Sexual Side Effects of Menopause

Sexual desire varies from one woman to another. A woman’s sexual desire changes during menopause can often change everything you thought you knew about sex. According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, postmenopausal women experienced a greater rate of sexual dysfunction than their pre-menopausal peers because menopause can cause a lot of sexual side effects.

READ ALSO: Why Perimenopause Cause Ovary Pain

  1. Vaginal Dryness

The natural vaginal lubrication tends to drop due to the change in estrogen levels during menopause. Vaginal dryness leads to painful and uncomfortable sex. Many women use over-the-counter (OTC) lubricants or vaginal moisturizers to relieve symptoms.

  1. Reduced desire

Both men and women experience reduced desire with age, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). However, decrease in sexual desire mostly affects women. This is because a woman’s estrogen hormone levels are changing. Sexual desire is also linked to the mental and emotional aspects of your well-being.

READ ALSO: Foods That May Delay Menopause

  1. Painful penetration

Painful sexual penetration or dyspareunia, is another common side effect of menopause. There can be a lot of factors responsible for this including thinning of the vaginal tissues and vaginal dryness. For some women, this causes a general sense of distress during intercourse. Other women experience severe pain, burning, and soreness.

  1. Decreased pleasure

When there is reduced blood flow to the lower vagina and clitoris, it can lead to vaginal dryness. This can lead to reduced sensitivity of your erogenous zones. It isn’t unusual to have fewer orgasms, or orgasms that are less extreme and take more work to attain.

  1. Emotional distractions

Mental state of being for all of us can play a big role in sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction. Menopause can sometimes be responsible for a troubled mental state. A woman may experience night sweats and exhaustion as a result of shifts in hormone. These feelings could potentially affect your sexual desire.

READ ALSO: Hormone Therapy May Help Fight Depression during Menopause

Treatment options

You can start making improvements by trying a few at-home solutions, such as:

  • using OTC lubricants or vaginal moisturizers
  • trying out different sex positions
  • trying self-stimulation toincrease desire
  • Using a vaginal dilator (tool that helps to stretch vaginal tissue that has become thin and dry due to menopause).



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