How does menopause effect your intimate life?
Have you ever heard people say that because you’re going through menopause, you will no longer have a sex life? Fact or Fiction?
There are some hormonal changes that happen during menopause which may change the way you experience your intimate life and your body. But this does not mean that it should be the end to a happy and satisfying sex life, you just need to figure out how to create a happy and pleasurable experience that feels right to you.
Not all things are created equal, that is why women experience menopause differently, and many women experience changes in their sex life as they go through menopause.
“Oh honey not tonight, just not in the mood” may have been words heard by your partner frequently as you enter menopause. It is important to communicate about menopause, what the symptoms are and to create awareness for you and your partner on changes that may be occurring in your body. It is important for your partner to understand what you are going through so that together you find a way to address these changes.
There are many reasons why you might not want to have sex during menopause.
Some of these might include:
- vaginal dryness and discomfort that makes penetrative sex uncomfortable or painful
- reduced sex drive due to decreased hormones
- night sweats that affect your sleep and energy for sex
- emotional changes that can make you feel too stressed or upset for sex
As with all other symptoms of menopause it’s important that you seek advice when you need it as there is a lot that can be done to help you.
Stress and anxiety
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, it can dampen your sexual desire.
Managing stress can help with many different menopause symptoms, and could really help make a difference about your feelings around sex. You many not have control over preventing stress, but there are various options you can consider to manage stress. Making lifestyle changes can assist in managing your stress effectively.
- Learn how to relax (mindfulness : link to a short course to help you get started and practice mindfulness).
Mindfulness is a fundamental part of building love, intimacy and a lasting partnership. finding a happy safe space to enjoy your intimate life with your partner can also be achieved by practicing mindfulness through breath work.
Back Breathing Exercise
Begin with just 5 minutes a day, and increase your time as the exercise becomes easier and more comfortable. If 5 minutes feels too long, start with just 2 minutes.
- Sit crossed-legged on the floor with your backs pressing against one another, hands resting on your thighs or knees.
- Keep the attention first on your own body before shifting the attention to how you are in relation to your partner.
- As you breathe, relax your shoulders away from your ears and broaden across the chest so that the back becomes a stable and steady resting place for the other.
- Take note of how the back of your ribcage feels against your partner’s.
- Allow the breath to be as natural as possible as you let go with your partner – letting it move through and touch where it touches.
Here are questions to reflect on during this exercise:
- Can you notice what the breath is communicating?
- Where on the back do you first make contact with your partner?
- “What happens when you gently press the back of your heads together?”
When exercising or being physical active, this can lower your stress levels as well as improve your quality of life mentally as well as physically
Study shows that exercise provides physiological arousal, stimulating our brains in a way similar to lovemaking. Therefore, working out as a couple provides an “arousal-attraction effect.”
Do not let menopause become your excuse for experiencing an unsatisfying intimate relationship with your partner, rather use this time in your life to explore alternatives that keeps the flame and excitement alive.
* Source : (“Breathing In Sync: Intimacy Building Exercises and Benefits – Psych Central”)
(Healthline, n.d.) https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/sexual-wellbeing-and-intimacy-during-and-after-menopause