Your Medication Is Messing You Up
Certain medications that seemingly have nothing to do with your vagina can hinder the ability to get wet, says Dardik. The antihistamines you might take for allergies, for example, often have this pesky side effect. Talk to your doctor if you think medications might be why you’re not getting wetyou should never stop taking a prescription medication without consulting your doctor.
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.
Working With Your Partner
Dr. Marjorie Green, clinical instructor in obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School, works with postmenopausal women who have difficulty becoming aroused or experience discomfort during sex. She says communication with one’s partner is the foundation of a healthy sexual relationship, and advises the following:
Be honest. Don’t try to fake it if your libido has dropped. Let your partner know when sex is painful.
Compromise. If one of you wants to have sex more frequently than the other, you should try to find a middle ground.
Experiment: If intercourse is painful, the two of you might try new positions and techniques that may be more comfortable. It may help to remember that vaginal intercourse isn’t the only option. Genital stimulation and oral sex may provide as much satisfaction as you need.
Dr. Green acknowledges that even the most compatible couples have to make adjustments as their relationship matures. “Being in a new relationship can bring a surge of libido, but after a while the shine begins to wear off and you may need to work at it,” she says. To restore the luster, she suggests couples try doing things they used to enjoy together at the beginning of their relationship. Recreating the atmosphere that set the stage for romance years ago can have the same effect today.
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Is This Embarrassing Odor Normal For Older Women
Wednesday, March 9, 201689 CommentsShare This:
Have a question about sex for seniors? Every month Senior Planets award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Subscribe now and dont miss a single column. Senior Planet subscribers also get The Weekly Orbit, our newsletter with features about personal finance, health and fitness, technology tips, an online book club and more!
Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Im a 64-year-old woman, and I have two issues. After orgasm, my clitoris is hypersensitive, and I cant stand to be touched for quite a while. This isnt a new problem, but its worse now that Im older.
I also have an odor problem: Oral sex and manual clitoral stimulation used to be my favorites, but now feminine odor which my gynecologist says is normal has me too embarrassed to even engage at all.
For the odor problem, Im now trying a vaginal gel called RepHresh that eliminates odor for three days at a time. Its working so far. Is there anything else you recommend? Embarrassed
A Really Bad Genital Odor
Just a Different Genital Odor
Why Does It Hurt To Have Intercourse After Menopause
As estrogen levels fall as women approach and pass menopause, the resulting dryness and thinning of vaginal tissues can cause penetration and intercourse to be uncomfortable for many women. The discomfort can range from a feeling of dryness to a feeling of vaginal tightness to severe pain during sex.
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How Estrogen Affects Moods
During a womens cycle, levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate. At the beginning, estrogen takes over. It helps produce feelings of high-energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. The feel-good hormone, serotonin, is in full force. Following ovulation, when progesterone takes over, the opposite comes into effect and women often get the feeling of the blues, feel sad, and have less energy. They may want to eat more and exercise less. It is important to be in tune with what is happening at each stage.
Hysterectomy And Vaginal Dryness
A hysterectomy is performed for several reasons, some of most common being endometriosis, fibroids, infections, and cancer. It is the second-most frequently done surgery to women who are of childbearing age.
Regardless of a woman’s age, the removal of the uterus during a hysterectomy normally induces menopause within five years of the surgery.
This is due to decreased blood supply to the reproductive organs, causing low estrogen levels and leading to vaginal dryness and other menopause symptoms after a hysterectomy.
Also, it is important to note that if a woman was suffering from vaginal dryness before a hysterectomy, the symptom could worsen due to this drastic reduction in estrogen levels. Luckily, effective management and treatment options are available.
Vaginal Changes Around Menopause
Before menopause, estrogen keeps the vagina lubricated and maintains its elasticity. The linings thickness folds allow it to stretch with sexual intercourse and childbirth.
With the significant drop in estrogen levels after menopause, the vagina often becomes thin, dry, and less elastic. This condition is medically known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy.
People who develop this condition may experience vaginal soreness, itching in and around the vagina, vaginal dryness and irritation, tightening or shortening of the vagina, urinary symptoms, vaginal discharge, chafing and burning, inflammation of the walls of the vagina, decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual activity, and/or more frequent yeast infections and urinary tract infections . All these symptoms can also cause pain and bleeding during sexual intercourse or vaginal penetration .
