Menopause is a time of many changes. Your body goes through a transition, and so does your mind. There can be a lot of hormonal fluctuation going on at that time, and that has led many people to ask if your sex life gets over once you reach menopause. Suzannah Weiss, a certified sexologist, answers these questions and busts the myths revolving around them.
Relationship and sex life after menopause
Orgasms are just an outburst and interplay of hormones. And it is well known that hormones level fluctuates during menopause. Maybe that’s where the myth originated that women don’t get orgasms after menopause.
Suzannah says, “Yes, most of them do. For some people, hormonal changes during menopause can cause difficulty in orgasm levels or lubrication or pain during sex, but there are usually treatments for it. In fact, some people have reported better orgasms as they age. It could either be relational that they can now communicate better and feel more intimate with their partner, or it may even be physiological as hormonal shifts can cause a wide variety of changes. Some people also experience weaker orgasms, in which case there are some things you can do, such as toning your pelvic floor with kegel’s exercises or seeing a physical therapist help with that.”
Does menopause cause any major change in the experience of sex?
“Some people can experience a decrease in sex drive while it increases for some people. In this case hormone replacement therapy can help. People have also reported pain in penetration for this the focus can be taken away from penetration and they can learn to enjoy sex as a full body experience,” Suzannah said.
While some hormonal changes of menopause can change the way you have sex and your experience of it, there are many things you can do to create a happy and pleasurable sex life that works better for you.
Vaginal dryness or pain during penetration
If your vagina becomes dry, sore, or itchy as a result of menopause, your gynecologist may prescribe estrogen therapy that is placed directly into the vagina in the form of a pessary, cream, or vaginal ring. It can be used safely with Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Estrogen cream increases the moisture and lubrication of the vaginal mucosa, making walking, exercise, and sexual penetration comfortable again.
Just wear cotton underwear and wash your private parts with water to keep your vagina healthy.
It is usually necessary to continue using vaginal estrogens, as symptoms may return when treatment is stopped. However, side effects are extremely rare.
You can also use over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers or lubricants in addition to or instead of vaginal estrogen.
As Suzannah said, all women experience menopause differently. As some women get older, they care less about other people’s thoughts and feelings of freedom, so they may enjoy sex more. Others may find that they no longer feel sexual desire and it can be really upsetting.
There are many reasons why you don’t want to have sex during menopause.
- Intercourse is unpleasant or painful due to vaginal dryness and discomfort
- Decreased libido due to decreased hormones.
- Night sweats that affect sleep and sexual energy
- Emotional changes can be too stressful for sex.
As with all other symptoms of menopause, there are many things you can do to help yourself, so it’s important to seek advice when you need it. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone at your local gynecologist clinic, as there are treatments that can help you get your sex life back.
How does it change our priorities while looking for a partner?
After a certain age, the priorities of women change, and so does their definition of Mr. Right. Suzannah says, “It could change or stay the same in a variety of ways. Some women may find that now that they are not looking for kids, the pressure is off, and now they can just kinda have fun.”
“Some women might have relationships that are purely based on sex because now they don’t have that urgency to get married and settle down and have a family. If somebody has a lower sex drive, their priority may be less about sex and more about finding companionship.”