Sex is one of life’s great pleasures and a crucial way in which we can express ourselves and connect with our partners on an intimate level. Yet, many women can encounter a significant change in how they experience sex as they move through the menopause, making this once-pleasurable activity much harder to enjoy.
And the reasons for this are many, from dramatic shifts in hormone levels to strange and confusing changes to how the body functions once menstruation reaches its end. Have you found sex more difficult after going through the menopause? Here’s why…
Decreased oestrogen levels
As you may know, a woman’s body has far less oestrogen than it had before the menopause. And, whilst this great biological change can represent the beginning of a new life stage in which monthly periods are no longer a concern, less oestrogen can significantly affect the libido and, thus, reduce sexual desire.
In addition to having an impact on how women feel towards intimacy, these decreased hormone levels are responsible for altering how the vagina functions altogether. In pre-menopausal women, oestrogen ensures that the vagina remains healthy and well-lubricated at all times, something which is of crucial importance during sex. This means that after the menopause, many women can experience persistent vaginal dryness, which can not only impair sexual function but make sex uncomfortable, embarrassing and painful. There is also a chance that lower oestrogen levels can make it harder for women to become fully aroused or reach orgasm, leading to some taking steps to avoid intimacy altogether.
The wider impact of the menopause
In many cases, a healthy sex drive is influenced by how people feel about themselves, so it makes sense that many women struggle with this during the menopause. Most symptoms of the menopause can have a major impact on the physical and mental health of many women, with those who experience regular headaches, chronic aches and pains and general feelings of low mood, stress, anxiety far less likely to want to engage in sex as much as they once did.
How can this be managed?
As the menopause can be energy-sapping, disheartening and have a very real impact on the sexual confidence and wellbeing of many women, it can be difficult to know how to get past this. Fortunately, Mr Francis Gardner, an expert gynaecologist, has helped many women find a solution to the sexual function problems that can affect women after the menopause. In some instances, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be a useful method of relieving the most troubling symptoms of the menopause whereas MonaLisa Touch®, an effective form of laser treatment for vaginal dryness, can make many positive changes to the vaginal health of many post-menopausal women. To book in for your first consultation with Mr Francis, get in touch today.
Over 80% of women will experience changes to both physical and mental health around the time of the menopause, it is therefore understandable that sexual function and desire is also tremendously affected.
Yes. As with most things in life, communication is vital and you should use this tool to discuss your fears, worries and anxieties with your partner. This can be a great way of strengthening your bond and can be crucial in helping you to get through these changes. Simple measures such as use of vaginal moisturisers or lubricants may help.
HRT has proven to be a useful form of treatment in relieving the symptoms of menopause in many patients. There are many types of HRT available and they may be offered to you after your consultation if Mr Gardner feels this can be of benefit to you.
MonaLisa Touch® is a painless, non-surgical procedure using a unique specially designed laser for the treatment of vulvo-vaginal atrophy or genitourinary syndrome of the menopause. There are over 60 peer reviewed research publications demonstrating it’s effectiveness. Over 1.4 million women have been treated with this device effectively. It is an incredibly safe treatment for women seeking a viable solution to the problems of vaginal dryness and atrophy. It has also been shown to improve bladder dysfunction and symptoms of urinary tract infection caused by atrophy (thinning) of the tissues.