Before menopause, the vagina is naturally acidic, but after menopause it becomes more alkaline, increasing the chance of UTIs. Low estrogen levels result in more UTIs and vaginitis in postmenopausal people.
For some people who experience discomfort with menopause, the desire for sexual intercourse declines. Vaginal symptoms can also contribute to changes in sex drive.
In summary, vaginal changes around menopause vary from person to person. Often, they can include these signs:
A Husbands Guide To Having Great Sex After Menopause
There are many ways in which you can contribute to ensuring that you both continue having great sex after menopause. As biological and psychosocial factors indirectly affect a couples sexual relationship, you should not only think about sexual factors when you consider how to improve sex with your menopausal partner, but must also consider how biological and psychosocial factors influence sexual functioning.
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Ways Your Vagina Changes As You Age
As if puberty and childbirth werent enough, your vaginaand the surrounding areaare in for many more changes as you get older, especially after menopause strikes. Sadly, these changes aren’t oft-discussed topics, meaning were typically uninformed and woefully unprepared for the realities of our aging lady flowers.
No longer. Read on to discover exactly how your vagina transforms and adjusts to maturing, as well as tips from experts on keeping it healthy and yes, active.
The hair down therePerhaps the most noticeable change in your vaginal area is the greying, thinning, and loss of pubic hair. “Usually you dont lose the hair entirely, but a lot can be lost,” says Dr. Yael Swica, practitioner at Village Womens Health in New York City and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the Center for Family and Community Medicine at Columbia University. Your scalp, leg, and underarm hair may thin, as well, especially after menopause.
On the bright side, this means youll need to shave less as you get older. On the not-so-bright side, hair begins to appear elsewhere. “There are women who gain hair on their face places they dont want,” says Dr. Margery Gass, board-certified gynecologist and Executive Director of The North American Menopause Society. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this, like creams and laser treatments, which are discreet and fairly inexpensive.
Scratching that itch
The infection connection
Myth #: Menopause Gives You Weak Bones
Menopause and excessive bone loss do not have to go hand in hand. According to Womens Health Network bone expert Susan E. Brown, PhD On average, a woman loses 10% of her bone mass during the menopause transition an entirely normal part of the bone breakdown and build up process. After we reach our peak bone mass at age 30, we naturally experience more breaking down than building up. While most women have enough bone mass to handle this loss just fine, added risk factors like poor diet, family history and lifestyle can lead to excessive bone loss of up to 20%.
Dr. Brown also points out there are plenty of factors you can control to prevent excessive bone loss in perimenopause and menopause, including getting enough of the proper nutrients, managing extreme hormonal fluctuations, developing a bone-strengthening exercise program and reducing stress.
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What Causes Fishy Smelling Sperm
Fishy, rotten, or foul-smelling semen isnt normal. Eating certain foods like asparagus, meats, and garlic or drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol can make your semen smell pungent. Try limiting these foods to see if your semen smell returns to normal after a few days. If so, theres nothing to be concerned about.
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 whats 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. Thats 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.
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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.
Top Things To Know About Vaginal Dryness:
Vaginal dryness can have physical or psychological causes
Vaginal lubrication is often closely tied to levels of the hormone estrogen, which changes at various life stages
Medications may cause vaginal dryness
You can have a happy and healthy sex life even if you donât produce much natural vaginal lubrication
Vaginal dryness is common but treatable, and can happen at any age. Symptoms may include a burning sensation, vaginal discomfort or itching, abnormal vaginal discharge, or pain during sex or masturbation.
There can be a number of reasons for vaginal dryness, both psychological and physiological. Whether youâre drier than you would like to be during sexual activity, or are experiencing more general discomfort due to vaginal dryness, here are some of the possible causesâand solutions:
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How Do I Get Great Orgasms In Midlife
As you know, arousal and therefore orgasm depends on a smorgasbord of stuff. Psychological and physical stuff. The issues that reduce libido hormones, depression, stress, medication, relationship problems can nix arousal and orgasms too.
The easier said than done advice is to try to sort that stuff.
And then get specific. Strong vaginal walls can mean better orgasms and more sensitivity, so maintaining vaginal muscles and your pelvic floor during menopause is very important. Get yourself some Kegel balls and squeeeeeze those orgasms into shape.
