Trying to maintain a sense of ones sexuality and wellness can be difficult in menopause. Women in menopause and beyond may be experiencing life stress as children move out, retirement looms, and aging parents require time and attention. Also, as women age, they are more likely to require medications that can negatively affect sexual health. Body image issues, depression, anxiety, and discrepancy with partner desire levels can all be prevalent in women aged 45-64 years, the group most likely to experience distress from sexual problems.
When sex is good it can add to an already great relationship. But when sex is bad or nonexistent, it plays an inordinately negative role, reducing the quality of the relationship by 50%-70% in some studies.
At our clinic we know that intimacy is an important part of a woman’s sense of self. So, we will ask the questions some physicians may not ask, “Are you feeling well and complete in your sex life?” If questioning reveals unsatisfying or nonexistent sex, many problems can be addressed in the office.
First, careful questioning and an exam can tease out the extent to which dyspareunia and vaginal dryness may be limiting sexual pleasure. In that case, Mona Lisa Touch Laser Therapy, lubricants, moisturizers, and topical estrogen can be considered.
Office sessions with physical therapists certified in pelvic issues, combined with home use of dilators, can help overcome physical contributors to an uncomfortable sexual experience, she said.
In addition here are some tips for sexual health in menopausal women:
- Add moisture and elasticity. Mona Lisa Touch Laser therapy can regenerate tissue to create a healthy, moist and more elastic vagina. This can significantly increase comfort and satisfaction with sex and make it easier to have an orgasm.
- Nourish. A Mediterranean diet has been shown to promote sexual function, and regular exercise improves mood and overall health.
- Talk. Partners can use “I” language to talk about sex honestly and in a nonaccusatory way.
- Prioritize pleasure. Intimate time together won’t just happen; even a 20-minute block of time, scheduled weekly, for touching and intimate conversation can clear the way to better sex.
- Think. Reading or watching erotica, being mindful of erotic thoughts as they occur, and focusing on sensation rather than distractions during arousal are all important.
- Stimulate. After menopause, some women need more intense stimulation to reach orgasm, so vibrators can be incorporated into sex play.
- Try. Just opening up and talking about sex problems shows that a woman is committed to her partner, and taking action shows her level of care and concern for the relationship.