Everyone knows that sex is a great way to keep your relationship strong and can also be an important part of keeping your body healthy. But what if you’re in the middle of menopause and find that sex is no longer as pleasurable as it used to be?
As it’s World Menopause Day today and World Menopause Month, Pippa Murphy, the sex and relationship expert at CONDOMS UK, has shared the top three relationship issues that may arise during menopause as her eight expert tips for reigniting the spark, both sexually and emotionally.
Top three relationship issues that may rise during menopause
Menopause is a natural part of life, but it can cause discomfort. If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, you may also be dealing with emotional issues. There are some common emotional issues that can arise during menopause.
Some women feel less attractive during menopause because their bodies have changed in ways they don’t like. They feel that their partner no longer finds them attractive either. This can lead to feelings of rejection or loneliness.
It’s important for both partners to understand that these feelings are normal. It’s also important to remember that a healthy relationship is based on more than sex alone; love, trust, and respect are also essential.
A woman’s desire for sex will reduce as she goes through menopause. She may also experience vaginal dryness, making sexual intercourse painful and uncomfortable.
As a result, she may lose interest in sex altogether and start avoiding physical intimacy with her partner. This can lead to arguments about intimacy issues and cause relationship problems.
Mood swings lead to more arguments
Women often experience mood swings during menopause due to fluctuating hormone levels. This can make them irritable, anxious, or depressed at times, leading to arguments with their partners over trivial things like leaving the toilet seat or forgetting an appointment together, etc.
Eight ways to start enjoying sex again while going through menopause
If you’re going through menopause and experiencing a drop in libido, don’t worry! This is a lot more common than you think. There are also plenty of ways to bring pleasure back into your life.
Use this as an opportunity to try something new
One way is by swapping your nighttime for a lunchtime quickie or spending more time on foreplay. Just because you’re going through menopause doesn’t mean you can’t keep having fun with your body (or someone else’s).
It might sound silly, but the truth is that certain sex toys can invite longer foreplay, which can encourage you to feel more turned on. It’s worth noting that the word foreplay could do with a bit of a rethink, as the things it encompasses (kissing, massage, oral sex, to name a few) are often the main event that gives you a buzz that great sex – in all its forms – should deliver.
Know which positions are best for menopause
Next up: positions; if anything helps make sex more enjoyable during the menopausal transition, it’ll probably be finding new ways to do things that feel good for both parties involved. The best way to do that is by trying out different positions until something clicks – however, here is some inspiration.
- Get on top
As sex during menopause can be painful, getting on top allows you to control the depth and pace of penetration. As you may not want the deepest thrusts, this allows you to decide.
- Have your penetrating partner stand up
You should ask your partner to enter you from behind if you lean over a chair, table, or counter. Being in this position allows you to control the depth of penetration. At the same time, your partner can also turn you on more due to having easy access to your erogenous zones, such as your nipples, neck or back, which, when stimulated, can turn you on more.
Make lube your new best friend
Another common symptom is vaginal dryness. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, which means less lubrication (and less blood flow) to your vagina. This can lead to painful sex or difficulty when trying to get aroused.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat the effects of vaginal dryness during menopause. Firstly, you should add moisture to your diet by drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables.
However, the quickest and easiest way to overcome vaginal dryness is to use lube. While there are many options, a natural one is best for those going through menopause due to being the gentlest. After all, studies have shown that lube makes it 50% easier for everyone to orgasm.
Is penetration too painful? Focus on smaller acts of touch
If penetration is too painful, the thought of getting intimate with your partner may feel like an impossible task. However, this will be easier to overcome by focusing on smaller acts of intimacy – such as holding hands, kissing, hugging or even massaging.
All of these smaller acts of touch help release oxytocin, otherwise known as the bonding hormone, which puts you more at ease.
Communicate with your partner
If your partner is unaware of how much women go through during menopause, he may not understand why you’re feeling the way you are. If this is the case, try explaining more about what happens physiologically during this time in a woman’s life: hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness etc.
Plus, it doesn’t matter how long your relationship has been going on or how well you think you know each other’s bodies; people’s needs and desires change over time. So, speak to your partner about how you’re feeling and how they can better cater to you – and vice versa.
Ask your partner what they find sexy about you
When you’re in a long-term relationship, you may think that you know what your partner finds most sexy about you; however, you may be wrong. Over time, our turn-ons can change as we begin to love our partner’s ‘imperfect’ parts.
So if your self-esteem has dropped because of a change in your appearance, ask your partner what they find sexy about you and return the compliment. Not only will this give you both a confidence boost, but it could also lead to better sex as you accentuate or focus on these things in bed. After all, the more confident you feel, the better sex you’re likely to have.
Focus on other forms of intimacy
If you’re not feeling up for sex at all, don’t fret. There’s a common misconception that sex is intimacy; however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, you should focus on building non-sexual intimacy by making time for a date day or night every single week. If you’re fatigued from menopause, this doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous or involve you leaving the house.
Instead, it could be something as simple as ordering a new takeaway, leaving the TV off, or cooking a three-course meal together, so your mind is preoccupied. These intimate memories will help build a stronger bond.
Pump up your heart rate outside of the bedroom
Studies have shown that 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity can enhance not only your emotional health but your sex drive, too. This is because exercise gets your blood moving and releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in your body.
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.