Menopause is the time that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle that is when a woman stops having periods permanently. When a woman has not had her menstrual cycle for about twelve months this means that she is getting to the end of her reproductive years.
The symptoms of menopause may start a few months or years before period finally stops. This stage is called the pre-menopause.
How Does Menopause Affect Your Sex Life?
Menopause can affect your sex life in so many ways, and some of them are listed below;
1. Vaginal Dryness
Most women don’t report vaginal dryness and so they don’t seek treatment for it. But this could ruin your sex life.
Menopause is a fact of life that no woman can escape, yet women still feel shy to talk about it openly and how it affects them as an individual. This is a simple condition that is caused by fluctuations in women’s sex hormones.
When the oestrogen level drops it causes the natural lubrication in women to be produced less which makes the vaginal to be dry. It is this drop in the oestrogen level that causes the woman’s body to undergo some changes as it is no longer needed to maintain the menstrual cycle.
2. Bladder Weakness
Some women also suffer from bladder weakness during menopause or when close to menopause and this can also ruin your sex life.
This condition (bladder weakness) has made some women in their menopause to avoid sex for fear of wetting themselves in bed. It has also made some women to lose their confidence, feel embarrassed and unattractive.
3. Exposure to STIs
Many women at menopause don’t use protection during sex, because they feel they are no longer at risk of getting pregnant. And this puts them at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
4. Reduced Chances of Having Orgasm
Since the hormones in charge of the sexual drive are reducing, it is natural that your chances of having an orgasm will reduce.
This makes many women avoid sex altogether or see it as some boring chore since they can’t get the Big O easily as they would have loved to.
As the hormones in the body changes and sometimes causes you to experience disrupted sleep and hot flashes, this can be very stressful to some women and can cause menopause symptoms to be more severe and even lead to other illness. A stressed woman is surely in no more mood to get things spiced up under the sheets.
The truth is many women witness these symptoms but only a few reports these conditions. The woman body goes through a lot of stages including menopause and all these stages in women have different signs and symptoms although some signs might be similar.
Some women feel it is normal, some feel it will go away on its own so they are reluctant to do anything about it but it doesn’t have to be that way as it may completely ruin your sex life.
Tips To Help You Enjoy Your Sex Life
The functions of the oestrogen include keeping the vaginal muscles healthy, producing a discharge that helps clean a lady’s garden and also provide lubrication during sex. There are plenty of treatment options available to make you feel better and enjoy sex even as you get older.
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, some of the options to try includes;
1. Lubricants and Vaginal moisturizers: Lubricants are great and can make sex enjoyable. Using water-soluble lubricants will help to soften vaginal wall and make you enjoy sex more. So always consider having one in the bedroom
2. Vaginal Oestrogen Tablets: Oral tablets can also be taken once or twice a day depending on your prescription to help boost the production of oestrogen in your body. This will help soften the wall of the vagina and reduce dryness.
3. Intravaginal Dehydroandrosterone (DHEA): this is a weak oestrogen steroid that is later transformed into potent oestrogen in the vagina tissues which will help to lubricate the wall of the vagina.
4. Low-dose Ring: the low-dose ring is a vaginal ring that can be inserted into the vagina to help release oestrogen into the tissues of the vaginal continuously once it’s inserted. But needs to be replaced monthly or every three weeks.
For those experiencing bladder weakness you may try these tips;
1. Pelvic Floor Exercises: Pelvic floor exercises involving squeezing and releasing of the pelvic floor (Kegel exercises) can help to tighten and control bladder weakness. If done correctly, it may take about 6 weeks to start noticing the difference. You can also try starting and stopping your pee when you go to the toilet. This can help you recover from bladder weakness in no time.
2. Bladder Training: You can train your bladder to adjust by delaying to use the restroom for like 30 minutes when you feel the urge to urinate.
3. Having A Healthy Weight: reducing weight by exercising regularly can help you control your bladder if you are overweight.
Since women in menopause feel reluctant to the use of protection during sex, it is advised that they should be cautious and possible stick to a partner so as to reduce their chances of contracting STIs.
Stress affects the sexual hormones because of the hormonal imbalance and changes in the body system, it is advisable to get enough rest daily so as to help the body adjust well and keep the hormones balanced.
For delayed orgasm, accepting your body is not the same as it were 10 years ago is a great way to start. After that, exercising patience and spicing up your bedroom skills should help. Speak to your partner and explore other possible ways to get the Big O.