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: :   Lifestyle Sexual Health Menopause Is Not the End of Sex

Menopause Is Not the End of Sex

If you are reading this, you or a female loved one is entering or going through menopause. This means she is probably experiencing some of the "joys" of this transitional stage, such as hot flashes, fatigue, and vaginal dryness. These many symptoms of menopause often have an unwelcome and disruptive effect, and can totally alter a woman's lifestyle. Unfortunately, sexual health is one of the first aspects of life affected in menopausal women. Yet one study reported that 75% of women aged 40-69 years engage in sexual activity. You just have to know some "workarounds."

HFN 069 MenoNotEndSex F29296571Physical Discomfort
When a woman approaches menopause, her body begins to produce less estrogen, which can cause vaginal dryness, itchiness, and atrophy. In other words, menopause doesn't directly take away a woman's sexual desire, but rather its symptoms could create a situation in which sex is neither comfortable nor enjoyable. The good news is that sex isn't something that a menopausal woman has to give up simply because her body is changing. There are several steps that women can take in order to restore their sexual enjoyment.

Topical Lubrication
One of the easiest ways of eliminating painful vaginal penetration is the use of water-soluble lubes, such as KY® or Astroglide®. There are other lubrications available, but be aware that many lubes that are not water-soluble can damage condoms, thus reducing their effectiveness. Some lubricants even have special pleasure-enhancing properties. Whether you're interested in warming, cooling, or tingling lubes, it could be just the thing to make sex not just bearable, but something you and your partner both look forward to on a regular basis once again.

Other Forms of Lubrication
If you either gave up taking estrogen replacement therapy or never started but are wondering about using estrogen cream or an estrogen ring, you should know that both of these alternative products deliver, for the most part, a local, very small dose of estrogen compared with the pill. Your own supply of estrogen is what kept your vagina moist during intercourse all these previous years, and in the form of a cream, micropatch, or vaginal ring (inserted much like a diaphragm), it can help stave off vaginal atrophy. The cream form should not be used, however, on days you have intercourse, as the estrogen will rub off on your male partner. All products containing estrogen are available by prescription only, so talk to your doctor about what's right for you.

Additional Methods
While the use of lubrications is vital to dealing with vaginal dryness, it's not the only tool to take sexual experiences to the next level. Perhaps it's time to begin experimenting with some of those toys you've been curious about. Even a toy as simple as a basic vibrator can greatly add to your sexual pleasure in the right situation.

Vibrators have become so mainstream, they're offered in several popular mail-order catalogs, along with kitchenware and patio furniture.

If you enjoy vaginal sex but find yourself sore from extended periods of penetration, consider using a vibrator, as it can help you climax much quicker, thus reducing the amount of time it would normally take you to achieve an orgasm.

There are also toys that can enhance you and your partner's pleasure. If penetration is simply not comfortable for you, your partner should focus on other ways to give you the sexual pleasure you desire.

There are literally thousands of these toys on the market, and it can be both healthy and fun exploring them with your partner. Pleasure enhancers just might be the spark you need to reignite the fire that was once your sexual desire. ♀

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