Sex after Menopause can be Enjoyable
After finally leaving behind a lot of the insecurities and self-doubt that plagued us in our younger years, we are more open, communicative and receptive than ever in the bedroom.
Less great news: Where did our sex drives go?
How unfair is this? We’re more confident and comfortable with our partners than ever, but menopause—whether natural or hysterectomy-induced—has left us feeling a little dried up, so to speak. The best news of all, though, is that reclaiming power over your body, mind and time with your partner is not hard once you understand the effects of menopause and get to know the tools at your disposal.
Unless it’s brought earlier on by a hysterectomy, women typically reach menopause at around age 50 or 51. But what many women don’t realize is that “menopause” refers to the complete stop of your menstrual cycle, meaning you’ve gone 12 months without a period. What we commonly understand as the symptoms of menopause—hot flashes, mood swings, etc.—are also experienced during perimenopause, or the period of hormonal fluctuation leading up to menopause. Perimenopause typically begins in your mid-forties but can start as early as your mid- to late thirties and can take many years to play out.
Perimenopause and the few years following menopause can involve a number of irksome symptoms, but the most common, in addition to the infamous hot flashes and mood swings, are vaginal dryness and a diminished libido. Fortunately, menopause is no longer the taboo topic that it was to our grandmothers, and the more open discussion has led to greater knowledge and the development of new products, such as Fiera®, to help combat symptoms.
Getting Back to Business
The main menopause culprit is the declining levels of estrogen that eventually bring an end to your reproductive cycle. Evolutionarily speaking, your body doesn’t think it needs its vaginal lubrication and libido once it’s no longer reproducing. But lots of women want to and do continue to maintain sexual intimacy with partners. In fact, studies show that a good number of women are sexually active into their 80s, thank you very much. So consider making use of the following tools:
Lubricants & Moisturizers
If you’re not using lubricant already, get thee to the drugstore. When estrogen levels drop, so do levels of your body’s natural lubrication. Vaginal elasticity also tends to diminish, which can cause some pain during sex. There’s plenty of information to be found online on the differences between water- and silicone-based lubricants, so we won’t bore you here, but the long and short of it is that silicone lubricants last longer, but are somewhat more expensive and difficult to wash out of bedding.
Also available over the counter, vaginal moisturizers are applied every few days and actually absorbed into the interior vaginal skin to maintain a more consistent level of moisture. For more severe cases of dryness, a lubricant during sex might still be necessary, however.
Many women wonder why, unlike men, they can’t just pop a pill to get in the mood to get down in the bedroom. But the cocktail of factors that leads to feminine arousal is complex, and so other forms of mood-inducers have proven to be much more effective. One new such tool is Fiera, the Arouser for Her that works on both mind and body to get you in the mood for sex. Small and discrete, it applies just the right combination of suction and stimulation directly to the clitoris to increase desire and lubrication before intercourse. Not intended to induce orgasm, it simply gets you ready for sex and takes only a few minutes to use. Learn more at Fiera.com.
In this day and age there is absolutely no reason that menopause and perimenopause symptoms should put a damper on your sex life or get in the way of intimate relations with your partner. Talk to you doctor, know your symptoms and educate yourself on readily available ways to regain control over your body and libido.
Browse through the HysterSisters Intimacy After Hysterectomy Articles covering Post-hysterectomy and other Intimacy Issues including Female Sexual Dysfunction: What is FSD, how to talk to your doctor, pain during intercourse and more
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Enjoying Sex After Menopause