Even though it’s often mysteriously called “the change” and discussed in hushed tones, menopause is a very normal and natural part of a woman’s life. Of course there are changes—especially to your sex life—but they’re nothing you can’t handle!
While all of those side effects can be stressful, side effects that effect a women’s sex life often cause a lot of pain and stress. But, you don’t have to go through menopause alone. Keep reading to learn how sex changes for postmenopausal women and what you can do to manage the changes you’re experiencing.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is when you stop having a regular period. When you haven’t had a period month after month for a year, you’re likely in menopause. At this point, your body stops producing as much estrogen and testosterone leading to all those pesky menopausal systems like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, weight changes, slower metabolism, mood swings, thinning hair and skin, a decreased sex drive, and vaginal dryness. Yeah, we know it’s a long list.
How Sex Changes After Menopause
Sex might be different after menopause, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop getting it on. Here are some ways to manage the side effects of menopause so that you can still enjoy being intimate with yourself and others.
Painful Sex After Menopause
Dips in your hormone production and levels as you’re entering and after menopause are the culprits behind changes in your sex drive, ability to achieve orgasm, and even pain during sex.
It can be harder to get aroused or “in the mood” because you’re not thinking about sex as often or are less turned on by your partner’s touch. If you can get yourself in the mood, you might notice that your vagina is dryer than it used to be so sex is uncomfortable.
Yeah, estrogen leaving the building leads to less blood flow to the vagina. Vaginal moisturizers and lube have never been more important (we love Dame products)!
Orgasm After Menopause
Maybe you’re finding it harder to reach orgasm after going through menopause. You might need to switch up your positions so that you can find one that’s comfortable. The vaginal canal can shrink during menopause causing positions that used to feel good to hurt. Find positions that let you control the depth of penetration and don’t be afraid to use pillows or other supports to make penetrative sex more comfortable.
Menopause presents a great opportunity to get to know yourself down there again.
Masturbate more and consider getting the vibe right with a vibrator or other sex toys. It’s okay if how you get off changes. Maybe you need more attention paid to your clitoris (which we could always use!) or to have sex on your side—don’t be afraid to explore. And remember to be open and honest with yourself and your partner about what you need.
Pay Attention To Your Mental Health
All those fluctuating hormones coupled with other life changes (kids going to college, scaling back at your career, caring for an aging family member) during menopause can have a not so great impact on your mental health. Menopause isn’t just about the physical. Anxiety, stress, and depression can also be side effects of menopause that affect your sexual satisfaction and desire.
If you notice yourself feeling more down or on edge than usual, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about what you’re experiencing. You can also talk to your friends and family about your mental health and ask them to support you! Consider taking walks with a friend or family member a few times a week, pick up a hobby, and focus more on self-care.
Find Ways to Manage Your Symptoms
In addition to talking to your doctor, check out some alternative therapies for managing your menopausal symptoms like:
- Herbal supports
Menopause is something women have experienced since the dawn of time. Many of these alternative therapies have been around for just as long and have helped women positively navigate the changes their body and mind go through during menopause. These therapies can help support and build your mind-body connection which can help relieve menopausal symptoms that negatively impact sexual pleasure, sleep quality, hot flashes, and more.
CBD may help with some of the menopausal symptoms you’re experiencing like discomfort, stress, and sleep issues. Here at Winged, our CBD is made by women for women so our CBD often contains other natural menstrual/menopause-relieving ingredients.
Your body and sexual desires will probably change during menopause, but you’re not in it alone. Menopause is a beautiful and natural part of life. We’re here to support you before, during, and after the many changes life brings.