Estrogen And Physical Menopausal Changes
The drop in estrogen that occurs after menopause affects the structures of the reproductive tract. People often notice problems with vaginal dryness, Many also experience atrophy of the vagina and vulva. These changes may be accompanied by symptoms such as pain during sex or discomfort with urination.
Vaginal discomfort is treatable. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can be helpful, as can vaginal estrogens, for those who are interested.
The same treatments that help with vaginal symptoms may also alleviate some urinary symptoms. However, if you are experiencing bothersome pain, including during sex or urination, it is a good idea to discuss it with a physician.
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.
Men Get Real About Sex After Menopause
I’ve run a few pieces in this Sex After Menopause series, each of them documenting real-life stories of women navigating midlife sexuality. Hearing from women is just half of the story, however. Men are clearly impacted by their lovers’ sexual evolutions, and their experience also deserves a forum. I’m grateful to the six men who agreed to share the most intimate details of their journey through menopause with the women they love.
I married my best wife when she was 48, after 14 years with my worst wife. Had about six years of a wonderful sex life — at last!
Then menopause hit and that was it. Sex became excruciating and libido packed up shop two years later . Doctors were no help. The only option they offered was HRT which she was afraid of due to the likelihood of encouraging breast cancer.
That was it. Game over. I’m eight years younger than my wife and frustrated as hell with no one to be angry at. I’m grateful to have met my wife and for the brief time where I did have a satisfying love life, but God, it’s been a tough road to hoe since then. I have to say, the letters you’ve gotten from couples bragging about “no problems here” do read like Penthouse Forum — unbelievable, given my experience.
We’re slowing down, but continue to make love five or six times a month, for which I am so very, very grateful. She is a sweetie.
I am 68 and my girlfriend is 64. She is the sexiest, most orgasmic woman I have ever been with .
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.
Ask Your Doctor About Testosterone
Testosterone replacement has long been used as a solution for men with a waning libidoand it can help rev up your own sex drive as well. Still, not all doctors are OK with prescribing synthetic versions of this main male hormone . Testosterone is by no means a cure-all and can come with side effects like acne and thinning hair. Luckily, newer remedies to enhance libido are being worked on even as we speak, Dr. Minkin says.
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Talk It Out With Your Partner
Even if it’s just the physical changes of menopause that are making sex painful, talking it out with your partner can help alleviate the stress and anxiety surrounding the topic. If you’re single or your partner isn’t the talky type, your ob-gyn is available to lend an ear. I always encourage women to have a good, trusted gynecological healthcare provider to speak with, Dr. Minkin says. A doctor, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner can be a valuable source of advice.
You may also want to talk to a sex therapist, who can help you be more open about what you need and want from your partner as well as reminding you that the changes you’re experiencing are perfectly normal.
Contraception For The Older Woman
Many women are aware that their fertility declines from their mid 30s and think they can stop using contraception once they are in their 40s. They wrongly assume because their fertility is lower, they have less sex and their periods may have become irregular that contraception can be abandoned. However, women do still get pregnant in their late 40s and even into their 50s , so contraception should continue to be used every time they have sex if pregnancy is to be avoided. Contraception should be continued until menopause, which is defined as two years after the last natural menstrual period in women under age 50 and until one year after the last natural menstrual period in women over age 50. If menopause cannot be confirmed, contraception should be continued until age 55.
An unplanned pregnancy at any age can pose problems, but particularly so for a woman in her 40s who may be beginning to enjoy more freedom as children grow up. Furthermore, a pregnancy in older women is often associated with an increased number of complications such as miscarriage, high blood pressure, diabetes and chromosomal problems with the baby, and consequently will need more careful monitoring.
In recent years there have been many advances in contraception, and new methods may have additional health benefits as well as providing excellent contraception. Womens needs change as they get older and a method that may not have been ideal when she was younger may become much more suitable.
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Kirsty Wark Discusses Menopause With Jennifer Saunders
A good doctor will be able to make the diagnosis straightaway from the characteristic appearance of the genital tissues but if you have been having itching or a discharge as well as the other symptoms, swabs should be taken to rule out an infection.
Occasionally other problems can be to blame and any woman who has vaginal bleeding after the menopause should have a pelvic scan to rule out causes other than simple inflammation.
A number of products available can give relief from vaginal dryness and make intercourse much more enjoyable. Bio-adhesive products, such as Replens, Senselle and Balance Activ Menopause Moisture Gel, aim to replace moisture in cells and are generally more effective than water-based gels such as K-Y Jelly.
The most effective way of dealing with atrophic vaginitis is to boost oestrogen levels again. One way to do this is with hormone replacement therapy . This has the added advantage of often helping out with a flagging libido as well.
However the risks associated with taking HRT mean that in general its not recommended for treating just atrophic vaginitis.
The other way of boosting oestrogen levels is to apply the hormone just where its needed. This can be done through pessaries, creams or a ring. Several different brands are available and in general pessaries inserted into the vagina are much less messy than creams.
