Menopause brings several changes to a woman’s body. The most noticeable — and for many women, welcome — change is the end of monthly menstruation. But the related hormonal changes, causing mood swings and thinning or drier skin, can impact both your libido and your physical ability to have sex. But there’s no reason that the end of your fertility should also be the end of your sex life. Sex after menopause is not only possible, but it can also be incredibly fulfilling. A frank discussion with a women’s health specialist at St. Elizabeth Physicians can be your first step to get the answers and help you need.
Why Sex Might Not Be the Same After Menopause
The main physical change that affects women’s sexual health during perimenopause and after menopause is hormonal. Your body stops producing estrogen like it used to, and this can cause vaginal dryness or atrophy. This means the skin of your vagina and possibly vulva is thinner, less likely to self-lubricate and more likely to experience irritation or even tearing. While some women find that using water-based lubricant is enough to make sex pain-free, other women may need medical solutions.
However, hormones aren’t always the only cause of a decrease in libido. If a healthy sex life is important to you, you need to discuss other things that could be affecting it with your medical provider, like:
- Life changes. An empty nest, a divorce, a death in the family or changes in your workplace can all affect your interest in sex.
- Medications. Some medications, such as antidepressants and treatment for high blood pressure, can make you less interested in sex.
- Mental health. Anxiety, depression and even just the stresses of daily life can dramatically affect desire.
- Physical health. Both diagnosed and undiagnosed conditions can decrease your libido.
There Is Treatment Available
While there’s nothing wrong with deciding you’re leaving your sex life in the past, you shouldn’t decide to do it simply for medical reasons. You may at point in the future want to reconsider your options — and there are options!
Non-medical treatment to boost your sex drive could include:
- Avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs
- Getting lots of exercise
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles
Additionally, having sex on a regular basis can help habituate your body to send blood to the area to cause arousal.
If non-medical treatment isn’t getting your desired results, talk to a St. Elizabeth women’s health provider. We can help you decide if hormone replacement therapy or vaginal estrogen creams could help. No matter how awkward it may feel to talk about, we’re here for you.
Talk with a Women’s Health Professional
If you need help getting your sex life back on track after menopause, a women’s health provider at St. Elizabeth Physicians in Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana can help. Make an appointment with one of our specialists today.