A Answers (3)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredStrategies for dealing with menopausal changes that affect sex will depend on what's causing it. Most often we focus on the vaginal symptoms, which can most interfere with a satisfying sex life. When estrogen declines it can cause the lining of the vagina to become thin and less lubricated. Some women won't be bothered much by these changes, but for many, the changes will be severe enough to affect her sex life. You may also experience itching, develop a condition called vaginitis, and have increases in vaginal infections. These problems can make sexual intercourse painful. If the vaginal symptoms are minor, you can try an over-the-counter lubricant during sex to see if that helps. But the best chance at relief is estrogen cream, gel or vaginal ring, which delivers estrogen right in the vagina. If however, you have other disabling menopausal symptoms you can decide along with your doctor if you are a candidate for oral menopausal hormone treatments or the patch. But this is not usually the best approach for women who only have vaginal symptoms because hormone therapy carries potentially dangerous health effects.
Boston Women's Health Book Collective, answered
As we consider how changes related to menopause, medical conditions, and emotional realities affect our sexuality, we face a vast range of options. We may choose to change our habits, take medication, or go for individual or couples counseling. We may not know which, if any, of these options to try first. If we are not comfortable canvassing our friends and relatives, we may try our health care providers. Sometimes, we already know how we feel and just need to find support for a decision we have already made.
Searching for intimacy often intensifies as physical changes take hold. Emotional intimacy has sometimes been the way into physical intimacy with a partner. How well we have succeeded at it may predict how well our ability to keep and increase that intimacy will sustain us through the physical changes of the menopause transition.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
To help you deal with sexual changes that occur during menopause, or the change of life ending your fertility, talk to your doctor. He may offer some tips to treat specific issues and also suggest therapy. In general, strategies to deal with sexual changes during menopause include:
- Communicate. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about changes you experience.
- Get informed. Understand your body and the changes you experience.
- Be creative. Intimacy doesn't have to involve intercourse. Find new ways to enjoy your partner such as sensual massages, baths together, and walks.