If you’re in perimenopause or menopause, chances are your sex life has changed.
Let’s Talk about Sex (and Menopause)
The popular 90s rap group Salt-N-Pepa, was on to something when they came out with their hit song, “Let’s Talk About Sex,” which challenges people’s inhibitions about what was once a taboo topic. It has been over 30 years since the song was released, but the lyrics are still relevant today.
Historically, women rarely discussed sex in all its facets with friends or other women in their families, leaving many of them trying to figure out what was going on with their bodies. Today, many generations are more comfortable talking about sex, but until recently, there was a similar stigma surrounding menopause. Let’s pull back the curtain and talk about sex as we age, so we can learn how to handle the changes that come with perimenopause and menopause.
Are Perimenopause and Menopause Mood Killers?
When we talk about menopause, our minds usually go straight to hot flashes and night sweats. But menopause can cause changes to your sexual health, too. According to one study, 40-55% of menopausal women experienced decreased libido or sex drive.
Some women find sex more painful because of vaginal dryness and decreased lubrication. That same study showed that 25-30% of menopausal women reported poor lubrication.
And if that isn’t enough, you may also experience emotional changes like:
- Anxiety and stress
- Self-esteem issues related to your changing body
So, why is this happening? Hormones.
Estrogen plays a critical role in women’s health and sexual well-being. During menopause, the body’s natural production of hormones decreases. Lack of estrogen can lead to all the symptoms women experience that give perimenopause and menopause their reputation as mood killers.
Don’t give up hope just yet. It may take some time, but there are ways to get back into it and have enjoyable sex again.
5 Ways to Bring Sexy Back
1. Use lubricants and moisturizers. These can help relieve vaginal dryness by reducing pain and making sex more enjoyable.
2. Seek counseling. A therapist can help you work through emotional issues affecting your sex life, such as anxiety or depression.
3. Make lifestyle changes. Exercising regularly can improve mood and increase libido. While eating healthier boosts energy levels, and getting enough sleep reduces stress. Maintaining an active social life may help keep feelings of loneliness at bay.
4. Share with your partner. If you are feeling under pressure to have sex with your partner and you are uncomfortable physically, emotionally, or both, it will likely not be a pleasant experience for either of you. Share details about the changes you are experiencing, so you aren’t alone on your menopausal journey and can create a recovery plan together.
There is more than one way to have a satisfying sex life. Small intimate steps taken together can deepen your connection to each other and to yourself — and lead to new ways of enjoying intimacy and bringing the spark back into your relationship.
5. Talk to your doctor. Many menopausal women use bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to balance their hormones, which can help with decreased libido and vaginal dryness.
Your doctor can help you determine if this is an ideal solution for your individual needs. Compounding pharmacies, like Belmar Pharmacy, provide customized BHRT medications tailored to your unique needs based on your prescriber’s recommendations.
Menopause doesn’t have to be the end of your sex life. Even if your sexual needs have shifted, and it’s not quite like it was in your 20s and 30s, there are many ways to keep the romance alive. So, take care of yourself, talk to your doctor, and enjoy sex during menopause on your own terms.
For more menopause-related tips and advice, check out other articles on our blog, The Change Is Personal.