Can A Woman Enjoy Sex After Menopause? (And How To Increase Sex Drive)
Well, the short answer is absolutely.
There are many factors at play in a woman’s body as she goes through menopause, but not all women report that it lowers their sex drive.
I mean, if you don’t want any children at this point in your life, going through menopause will be a lot less stressful, thus allowing you to focus on yourself and enjoy it more.
Some women, however, do experience a lower sex drive due to a number of factors.
This guide will share some easy-to-implement ways that can help you increase your sex drive.
First, What Does The Science Say About What Factors Influence “Enjoying Sex”?
What factors influence this would depend on your definition of “enjoying” sex and that is a highly individual opinion.
Studies have shown that sex is complex in nature and ultimately interwoven with who we are as humans.
Hormones. Ahhh, hormones. A love/hate relationship throughout a woman’s lifetime.
The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce hormones in our body.
From the time that we hit puberty, we realize that an imbalance or change within this system can wreak havoc throughout our body, in our metabolism, mood and of course, our sex drive.
Let’s look at two different categories of factors that can play a large role in this topic.
Mental health can play a critical role in female arousal after menopause. If you're under a lot of stress, it can be hard to get into the right mindset to let loose and really enjoy sex.
It is not uncommon for a woman to be depressed or very irritable during menopause. In fact, many women also experience depression or anxiety during the many times in their lives that there is a shifting of hormones in their body.
When faced with emotional factors it can be difficult to realize what the cause is (except in retrospect).
If you are in the beginning phases of menopause, reach out to your partner or a trusted friend and ask them to watch for the signs that this is affecting you. Then, do something about it. You don’t just have to live in a state of depression through this transition in your body.
There are some active ways to help yourself at the bottom of this article but do some research on what will work best for your situation.
When a woman goes through menopause, there is a natural drop in estrogen and testosterone. This can affect the woman’s sex drive either positively or negatively.
Physically, it may be harder to get aroused and even when aroused, sex can be painful post-menopause. One reason for this is when estrogen levels decrease this can also cause a drop in natural lubrication in the vagina.
Dry sex is usually NOT enjoyable...
But women CAN still have an orgasm (or multiple if you are lucky) after menopause, even if it takes longer, that aspect about your body has not changed.
Another physical factor could be even something like bladder control problems, especially in women that have had multiple children or a weaker pelvic floor.
It would be understandably hard to get into a sexy mindset when you are nervous about losing bladder control during the sexual encounter.
Can Women Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause Based On The Science Above?
Yes! Thankfully, there are many products and therapies that have been developed to help combat both the physical and emotional changes that women go through during menopause.
Mental health struggles are becoming less stigmatized and for depression and anxiety you can always seek out the help of a professional. Getting to the root of any problems that you are experiencing, which are keeping you from enjoying sex with your partner, is a great step.
For the physical problems, research products that help your individual needs. Use lubrication during sex to keep your vagina from getting dry. If you find that post-menopause you take longer to arouse then before, find one that is specifically long-lasting.
If you are experiencing incontinence, or a leaky bladder, you can try to do exercises like Kegels or seek help from a physical therapist specializing in the pelvic floor. They can instruct you in a number of pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your muscles.
Hot flashes may be a little harder to treat, but I would suggest getting an air conditioning unit that syncs to your phone to be able to adjust it without getting out of bed. I am only partly joking about this one...
Whatever you do, don’t sit and suffer in silence.
In all seriousness though, you don’t have to live with some of the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, try to find a solution. Finding solutions to any uncomfortable symptoms that you are experiencing can have a domino effect on your mind and body, thus increasing your libido.
You Can Have Some Of The Best Sex After Menopause - There’s No Boundary
No unwanted pregnancies, check.
Rediscover yourself during this period of transition.
Ask yourself a few questions and answer yourself honestly:
- What sex does sex mean to you as an individual?
- What does it mean in your marriage/partnership?
How you answer those questions can help you to discover what you really want out of a sexual relationship moving forward.
Try to make it fun. Change up the routine, focus on foreplay, incorporate things that you have been curious about but haven’t brought into the bedroom before. If you have been in a long-term relationship or marriage, you and your partner may have gotten into a complacent routine.
Commit to shaking things up!
3 Ways To Increase Sex Drive After Menopause
As promised here are a few things that you can do to increase your sex drive and make this an amazing part of your personal journey.
1. Increase Sexual Activity (Seems Counter-Intuitive…)
Rediscover yourself. As your body and hormonal makeup changes, you change. Try to alter your mindset to the fact that this is the next part of your journey.
Solve the problems that you can, like vaginal dryness for example. No one wants to have painful sex. Well, maybe some people are into that… but if you are not among those, try to find products that counteract this symptom.
Make sex a priority in your life. Many couples even report that the more good sex you have, the more you want it. Since many women are slower to arouse post-menopause, take your time and find out what works for you.
There many books and websites dedicated to giving couples new ideas about sex, try some of those ideas. You might find something new to try and it takes the thought out of it, just act.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is when a person focuses on what is happening in the present moment. It is working to observe your surroundings, thoughts and sensations in a meaningful way.
There are studies out that show how beneficial it is to have a centered mind when going through all these life changes.
One done by the Mayo Clinic, recently published in Climacteric: The Journal of the International Menopause Society, found that women that practiced mindfulness experience fewer menopausal symptoms.
This can mean different things to different people, but many women find that doing things like physical activity, yoga, journaling or meditation can help reach the state of mind needed to help increase your sex drive.
3. Eat Healthier
This seems to be the natural remedy for just about any ailment these days. But, leading an overall healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet can alleviate many symptoms of menopause specifically.
While there isn’t a magic food that increases a libido overnight, staying on a diet of foods that are antioxidant-rich can help keep your circulation up which will open up the blood vessels. A healthy circulatory system helps to improve sexual response.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that if the food is considered a “heart-healthy” food, it has a great possibility of increasing sexual health as well.
Some different examples of foods that could help in this respect are:
- Fish or lean meat
- Dark chocolate
More important than the actual independent foods, is making sure to keep an overall healthy heart and diet to have the best chance of increasing sexual desire.
Remember, menopause doesn’t have to be the end of your sexual enjoyment in life, it can be the beginning of a new and beautiful journey, you just have to find the right path for yourself or forge one anew.