“Good sex is like a good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand,” said Mae West. However, once menopause hits, it takes more than a partner or self-stimulation to experience orgasm. So, what happens during menopause, and how to alleviate its effect on your sex life? Continue reading to learn more.

How Does Menopause Affect Sex?

Female arousal during menopause is like watching the grass grow. It means the feelings to get intimate take longer to peak. But why does it happen? The answer is a sharp decline in estrogen levels, which causes vaginal dryness, tightness, and thinning. Resultantly, arousal gets delayed, and there's a lack of lubrication, making sex painful.

Is Sex Drive Lowered In Women During Menopause?

Yes! There's a strong link between menopause and sex drive. First, as discussed above, estrogen loss contributes to vaginal atrophy, making sex less pleasurable. Other effects of estrogen loss include mood swings, weight gain, loss of collagen that speeds aging up and may affect self-esteem, hot flashes, and increased possibility of urinary tract infection. Besides, the small amount of testosterone that women's bodies produce nosedives during menopause and adversely affects women's sex drive and overall well-being. All these factors contribute to lowered libido in menopausal women. Remember that these signs may start as early as premature menopause and perimenopause.

How Can You Make Sex More Pleasurable During Menopause?

Now! Time for some good news. You do not need to give up on sex once periods say goodbye for good. In fact, 50% of women in their 50s and 27% in their 70s continue having intercourse. Here are a few tips for you to make sex after menopause smoother, enjoyable, and memorable.

  • Use lubricants
    Sexual arousal helps lubricate the vagina to facilitate penetration. However, with a dip in hormone levels, lubrication doesn't occur, and intercourse gets difficult. But there's help in the form of lubricants. You may buy water-based, oil-based, or vaginal moisturizers before sex to make way for plain sailing (wink wink! You know what we mean). Consult your OBGYN if you are unsure about the type of lubricant to buy.

  • Communicate and Connect With Your Partner
    The drop in male sex hormone testosterone in men is much slower and lower compared to the fall in estrogen levels in women. So, men may not be able to fully understand the physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual effects of menopause. Therefore, maintaining healthy communication is crucial to make things work out. For example, if you desire more foreplay, tell your partner. Or suppose, if fingering feels less painful, let your partner know. Whatever it is! Talk it out.

  • Take Help
    Besides physical changes, the emotional and psychological effects of menopause may affect your overall relationship with yourself and your partner. If you feel irritated and depressed about your waning youth (it's inevitable, right?) or some other factor, visit a counselor. Similarly, physical changes like weight gain, dry skin, and muscle loss may also need your attention. Certain lifestyle changes and a positive attitude are the best ways to rev yourself and your sex life up after menopause.

Remember, all you need is a bit of effort to make sex after menopause satisfying.

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