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Does Menopause Affect Women’s Sexuality

Tips For Talking With Your Doctor

How does menopause affect your sex life?

Talking about sex with your doctor might make you uncomfortable, but remember that its their job to take care of all aspects of your health and well-being without judgment. If youre uncomfortable with this topic, here are some tips to help:

  • Bring notes. Be specific about what your concerns are. It will help your doctor if you have notes on your symptoms, including what makes them better or worse, and how you feel when they occur.
  • Write down questions to bring with you to your appointment. Once youre in the exam room, it might be hard to remember everything you wanted to ask. Writing down questions beforehand will help make sure you get all the information you need and help guide the conversation.
  • Know what your doctor might ask. While every situation is different, understanding what your doctor might ask can help calm your nerves. They will probably ask how long your symptoms have been going on, how much pain or distress they cause you, what treatments youve tried, and if your interest in sex has changed.
  • Tell the nurse. Youll usually see a nurse before the doctor. If you tell the nurse that you want to talk to the doctor about sexual issues, the nurse can let the doctor know. Then they can bring it up with you, which may be more comfortable than bringing it up yourself.

There are many ways to treat libido changes due to menopause.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Improve My Sex Life

Absolutely. If you are suffering from a loss libido or vaginal dryness, you can try any of the following options.

  • Don’t be afraid to buy and use lubrication. Apply it before and during sex, if necessary.

  • Engage in more foreplay or sexually stimulating activity before having sex. This will give your body time to prepare itself for intercourse with natural lubrication.

  • Try using vaginal creams. These will help maintain you vagina’s general health and well being.

Menopause News & Blogs

Making Menopause Matter with FPA Company

A few months ago, I was approached by FPA Company about the possibility of writing a menopause information leaflet that would be offered to GP practices around the country.

I didnt have to think twice about the invitation, and this is why.

Dr Sue Mann, talks about Menopause

Am I experiencing menopause or perimenopause? At the heart of my work is the whole life course to womens reproductive health. Perimenopause and menopause are a significant part this journey. In the work on reproductive health we emphasise the importance of a positive approach where the opportunity for reproductive health and access to reproductive healthcare,

Fertility and women aged over 35

There has been a lot in the news today about fertility and questioning whether women are leaving having children too late. Research reported in the Daily Telegraph has found that current levels of childlessness among British women in their 40s have reached levels not seen since the 1960s. And the Chief Medical Officer for England,

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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.

How Does Menopause Affect Relationships And Your Life

Menopause and Sexuality

Menopause is forcing me to look inward at what is happening not only in my body but in my mind, my spirit, and my relationships, most importantly my marriage. My poor husband. I wonder what its like living with me. So, I asked, not only my husband but a small sampling of husbands in my practice going through this with their wives.

These are some of the descriptive words used to illustrate their view of their wives Hot , loving, contemptuous, emotional, hell on wheels, psychotic, moody, and mean.Hell on wheels was my favorite as I can personally relate to this one.

One of the struggles is when my mood can shift in about 5 seconds flat. I can be sweet and calm one minute suddenly, the heat rises as if my head has been stuck in an oven. Im in a rage. I say things in anger that shock me.

Another struggle is the low sex-drive. After taking testosterone and breaking out in pimples, I stopped taking it to see if the low sex drive is really about the hormone or is it stress in my life? I highly recommend re-evaluating ones stress level. Stress feeds the menopause monster.

Stress also alters our hormones and our ability to metabolize our hormones. If there is too much stress in our lives, then it puts too much stress on our adrenals and our whole internal system can break down. Including our sex drive!

The daily self-care is essential. Exercise and meditation are life savers. Finding ways to maintain stability both physically and emotionally is so important.

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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.

Where Can You Find Information About Treatment Options

If you are worried about your sex life or your symptoms are bothering you, your doctor can help. Your doctor can tell you about the changes in your body and offer options for managing your health and any symptoms. Other AMS fact sheets about treatment options include:

If you have any concerns or questions about options to manage your menopausal symptoms, visit your doctor or go to the Find an AMS Doctor service on the AMS website.

NOTE: Medical and scientific information provided and endorsed by the Australasian Menopause Society might not be relevant to an individuals personal circumstances and should always be discussed with their own healthcare provider. This Information Sheet may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members, other health professionals and their patients for clinical practice is permissible. Any other use of this information must be agreed to and approved by the Australasian Menopause Society.

