The Real Truth About Menopause and Sex

by Holly Osterman

Have you lost your libido? While you may not have made the connection between menopause and sex, it’s possible that your changing hormones could be to blame. Well, you can get back in the mood, but you might have to rule out a few possibilities first. Start with the PMS test—and no, you’re not checking for premenstrual syndrome—by asking yourself three simple questions:

Is it Physical?

While menopause itself does not cause a reduced sex drive, it can be a symptom. Changes to a woman’s estrogen levels can result in vaginal dryness and irritation. This can make sex painful and uncomfortable, leaving many women in menopause complaining that “it’s just dead down there.”

If you’re experiencing any level of discomfort, now might be the time to have your thyroid checked and have a blood test for iron deficiency anemia. If left unresolved, you may ultimately suffer from fatigue, muscle aches, depression and a decrease in sexual desire.

Is it Mental?

There is a definite link between the body, mind and sexual desire. Unfortunately, our minds can be so cluttered with daily to-do’s, stress, anxiety, and unresolved emotional issues. The path to pleasure might not be easy to navigate. You end up telling yourself that you can’t get aroused and you don’t feel any pleasure. Take time to clear your head and organize your life. You deserve to have great sex and menopause doesn’t have to get in the way.

Is it Spiritual?

Maybe you aren’t feeling that deep, almost spiritual, connection with your partner. It may sound really corny, but it’s true. No, you’re not going to have mind-blowing sex every time you’re together, but even a little intimacy can go a long way.

Now that you might have an idea where the problem lies, it can be a little easier figuring out what to do about it. If it’s physical, your doctor should be able to help. Granted, and depending on your relationship, you may hear that “this will pass” or it’s “something you should just get used to.” But keep pressing. If sex is not part of your life right now, but you want it to be, you can find a solution. What will physically make you feel better? Is it a cream, lubricant or some kind of medication? Remember, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

If you’re struggling with the mental part, talk to someone. And whatever you do, don’t leave your partner out of the equation. Would you want them keeping something like this from you? No. Will this conversation be easy? Probably not. But you also don’t want them feeling like your lack of interest is a sign of rejection. An open and candid conversation can lead right into that spiritual connection. This level of trust can leave you feeling a little vulnerable, but it can also deepen the relationship.

Finally, and if it makes you feel any better, recognize that the loss of libido is very common among menopausal women. Unfortunately, menopause and sex are two topics not easily brought up in casual conversation. So, if you have questions or want to share your story, join the Menopause ChitChat forum. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Claudette Maharaj July 19, 2012 at 4:30 am

Hi I am 44yrs old in a 5yr excellent with my partner who is 49.
I am permenopausal I find that a good eating plan and exercise are excellent for your sex lif as well as the hot flushes. Body confidence helps all women of all ages.
I am having the greatest sex of my life now than ever before to the extent of experimenting.
U need to connect with yourself first then the rest comes.
Start with doing things that make u happy and your overall well being will improve and that leads to better sex.

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