Ladies and their partners often fear the onset of menopause for its potential to change not only her body but also how she experiences sexual desire and stimulation. Some women feel increased desire, especially as childrearing and pregnancy responsibilities decrease, but others begin to lose interest and pleasure in their sexuality. Whether you’ve already faced menopause or you’ve yet to experience it, this list will help you know what some of the most common concerns are, and how you can keep the love alive! After all, sex doesn’t stop at any age and more and more people are sharing their stories of hot and exciting love lives well after 80. In fact, researchers now say that aging itself doesn’t have anything to do with a decrease in sex or how much we enjoy it. It’s relational concerns, self-images, medical factors and medications that are to blame, many of which we can do something about! See the checklist after the jump:
Menopause may not be the only issue. If you’re having sexual concerns that didn’t exist before, don’t automatically pin it on menopause. Be sure you’re getting a good, regular physical and ask your doctor about anything that may be inhibiting your sex life, including prescriptions. Trust me, they’ve heard the question before and lots worse. That’s what they make the big bucks for, to help you live a healthier and happier life! If they’re really not someone you can ask, then it’s time to consider a new physician.
Don’t forget your relationship. Consider recent changes in your relationship that might impact your interest in sex and how good it is for you. Retirement of either partner, for instance, can be quite a big adjustment filled with smiles and frustrations. Talk together, perhaps with a therapist, about relational concerns. Of course, changes in her body and desire level can also cause concerns for both partners. Remember, this is yet another change life has brought you as a couple, and it is neither person’s fault.
Your estrogen is down and dryness is up. Estrogens help to keep blood flow up in your vagina and vulva, and make you more responsive to touch. They also help with physical arousal, so many women in this stage of life feel dry and uncomfy during sex or perhaps all of the time. A good water-based moisturizer and lubricant intended for vaginal use can make a world of difference! Don’t use lotions or other things with oils and perfume. They’re not good for you there! Vaginal moisturizers are intended for day to day use to increase comfort, and not to reduce friction during intercourse. That’s what lubricants are for! Ask your doctor or pharmacist for recommendations, or experiment with quality over-the-counter products. Yes brand lubricant has been recommended for both purposes, and Exploring Intimacy also recommends it as our favorite product for lubrication, especially for sensitive skin. You can also ask for topical and other forms of estrogen from your doctor. This may be especially good for women who are experiencing a severe thinning or erosion of the vaginal walls. HRT (hormone replacement therapy) can be a great option for many women, returning their sex lives to where they were in as little as a month or two. It has been controversial, although much of that was poor research, so check in with your doctor on where things stand.