Topical oestrogens can also help prevent a problem with recurrent urinary infections.
Hormones Pills Patches And Rings
The combined oral contraceptive pill is often just called “the pill”.
There are some specific advantages to the COC pill for more mature women. Taking the COC pill may improve period problems such as heavier or irregular periods which may occur as you approach your menopause. They may also help with any menopausal symptoms that you may have. There is also some evidence that taking the COC pill when you are aged over 40 years may increase the density of your bones. This means your bones are stronger and may be less likely to fracture when you have gone through the menopause. The COC pill can safely be taken by women over the age of 40 years with no other medical problems.
However, for some women, the COC pill may have more risks as they get older. You should not take it if you are aged over 35 years and a smoker. You should not take it if you are aged over 35 years and have migraine. You also should not take it if you have a history of stroke or heart disease, or if you are very overweight. Women who have complications from diabetes should not take the COC pill. These are just a few of the conditions which make it unsafe to take the COC pill. Your doctor or healthcare professional will go through your medical history with you to decide if it is safe for you personally. If you have no medical problems or risk factors for medical problems, the COC pill can be taken until the age of 50 years.
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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.
Find Other Ways To Connect
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.
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What Effects Will Menopause Have On My Sex Life
Menopause may cause changes in your sex life, or you may not notice any changes at all. Here are some possible changes:
Lower hormone levels can make your vaginal tissue drier and thinner. This condition, called vaginal atrophy, can make sex uncomfortable or painful.
Lower hormones may lower your sex drive. It may take you longer to get aroused.
Night sweats can disturb your sleep and make you tired.
Emotional changes can make you feel stressed or irritable.
Being less interested in sex as you get older is not a medical condition that requires treatment. But if changes in your sexual health bother you, talk to your doctor or nurse about ways to help, such as treatments to relieve vaginal dryness.
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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Explore Different Methods Of Intimacy
Intimacy doesnât have to be synonymous with penetrative sexual intercourse. There are many other ways to have an intimate relationship, especially if you are experiencing a mind-body disconnect during sex .
Some different ways to experiment with intimacy can include:
- Oral sex
- Explicit conversations or games
- Erotic massage
Exploring new, additional ways of being intimate outside of intercourse can also strengthen an emotional connection between partners, and ensure both parties are experiencing pleasure.
Why Am I Still Spotting After My Period Ends
Continuous bleeding after a period can be caused by a many things. Most commonly, an abnormally long period may have no discernible cause. If it does not recur, it may require no further investigation. Continuous spotting may be a sign of a disorder in coagulation caused by either medication or a genetic disorder. It may also be a sign of infection of the vagina or cervix.
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What Can I Do To Treat Vaginal Dryness During Menopause
During and after menopause, vaginal dryness can be treated with water-soluble lubricants such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.
Do not use non-water-soluble lubricants such as Vaseline, because they can weaken latex, the material used to make condoms. You or your partner should keep using condoms until your doctor confirms you’re no longer ovulating — and to prevent getting an STD. Non-water-soluble lubricants can also provide a medium for bacterial growth, particularly in a person whose immune system has been weakened by chemotherapy.
Vaginal moisturizers like glycerin-min oil-polycarbophil and Luvena can also be used on a more regular basis to maintain moisture in the vagina. You can also talk to your doctor about vaginal estrogen therapy.
An oral drug taken once a day, ospemifeme , makes vaginal tissue thicker and less fragile, resulting in less pain for women during sex. The FDA warns that Osphena can thicken the endometrium and raise the risk of stroke and blood clots.
How Can I Get My Sex Drive Back After Menopause
Lost your sex drive after menopause? There are many possible explanations. How are you feeling in general? Are you getting enough sleep? Exercising or moving your body around? An overall feeling of wellness makes a big difference in having a sex drive.
If you’re feeling good but not feeling turned on, try working on your sexy thoughts. Often after menopause, it takes longer for your body to turn on.
What does that mean? You have to start with your mind. Do the things that used to get your juices flowingwhether that’s watching romantic movies or reading eroticaand let your mind start the process of turning on your body.
If your body needs help once your mind is aroused, try using some lubricant. It can help things feel like they’re moving along when the mind is willing but the flesh is weak.
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If Ipill Is Req After Unprotected Sex
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Going Thru Menopause And Had Unprotected Sex Ejaculated Inside How Are The Chances Of Pregnancy
my friend is on her 50’s she sometimes has her period but it’s been 2 months she hasn’t gotten it. she had sex and her husband ejaculated inside is it very possible that she might get pregnant??
It is possible to get pregnant when you’re in menopause. Its not as likely as when you’re younger but it can happen. My intro to that fact was when I was a student nurse in the delivery room, we had a woman who was 53 having her 16!!! kid.
Amazing – I can’t imagine having 2 babies, n much less 16 at my advanced age of 53.
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