturizers like Replens and regular ol lube can help ease vaginal discomfort. In fact, Tami Rowen, M.D. an obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in sexual health at the University of California San Francisco, highly recommends using a lubricant to help make sex more enjoyable if you experience vaginal dryness. If youre new to lube, its important to know that there are several types: silicone-based, oil-based, water-based, and hybrids. Generally, water-based lubes that dont contain glycerin are a good choice because theyre suitable for people with sensitive skin. Further, Dr. Rowen suggests buying a lube that mimics the natural pH of your vagina. Changes to its natural state can cause an overgrowth of bacteria and lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis, according to the Cleveland Clinic. . Before heading to the store, you can do research online to find a product that fits within this scale. Dr. Rowen recommends lubes like Almost Naked by Good Clean Love . This one falls between 4.2 – 4.7 on the pH scale, according to the manufacturers website.
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.
- Bioidentical hormone therapy: Natural hormones made from plant derivatives
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
How To Have Great Sex After Menopause
Menopause can do a number on your sex life. These 6 gyno-backed solutions will keep things super pleasurable.
Menopause and sex don’t always go hand in hand. Why’s that? After menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop making estrogen, the main female sex hormone. This can be a tough adjustment, because estrogen is responsible for so many bodily functions, from bone health to steady moods to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol.
But the hardest change many women deal with has to do with the vagina. Estrogen keeps the vaginal lining elastic and moisturized, and it also helps power your libido. Without estrogen, vaginal tissues atrophy, dryness sets in, and arousal is more difficult. When you do have penetrative sex, it can hurt and even cause tearing inside the vagina.
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I see women whove gone years being told that a normal part of aging is to have pain with sex, says ob-gyn Lisa M. Valle, DO, medical director of Oasis Women’s Sexual Function Center in Santa Monica, California. By the time they come see me, thats what I hear. The fact is, theres a lot you can do.
Not all women experience painful sex after menopause. Without the fear of pregnancy, some women say they’re more relaxed during intimacy. And at this point in life, they typically don’t have young kids to take up all their time, so there’s more opportunity to enjoy the action.
Testosterone: Safe In The Short Term Long
Probably the main reason there is no FDA-approved testosterone product for HSDD is that theres a lack of long-term safety data, says Faubion. For example, we dont know breast cancer risk, we dont know cardiovascular risk, she says.
The cardiovascular risk appears to be less of concern for women than it is for men taking testosterone, but the bigger question is breast cancer risk over time, says Faubion. This is because testosterone converts to estrogen inside the body, and so there is a question on whether that increases breast cancer risk, she says.
Ive used it in my practice and its effective for women, says Faubion. Yes, we still have questions about long-term safety and long-term efficacy, but for short-term efficacy and short-term safety, we have pretty convincing data I think ultimately it probably will be approved for use in women.
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What Is The Bottom Line
While women should begin having yearly gynecological exams by the age of 21, the answer regarding when to stop scheduling those exams is sometimes less obvious. The bottom line is, even after you turn 65 years old and have had at least three negative Pap smears in a row, you should still have a gynecologists phone number in your smartphone.
Problems such as vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse become more common as we age, but a gynecologist can help you take care of these medical problems and more. In short, its good to have a gynecologist in mind for when various problems arise so youre not left out in the cold if you feel like something may be wrong.
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Obstacle To Treating Desire Trouble: Testosterone Isnt Fda
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.
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Ner Problems Can Be Fixed
One of the worst nightmares for a woman in menopause is to have the freedom to have sex anywhere but to have a partner who cant perform anywhere, says Dr. Goldstein. Whatever the problempremature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low hormonestheres a treatment, compliments of modern medicine. Unresolved sexual problems can even have a silver lining. Menopausal woman may have more mature partners, who, due to performance issues, are open to the use of vibrators for a more satisfying sexual experience, Dr. Richards says.
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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Is It Ok To Be In A Sexless Marriage
For young couples, is it fine to be in a sexless marriage? Well! The answer is no definitely not.
However, if we are talking about a couple in their 50s thats been together long enough to have raised a few adult children of their own, then yes.
There comes a point where intimacy between a loving couple no longer includes sex. What is important for marriage is not sex itself, but intimacy.
There can be intimacy without sex, and sex without intimacy, but having both, activates a lot of natural high triggers on our body thats designed to encourage procreation for the survival of the species.
Having both is the best-case scenario.
However, great sex is a strenuous physical activity. There are plenty of health benefits of sex, but as we age, strenuous physical activities, sex included, poses health risks. Forcing it, such as by using the magic little blue pill to resurrect junior, also have risks.
Risking your health for intimacy, when there are other ways to be intimate becomes impractical at some point.
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