Recommended Reading: Can Menopause Cause Dizziness And Lightheadedness

Ways To Increase Your Sex Drive:

  • Reduce dryness with moisturizers and lubricants
  • Talk with your partner about what you like
  • Rest up. A recent study found that women who get enough sleep are much more likely to experience sexual interest or pleasure
  • Schedule time for sex. Making a plan for sex gives you time to get in the mood
  • Spend more time on foreplay

How Can I Improve My Sex Drive During And After Menopause

Does Menopause Affect Sexual Dysfunction?

Estrogen replacement may work, but more research is needed. Estrogen can make sex less painful by treating vaginal dryness, though.

Doctors are also studying whether a combo of estrogen and male hormones called androgens may help boost sex drive in women.

Although sexual problems can be hard to discuss, talk to your doctor. There are options to consider, such as counseling. Your doctor may refer you and your partner to a health professional who specializes in sexual dysfunction. The therapist may advise sexual counseling on an individual basis, with your partner, or in a support group. This type of counseling can be very successful, even when it’s done on a short-term basis.

A sexual aid called Eros is available by prescription to treat women with disorders of sexual arousal. The device consists of a small suction cup, which is placed over the clitoris before sex, and a small, battery-operated vacuum pump. The gentle suction provided by the vacuum pump draws blood into the clitoris, increasing pressure on the clitoral nerve. This device increases lubrication, sensation, and even the number of orgasms in many women who have used it.

Also Check: Which Of The Following Best Describes Possible Symptoms Of Menopause

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.

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.

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How Can I Protect Myself From Stds

Take some basic steps to help protect yourself from STDs:

  • Not having sex is the only sure way to prevent STDs.
  • Use a latex condom every time you have sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch an STD.
  • Practice monogamy. This means having sex with only one person. That person must also have sex with only you to lower your risk.
  • Choose your sex partners with care. Don’t have sex with someone who you suspect might have an STD.
  • Get checked for STDs. Don’t risk giving the infection to someone else.
  • Ask a potential sex partner to be checked for STDs. Symptoms of STDs may not be visible or even cause any symptoms for your partner.
  • If you have more than one sex partner, always use a condom.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs before you have sex. You may be less likely to practice safe sex if you’re drunk or high.
  • Know the symptoms of STDs.

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Testosterone: Safe In The Short Term Long

Low Libido and Vaginal Dryness in Menopause

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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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.

Clitoral Stimulation Devices. For example, the Eros Clitoral Therapy Device increases genital blood flow by applying a gentle vacuum to the clitoris. Its approved by the FDA and costs around $300.

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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Does Menopause Make You Emotional

Menopause is a real thing and affects every woman differently. There is no cookie-cutter solution. Some women have horrible anxiety, night sweats and sleepless nights. Some women have no effects at all.

If youre a perfectionist, its even worse. Menopause tends to trigger feeling out of control. The loss of ones body and how it changes shape and how it is affected by stress starts to feel very out of control, which is poison to a perfectionist. It drives the need to have control and be perfect even stronger.

The more out of control we feel, the more we try to control, the more strife and conflict we will notice in our marriage. This is where it is easy to become a nag. We find every little thing that is bothersome, and we point it out to our husbands. They then start to feel like nothing they do is good enough. This dynamic may have been in the marriage before menopause, but the change makes it 10 times worse.

How many of us feel I must handle every situation correctly? I must be in a good mood all the time. I must look good and be desirable. I must handle my emotions with extreme class and God forbid I raise my voice or show some emotional charge.

Sex Importance Rankings Vary Among Women Survey Suggests

Sex Drive and Menopause

For the largest group, about 45 percent of the women, sex did become less important to them as they went through their forties and fifties and early sixties, says Thomas. For 27 percent of the women, sex remained highly important to them throughout midlife, and for 28 percent of the women sex was not very important to them throughout the whole duration of midlife, from forties to sixties.

Its important to recognize not all women are going to follow the same pathway when it comes to sex at midlife, each woman has her own unique experience, says Thomas.

There were a few trends that Thomas and her team noticed.

These results show that its not necessarily true that sex becomes less important to all women at midlife and that its just an inevitable fact of aging, says Thomas.

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How Common Is Sexual Dysfunction As A Side Effect Of An Ssri Medication How Can I Resolve This Issue

Unfortunately, SSRIs and other medications that treat depression can affect how you feel about sex. Our Reproductive Psychiatry team treats mood and anxiety disorders during times of hormonal transition. An appointment with an experienced psychiatrist can help you find the right type of treatment at 800.922.0000.


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