It hurts! It burns! I am not feeling very sexy! My body has seen so much change! These are the most common concerns I hear from my peri/menopausal patients. Sex before, during and after menopause can be wonderful. First of all you are often in the empty nest zone- the kids have all grown up and need less from you physically (maybe not financially)! You no longer need to worry about contraception and we have hit a new life chapter where you and your partner have time to spend on each other. But as stated above many women develop physical symptoms that make sex uncomfortable, difficult or even impossible after menopause, and their sex life comes to a grinding halt. But there are many effective treatments that can resolve these issues and we can help you and understand your concerns from a biopsychosocial approach. The physical and emotional impact of menopause can lead to a reduction in sexual activity. However, sexually active on a regular basis can help prevent these complications. This is because consistent activity can help the vagina remain healthy, especially after menopause. There are also other ways to be sexual and intimate if penetrative sex is not an option- just be creative or talk to a sex medicine provider or sex counselor/therapist to discover other options.
Regular sexual stimulation helps promote blood flow to the vagina and retain the vagina’s elasticity, depth, and overall shape. Over-the-counter products can also be of use. If these are not effective, however, a healthcare provider may prescribe medication.
Some simple tips to reduce sexual complications include:
- engaging in regular sexual activity
- applying a vaginal lubricant before intercourse
- using a vaginal moisturizer regularly and before intercourse
- avoiding detergents, soaps, oils, and washes that can cause dryness
- using lukewarm rather than hot water for cleansing
- increasing foreplay or activities that promote sexual arousal
- engaging in couple bonding or strengthening activities
- managing stress with exercise and relaxation activities
- talking to a therapist or counselor
- finding ways to rekindle passion or repair partner relations
- trying new or different sexual activities
- treating any vaginal irritation, infections, and inflammation
- staying hydrated
- avoiding materials that irritate the skin
We are here to help you along the way! Please reach out to us for your free 10 minute consult.