Menopause and Sex (cont.)
In this Article
- How does menopause affect your sex drive?
- Does menopause lower sex drive in all women?
- What can I do to treat vaginal dryness during menopause?
- How can I improve my sex drive during and after menopause?
- What can I do to increase intimacy with my partner?
- Do I still have to worry about sexually transmitted diseases?
- How can I protect myself from sexually transmitted diseases?
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
How Can I Improve My Sex Drive During and After Menopause?
Currently, there are not any good drugs to treat sexual problems in women dealing with menopause. Estrogen replacement may work, but research has yielded conflicting results regarding its effectiveness. Estrogen can, however, make intercourse less painful by treating vaginal dryness.
Doctors are also studying whether a combination of estrogen and the male hormones, called androgens, may be helpful in increasing sex drive in women.
Although sexual problems can be difficult to discuss, talk to your doctor; there are options to consider, such as counseling. Your doctor may refer you and your partner to a health professional who specializes in sexual dysfunction. The therapist may advise sexual counseling on an individual basis, with your partner or in a support group. This type of counseling can be very successful, even when it is done on a short-term basis.
How Can I Increase Intimacy With My Partner During Menopause?
During menopause, if your sex drive isn't what it once was but you don't think you need counseling, you should still take time for intimacy with your partner. Being intimate does not require having intercourse -- love and affection can be expressed in many ways. Enjoy your time together -- you can take long romantic walks, have candlelit dinners, or give each other back rubs.
To improve your physical intimacy, you may want to try the following approaches:
- Educate yourself about your anatomy, sexual function, and the normal changes associated with aging, as well as sexual behaviors and responses. This may help you overcome your anxieties about sexual function and performance.
- Enhance stimulation through the use of erotic materials (videos or books), masturbation, and changes to sexual routines.
- Use distraction techniques to increase relaxation and eliminate anxiety. These can include erotic or non-erotic fantasies; exercises with intercourse; and music, videos, or television.
- Practice non-coital behaviors (physically stimulating activity that does not include intercourse), such as sensual massage. These activities can be used to promote comfort and increase communication between you and your partner.
- Minimize any pain you may be experiencing by using sexual positions that allow you to control the depth of penetration. You may also want to take a warm bath before intercourse to help you relax, and use vaginal lubricants to help reduce pain caused by friction.
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