Is there sex after menopause? Absolutely! According to the National Institute of Health, if there’s a will, you’ll find a way. True, your changing body may pose some challenges when it comes to sex, but with problems come solutions. Here are five to try.
Problem: Painful sex
A reality for some 17%-45% of postmenopausal women, painful sex (dyspareunia) is most commonly caused by vaginal thinning and dryness due to lower levels of estrogen. Deal with this early on, otherwise, the fear of painful sex could produce anxiety and problems with arousal. And these problems could lead to less lubrication in the vagina and involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles. Ouch!
Solution: Personal lubricants can help make sex more comfortable and pleasurable, and can be used safely in conjunction with Amberen. Holly DuBrey, RN, of Amberen NurseAid also recommends de-stressing. “It helps lowers symptoms and helps them relax for sex,” she says.
Problem: Low desire
Chalk up your low libido to plummeting estrogen, fatigue, stress and some medications.
Solution: Need help getting in the mood? Try pulling out your yoga mat. According to a small 2009 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, practicing yoga and mindfulness techniques can result in better orgasms and higher levels of arousal and desire.
Problem: Arousal takes a long time
It seems to take forever to achieve an orgasm.
Solution: Menopausal women need more romancing. Start foreplay in the morning if you want good sex that night. Hand holding, pats on the bottom, kissing, massages—keep stoking the fire throughout the day and you’ll be hot later that evening.
Problem: Urinary incontinence
One-quarter of women with urinary incontinence experience leakage during intercourse, which can lead to an inability to relax and enjoy sex.
Solution: Try urinating right before getting romantic. Otherwise, the North American Menopause Institute recommends Kegel exercises to train and strengthen pelvic floor muscles and thus reduce leakage. If these don’t do the trick, consult your doctor to find the option that’s right for you.
Problem: You feel old
Every time you look in the mirror, you see an old woman looking back at you—gray hair, saggy skin, wrinkles, someone who’s too pooped to do anything. How can you possibly be sexy?
Solution: It may be time to shake things up! Join a gym (and actually work out!), follow a healthy diet and get a good night’s sleep. Experiment with a daring new hairstyle, wardrobe or make-up. Pursue a new hobby. Surround yourself with happy, lively people. Pretty soon, that so-called “old lady” in the mirror will be replaced with sexy you.