Get excited, too, about this joy from sex and relationships expert Alix Fox in Good Housekeeping: the decline in oestrogen does have one great bonus. Because it causes the vaginal walls to thin slightly, it can make the G-spot easier to access and more sensitive to stimulation. See? Every cloud has a silver lining
And get some sex toys
Myth: Menopause Ends Your Desire For Sex
The facts: Many women do report decreased sexual desire with menopause and the perimenopausal period leading up to it. Some women, however, report an increased libido while others report no change in their desire for sex.
Because libido is a complicated issue thats both physical and psychological, these differences are likely due to several factors.
You may, for instance, find sex is the last thing on your mind when youre experiencing hot flashes that leave you drenched, mood swings that remind you of puberty, and unexplained weight gain that makes your pajamas tighter than they ought to be.
But many women breeze through perimenopause to menopause with few problems and simply dont experience the hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms that make sexual desire a distant memory for some.
The good news is, you dont have to accept loss of libido as a normal part of menopause. If your desire for sex is low , and youd like a change, we can help with treatment that may include home remedies, over-the-counter aids, and prescription medicine, when necessary.
We can also help you work through the emotional aspects of menopause and the aging process itself. Depending on your circumstance, we may refer you for counseling and/or prescribe antidepressants, which are also known to decrease the hot flashes associated with menopause.
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Myth: Menopause Ends Sexual Pleasure
The facts: Menopause does bring certain changes that can negatively impact the physical aspect of sex, including:
- Loss of natural vaginal lubrication due to decreased estrogen production, which can make sexual intercourse painful
- Vaginal atrophy due to declining estrogen production, which may cause discomfort during sexual intercourse as well as urinary incontinence, vaginal infections, and other troublesome conditions
Fortunately, many effective treatments exist that can help restore your vaginal health, improve arousal, and increase your sexual pleasure.
We may recommend:
- A vaginal lubricant to ease dryness and discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Estrogen applied to the vaginal area via cream, suppositories, or a vaginal ring, to help repair and rebuild tissue
- Hormone replacement therapy to treat various symptoms associated with menopause, including the physical changes in your vaginal area
Interestingly, once weve eliminated your physical discomfort, regular vaginal sexual activity may help as well, since it increases blood flow to your vagina, keeps your vaginal muscles toned, and helps maintain vaginal elasticity.
If Sustaining Intimacy Is Becoming More Difficult There Are Many Approaches That Can Help
Even if, as the saying goes, the brain is a woman’s most important sex organ, we can’t deny the role our bodies playespecially as we get older. Satisfying sex depends on several things: presence of desire, arousal, absence of pain, and an ability to reach orgasm. After menopause, libido declines, and changes in our bodies can make it difficult to get aroused, painful to have intercourse, and impossible to climax. It’s little wonder that many women become dissatisfied with sex, and some avoid intimacy entirely.
Several years ago, a large national survey found that sexual activity fell precipitously with age. Fewer than half of women ages 57 to 73 said they were sexually active, and those who were had sex less than twice a month, on average.
The numbers don’t surprise Dr. Marjorie Green, clinical instructor in gynecology at Harvard Medical School. “Nature didn’t intend for us to be sexually active after menopause, so we have to work at it and be creative,” she explains. In her practice, Dr. Green helps womenand often their partnerswork at restoring their sex lives. To do so, she examines the emotional, physical, and medical factors that may sabotage sexual response and draws from a wide variety of therapies to address them.
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Testosterone Treatment For Low Libido In Women Is Missing
About 30 percent or so of women in the United States report low libido or sex drive, and about 10 percent report being bothered or distressed by it, Brooke Faught, doctor of nursing practice and board-certified women’s healthcare nurse practitioner, who is clinical director of the Womens Institute for Sexual Health in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Faught presented on sexual health, libido, and testosterone at the NAMS 2020 conference.
Having a low sex drive isnt automatically a reason for treatment hypoactive sexual desire disorder is when women have a low libido and are bothered or distressed by it. If the patient isnt directly impacted or bothered by it and its not impacting their daily function, its not a true diagnosable condition, says Faught.
Even when they are bothered by a lack of desire, many women put up with it rather than seek treatment they think its a normal part of aging or something they should just deal with, she says.