Let’s talk about a subject that deserves attention: menopause and its impact on your sex life.
Menopause refers to the stage when you experience your final menstrual cycle and on average the age that menopause occurs in Australian women ranges from 45 to 55. While menopause is a natural stage of life for women, it brings about many (sometimes unwanted) changes in your body, emotions and even your sex life.
Some common symptoms of menopause include:
As you embark on your journey through menopause, your body undergoes a variety of hormonal shifts that can affect your sexual desires, arousal and satisfaction. When you’re experiencing hot flushes, brain fog, night sweats, joint aches and emotional changes it’s not surprising that your sex life may be affected.
When your oestrogen levels drop, you may experience vaginal dryness which can make intimacy extremely uncomfortable, and even painful. It’s also common for fluctuations in your hormone levels to affect your libido and change how you feel about sex.
To look after your emotional well-being, it’s essential to stay connected to yourself and your partner. Menopause can bring about many emotions, including frustration, anxiety, mood swings and even a loss of self-confidence.
Having great communication is one of the best ways to navigate the challenges menopause poses for your sex life. It’s important to openly communicate your needs and desires and share your feelings with your partner. This will help foster understanding and empathy and ensure you’re both on the same page to take care of your well-being and your relationship.
If you’re experiencing low self-confidence and anxiety, speaking with a psychologist can help to equip you with the emotional tools to navigate menopause. Our Grace psychologists Karen White and Kerryn Blunt help women navigate all stages of life, including menopause. They can work through issues related to sexual function including pain and low desire, depression and anxiety, and adjustment to life’s transitions.
If menopause is affecting your sex life, you may need to redefine pleasure and what intimacy means to you. While penetration may not be comfortable right now, there are other forms of sexual expression and pleasure, as well as non-sexual forms of intimacy you can explore to maintain your connection with your partner.
Your well-being, including your sexual health, is important during menopause to ensure you are living a happy, healthy life. To manage your menopausal symptoms it’s important to nourish your body by eating a healthy balanced diet, regularly exercising, and ensuring you get enough quality sleep. Yoga, meditation and maintaining your interests will also help you improve your overall well-being and reduce any stress associated with menopause.
The physical changes caused by menopause can have a significant impact on your sex life, but there are ways to minimise these effects. Vaginal dryness is a common physical symptom of menopause and can be relieved by using a water-based lubricant or oestrogen-based vaginal treatments that make intercourse more comfortable.
At Grace Private, our Gold Coast gynaecologists can help provide guidance and support around your physical menopausal symptoms and work with you to find solutions to meet your unique needs. As women’s health specialists, our gynaecologists can help address any concerns you have around menopause and help tailor an approach that enhances your well-being and puts your happiness first.
Our experienced psychologists can help you navigate through the emotional changes brought by menopause and give you strategies to ensure you’re prioritising your emotional well-being.
If you’d like to speak with a GP about your menopausal symptoms, our Specialist Women’s Health GPs offer an extensive range of in-room advanced women’s health care. You don’t need a referral, book an appointment online today.