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Getting my sex life back after menopause has been tough. Any suggestions?

Karen Washington
Profile Picture of Karen Washington Karen Washington is a graduate of the Adler School of Professional Psychology with a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an aspiring sex therapist, with a foundation in communication and self esteem. She has conducted research on communication, dating dynamics, and infertility counseling. Karen firmly believes in presenting education and information through the lens of humor, especially when it comes to sex.  Full Bio
Q:I am a middle to later aged female and have gone through menopause. I am trying to get back to my sex life. I am finding that it isn’t what it once was. I still have the physical and mental desire to have sex. My body wants to have sex, but it’s different now. I am not sure what to do. Do you have any suggestions?
A: First, I commend you and your sex drive. Second, I want to applaud that you recognize the changes that you are experiencing and that you are meeting them head on. I haven’t gone through that change yet, but still understand that it can be frustrating when our bodies change in a way that inhibits us from operating as we once did.

That being said, there are several things you can do to still have a fulfilling sex life. I recommend that my clients have an up-to-date exam with their OB/GYN to ensure that everything is still biologically in check. Your doctor could also have some ideas if you are looking into any kind of prescription enhancements to aid with the transition.

Once all is determined to be healthy, assess what changes you have noticed (if you haven’t taken note already). Do you need assistance with dryness? There are several water based lubrications on the market that can help make masturbation and intercourse more pleasurable. I recommend water based lubricants because oil based lubricants can cause irritation as well as degrade the quality of a condom. Silicone based lubricants are okay, but can lead to irritation if cleansing doesn't happen directly after sex. Silicone lubricants are also only good for intercourse. Do not use it with toys. Vaginal massages can also help with blood flow to the area. Doing your Kegels will not just help keep you tight. It also encourages blood flow to the area.

Sex also isn’t like when you’re young and limbs go everywhere and where you and your partner jackrabbit each other half to death. Not to diminish what older couples can be capable of, but I have heard that the older we get that the more sex becomes about quality versus quantity. Never a bad thing, right? Part of enhancing the quality of sex with your partner could be to explore more foreplay for longer periods of time to give you both time to get sufficiently in the game. Options also could include exploring new positions that will maximize both partner’s pleasure without hurting either of you.

A wonderful tool is a book I came across some time ago called "Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty" by Joan Price. It is a book written by a woman collecting information through her own experiences, the experiences of others, and information from doctors and other professionals regarding how to redefine sex after menopause. She writes in an easy to read format that is almost conversational.

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