Staying Sexual During Menopause

All your life, you’ve heard the older women in your family whisper about the “change of life.” Now you know what they are talking about, and it’s affecting more areas of your life than you had expected. Namely, it’s created challenges in the bedroom.

With so much going on in your body and life, you’re already finding it hard to feel interested in intimacy. Then there’s the coping with menopause symptoms that’s leaving you uncomfortable in your own skin.

All in all, sex isn’t very pleasurable these days. Instead, it’s downright painful. You don’t enjoy it much at all, so it’s become a chore you keep putting off. And that’s hurting your relationship.

Thankfully, you have options. Sex does not have to end with menopause and can even get better than ever. Below are some tips to help restore your libido and let you enjoy physical intimacy again.

Treat Menopause

First and foremost, talk to your doctor about treating your menopause symptoms. A woman’s desire for sex is strongly impacted by her mental and emotional state. So if you reduce symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, and anxiety, you’ll feel better overall which may then lead to a natural increase in libido. Depending on your symptoms, treatment options may include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), natural alternatives, and some lifestyle changes.

Lack of hormones during menopause is also the cause of the vaginal dryness that makes sexual intercourse uncomfortable and even painful. Using a personal lubricant or moisturizer during intercourse can help make things more comfortable and enjoyable. Your doctor can also prescribe a vaginal estrogen which can help restore your vaginal tissues.

Review Your Medications

As you’ve aged, you may have starting taking more medications and supplements without realizing that some of them could be causing intimacy issues. For example, cold and allergy medications may worsen vaginal dryness, making intercourse even more uncomfortable. Anti-depressants, antihistamines, some anxiety medications, and beta blockers can decrease libido. Make a list of all of your medications, vitamins, and supplements and review them with your doctor and pharmacist to see if you need all of them or if there are alternatives available.

Talk Together

It’s important to keep the lines of communication open between you and your partner if there are issues in the bedroom. If you don’t talk to him, he’s not going to understand how you feel and what all your body’s doing through. Be open and honest. Let him know you love him but your body is not cooperating right now. It can be helpful to plan a date night. That lets you make changes in your day toward a romantic evening. It might be helpful for him to attend some doctor’s appointments with you so he can learn more about how menopause affects a woman. Working together, you can find ways to address the problem and create intimate time together.

Take Time to Touch

As time goes by in a relationship, it’s easy to stop touching and take each other for granted. Not because you love your spouse any less, but life gets busy and you may start taking each other for granted. Touching each other outside the bedroom can let you feel more connected and intimate. A pat on the arm at breakfast. A hug in the kitchen. A kiss before and after work. Snuggle on the couch, hold hands while going for a walk, and sneak a kiss under the moon. Make it a challenge to find creative ways to touch each other throughout the day. You’ll feel more intimate which can carry over to physical intimacy.

Be Creative

During menopause, you may need to get creative. Changes to your sexual routine can make things more interesting and stimulating. It can be as simple as having lunch together and dropping hints about a new piece of lingerie you’ll be wearing that evening. Other recommendations for making intimacy more interesting include changing the time of day or location, going away for the weekend at a resort that caters to couples, giving each other a massage, and incorporating sensual oils and lotions. You can also set the mood with some candles, romantic music, and new decor.

Don’t Give Up

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Sparks won’t fly immediately and it may take some time and trial and error to revive your sexual relationship during menopause. But it’s possible and it’s worth it.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Staying Sexual During Menopause

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