Menopause does not have to mean the end of your sexual enjoyment, notes the Cleveland Clinic and FOX News. But learning more about the hormonal changes of menopause and how they can potentially impact your sexuality is a key toward enjoying comfortable and pleasurable intimacy during this phase of your life.
Menopause might end the childbearing years, but this does not always automatically cause decreased sexual desire in affected women, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Some women enjoy sex even more after menopause. Also, FOX News notes that women must continually believe they are sexually attractive even after menopause to truly enjoy intercourse. Buying into the myth that older people must be non-sexual can cause a lot of unnecessary problems, like sexual aversion.
Causes Of Sexual Difficulty
Vaginal dryness, hot flashes and mood swings can all wreak havoc on sexual desire after menopause, according to the Cleveland Clinic and FOX News. Sometimes, the lower third of the vagina shrinks due to hormonal changes and thus potentially could cause painful intercourse.
Vaginal dryness can often be treated with over-the-counter gels and sometimes prescription medications, such as estrogen, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But decreased sexual desire is a much different problem to treat; sometimes short-term counseling can help address any sexual dysfunction not caused by physical symptoms, such as vaginal dryness or hot flashes. For mild problems, sometimes taking a hot bath before intercourse and changing sexual positions can help prevent any unwanted pain.
You can improve your sexuality even without intercourse, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Viewing adult material with a trusted partner, romantic evenings out, kissing, cuddling, walks and sensual massage can go a long way toward staying sexual even if a condition, such as excessive vaginal dryness, affects your ability to enjoy intercourse. Also, mutual masturbation can often bring pleasure to both partners and not cause pain to women suffering from rather difficult menopausal symptoms.
While you can’t get pregnant once you complete menopause, you still can contract sexually transmitted diseases, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Thus, you must either practice monogamy or use condoms with partners whose STD status you do not know. Avoiding excessive alcohol use and illegal drugs is always important for older women, but especially before sexual intercourse; sometimes, substance abuse can create sexually risky behavior or make intercourse painful.
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