The transition to menopause is a complicated one on many fronts. The reduction of reproductive hormones creates many changes in your body that influence everything from the condition of your skin to your sex life. At Bergen Medspa, Dr. Heripsime Ohanian offers several innovative solutions to help you adjust to these changes, especially where your sex life is concerned.
Understanding menopause and your sex life
When you reach menopause, the time when you’ve gone 12 consecutive months without a period, you may experience several issues that affect your sexual relationships:
Vaginal dryness occurs in menopause due to the reduction in estrogen production, and it can make sex uncomfortable and even painful. The lack of natural lubrication can be treated with low doses of vaginal estrogen or you can use over-the-counter lubricants to reduce friction during sex.
Figuring out how to make sex more comfortable for you and your partner is important, and not just for your relationship. Regular sexual activity also helps keep your vagina healthy after menopause. Sex helps to stimulate blood flow to the area and keeps your vaginal muscles in good shape.
Hot flashes are common during menopause, and many women also experience night sweats that soak through the sheets and make it difficult to sleep through the night. This interruption of your sleep cycle can reduce your quality of life and leave you feeling less than sexually desirable.
Hormone therapy and other treatments can help reduce the occurrence of hot flashes and allow you to get more quality sleep. Feeling refreshed and less fatigued can have a positive impact on your sex life and your overall wellness.
Lack of sexual interest
The reduction in testosterone brought on by menopause can impact your desire for sex. You may also begin to lose interest in sex if it becomes more difficult to become aroused or achieve orgasm. If other symptoms of menopause make anti-depression medications necessary, these can reduce your libido as well.
In some relationships, a low libido doesn’t present a problem. However, if you’re having self-confidence issues or a lack of sex is putting a strain on your relationship, hormone therapy may help improve your natural desires.
Urinary incontinence is common in women after childbirth and menopause due to the stretching and weakening of the vaginal and bladder muscles. This unexpected or uncontrollable loss of urine can be the result of strenuous activity or pressure on the bladder, two things that can happen as part of sexual intercourse, and you may avoid sex to eliminate the possibility of embarrassing urine leaks.
To regain some control of your bladder, you can do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles. MonaLisa® Touch laser treatments and medications are also available to help you regain control over your bladder.
Know there’s hope
While there are several effective treatments to help you manage the physical side effects of menopause on your sex life, the impact on your psychological well-being also needs to be considered. Talking openly and honestly with both your partner and Dr. Ohanian about what is happening to your body can help significantly.
You should also be kind to yourself and don’t give up hope too soon. With the cooperation of your partner, you can learn how to feel good again through sexual intimacy that may not involve intercourse right away. Indulge in relaxation techniques, massages, and other activities that make you feel good to rebuild your self-confidence while you work on this intimate aspect of your life.