Home Sexual Dysfunction The Challenges of Menopause and Sex

The Challenges of Menopause and Sex

Menopause and sex

Menopause can be a scary and transformative time, full of significant hormonal fluctuations and dips. Many women experience a range of changes such as hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety and depression. So what about menopause and sex?

Several of these shifts and symptoms of menopause have sexual health implications too. We give you tips on navigating them so you are ready to have the best menopausal and post-menopausal sex ever. 

Keep in mind that the intensity and symptoms of menopause vary for each woman. Many women find that their sex lives “normalize” again once the menopause symptoms subside. Don’t lose hope. Your sex life will regain balance once again – and remember that you are not alone! 

Navigating the Loss of Sex Drive During Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the transitional phase, starting off menopause. It’s a time when the ovaries start to decrease estrogen production. This can last several years and many women have the same symptoms as they do in menopause proper.

Your hormones will shift – and with it, your libido. Your drive for sexual connection can be influenced by vaginal dryness, a feeling of declining sexual response, and the mental health impacts of major hormonal changes.

Throughout perimenopause, it is important to make sure you have a doctor you trust. Take the time to discuss some solutions to these new developments with them. Options range from hormone therapy and topical creams to natural and practical ways to combat the potential discomfort and lowered libido. Additionally, sex coaching and sex therapy can provide emotional support.

Does sex help menopause?

Does Sex Help Menopause?

When your whole body is changing and your hormones are out of whack, things may feel painful and erratic. Indeed, sex may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to keep at it. Sex keeps your vagina active, the blood flow consistent and the muscles working regularly. It can even help to reduce the symptoms of menopause. 

Regular stimulation keeps your vagina’s elasticity and shape protected throughout the change. Feel free to explore your vulva through foreplay and masturbation, but move slowly. You and your vulva are changing – and so should your approach to sexual pleasure during this intense time. 

Menopause and Painful Sex

Dyspareunia, or pain caused by intercourse, is felt by a large number of menopausal women. It is commonly caused by lack of blood flow to the vaginal tissue, which causes the tissue to thin and the vagina to produce less lubrication. If adequate lubrication is not present during intercourse, it can lead to inflammation and tearing of this thinning tissue during intercourse. 

Just one painful experience can deter many women from wanting to engage in intercourse or even stimulation. Additionally, nerves involving lack of performance can cause women to tense up. This increases the problem, as muscle relaxation plays a huge part in pleasurable intercourse.

If you are experiencing pain during intercourse, you should rely very heavily on lubrication. 

What To Do About the Dry Vagina Syndrome 

As your body produces less and less estrogen and there is less blood flow to your genitals, you may find that it is difficult to get aroused. Your once naturally wet vagina may be feeling more and more dry during intercourse.

A daily application of organic coconut oil has been shown to combat the negative effects of lower hormone levels. If you are using condoms, make sure you apply the coconut oil a few hours before sex, as oil can cause a condom to break.

During sex, you can always rely on a water-based or silicon-based lubricant. This will allow you to have sex longer and help you figure out which positions hurt the least or not at all. Try out some old faithfuls, with lots of lube and take the pressure off of yourself to get wet without help. Relax and let the lube do the heavy lifting. 

Menopause and That Fluctuating Sex Drive

Some people have a lower sex drive during menopause, while others experience a higher sex drive.

If your menopause sex drive has increased – congratulations! Sometimes the balance of hormones acts in your favor and can boost your sex drive. Other life changes around menopause, like children leaving the nest, can also free up your erotic imagination and desire.

If your sex drive has fallen off the cliff due to the hormone changes – don’t despair. There are other ways to boost your sex drive. 

How to Increase Sex Drive During Menopause

It’s important to understand that you can increase your sex drive during menopause. This is a time to get creative and explore your erotic imagination by figuring out your core desires.

Your core desires are what you want to feel during sex. If the sex you’re having doesn’t touch on them and you start to lose your hormonal sex drive, your sexual relationships may end up doomed. 

Once you know what you want to do, you can schedule time to talk with your partner about these desires. Create an intimacy calendar where you set aside time to connect. Scheduling sex may not be very sexy at first, but consistency is key. Commit to connection and be willing to share vulnerably about what you really want from sex. Also – try some new things!

Menopause and Sexless Marriage

All of these hormonal changes can lead to loss of interest in sex and closeness. Ergo, a lot of sexless marriages get blamed on menopause.

Most articles on menopause and sex drive focus on ways to combat vaginal dryness or pain. What they don’t tell you is what you lose in drive biologically, you may be able to gain in drive psychologically.

Menopause and Orgasm

When it comes to menopause and orgasm, the decreased blood flow to the clitoris and vagina may cause orgasms to be more difficult to reach. It can be easy to let this deter you from connecting with your partner – but know there are always options.

In addition to following the tips in this article, another route you can take is to try out new sexual scenarios. Get creative and have fun! Maybe there are some new toys or role play scenarios you’ve been considering. Now is the time. It’s wonderful to be adventurous within your boundaries. It’s important to trust your body and have patience.

There will be another side of menopause, and adding some sexy, edgy play is a way to spice up the journey. 

Great Sex After Menopause

Menopause is a long journey that can take several years. Once you reach the other side however, your symptoms should start to subside. Sex can become less painful and the hormone fluctuations less powerful.

Relax fully into this new phase and know that all the changes your body went through are beautiful and normal. You get to redefine what sex means, and with the support of a loving partner, you could be entering the best sex of your life! 

How a Sex Coach Can Help

If you need help transforming your sex life into something that will serve you well in your menopausal or post-menopausal years, hire a sex coach.

You are going through an incredible time in your life and it’s important to not bear it all on your own. Trusted supportive people in your life can also offer a safe space to talk about any feelings that might be coming up.

And finally – the tried and true practice of maintaining overall health is key in feeling like yourself, and therefore being able to connect to your sexy desires. Practice mindfulness, physical activity, eating right, sensual self-care, and getting enough sleep.

If you want to find a sex coach to help you navigate the challenges of menopause and sex, this directory of sex coaches near you can help. There are even sex coaches specialized in empowering you at every stage in your life.