Sex After Menopause

February 10, 2020.

Getting busy after menopause should be awesome, right?! You no longer have to worry about periods or pregnancy. And likely, you have more time to do it and you don’t have to be concerned about your children barging in on you. While your work and home life may be getting a little easier, your body is going through some major physical changes that can impact your sex life. Many women struggle with libido, vaginal dryness, atrophy, breast soreness, and mood changes that can impact sex drive after menopause. If you are struggling to keep the intimacy alive after menopause, this article is for you.

Do women enjoy sex after menopause?

Yes! Sex can be wonderful after menopause. Indeed, you and your partner likely have more time to devote to each other, and hopefully, a little more energy to get busy between the sheets. However, after menopause, your body will feel and respond differently to sexual stimulation due to physical changes. If you are interested in keeping sex alive in your relationship, you may need to try out different techniques to reach orgasm than you did in your twenties. It could be a fun challenge, right?

Many women report their sex drive increases after menopause, whereas others report they have no libido. In fact, decreased sex drive is a very common symptom in menopause. More than one-third of women in perimenopause and postmenopause report having sexual difficulties. And, if sex is painful, it can make it that much harder to want to have sex.

Why Does Sex Hurt After Menopause?

Painful sex after menopause is a common complaint. The decrease in sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, can cause vaginal dryness, atrophy, and tightness. When estrogen levels fall, you have less natural lubricant and your vaginal tissues are not as supple, which can lead to tearing and overall discomfort with penetrative sex.

Testosterone plays a role in libido. Because testosterone levels fall as women age, it is not surprising that there is a hormonal component to your sex drive after menopause.

Slowed blood flow to your reproductive organs is also a normal part of aging. However, this means that it takes more time for you to become aroused and reach orgasm, as you are less sensitive.

Other symptoms of menopause can make sex painful and unappealing:

As your body undergoes many physical changes in menopause, it can make women feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Certainly, the mental preparation for sex is as important, if not more important, than the physical prep. And when you are trying to figure out this new you in menopause, it can make it hard to enjoy sex.

While your physical changes may be in your face, it is important to remember that your partner may likely be experiencing age-related physical changes as well. Therefore, be open with your partner about your experiences and work together to learn ways to keep your intimacy alive.

And remember, even though low sex drive and painful sex after menopause may feel like taboo topics, they aren’t for us at perry. Indeed, no questions are off-limits.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.

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Julia Walker
perry expert Julia (RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations. She specializes in helping women optimize their health during perimenopause and beyond.

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