Bringing Sexy Back, Postmenopausal Intimacy

Aug 14th, 2010 | By healthnews | Category: Health

Main Category: Menopause
Also Included In: Women’s Health / Gynecology;  Sexual Health / STDs
Article Date: 14 Aug 2010 – 1:00 PDT

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Menopause doesn’t have to signal the end of a woman’s love life. In fact, most women can enjoy even better sex after their reproductive years if they follow some healthy advice. Sex is good exercise and slows the aging process, so it’s not only permissible but also smart to keep it a central part of one’s lifestyle.

Some women expect to lose their sex drives after menopause, but one’s desire for sexual intimacy is not tied to this life change. Nor is a decline in sex drive part of the normal aging process. It’s not uncommon for the menopausal woman to actually experience an increase in sexual desire due to the presence of free testosterone in her system at this stage of life. Some women may find that they want to have sex more often than their partners do, and so good communication to foster better understanding is important in a relationship. Couples may want to seek out the services of a sex therapist.

However, for women who don’t desire sex as much as they did when younger and wish to rectify this, they should consider whether the lack of desire is related to a mental or emotional factor (such as stress or depression) or a physical one (certain medications or painful sex). Talking with a gynecologist about her sex-related concerns can help a woman decide if she needs to switch her medications, seek the services of a psychologist or take a stress reduction class.

Because a woman’s body no longer produces as much estrogen, she may experience vaginal dryness and uterine contractions associated with orgasm, both of which may make sex painful. There are a number of effective, over-the-counter remedies available to counteract dryness, so if a woman experiences painful sex, she should talk with her doctor about what her best options are. Regular sex will also help a woman feel more comfortable during lovemaking.

Finally, it’s important to remember that just because a woman can no longer get pregnant, it doesn’t mean that she can neglect to practice safe sex. A condom is needed to protect oneself against sexually transmitted diseases, including the virus that causes AIDS. Sexually transmitted diseases are proliferating among older adults, if simply for the reason that, according to a 2009 AARP survey, about 4 in 5 sexually active singles 45 and older do not use condoms on a regular basis. This is a dangerous trend that can hopefully be reversed through better education by doctors, hospitals and the media.

Source: LifeBridge Health



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