This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Menopause can be a stressful and confusing time for many people. It can cause distressing physical symptoms, new mental health concerns, and even changes to your body that you might not have expected. One of the most commonly reported changes that many people experience during menopause is a change in libido and vaginal dryness. These changes can impact sexual intercourse substantially if you are used to penetrative sex.
Even if you were once “addicted” to sex, menopause could cause you to lose your libido altogether or have difficulty initiating sexual intercourse with your partner. If this sounds like you, we’ve come up with some ways to better your sex life during menopause and beyond. You aren’t alone, and there are many resources available to you during this time.
See a Sex Therapist
If you’re struggling with the emotional turmoil that might come with your change in sex drive and body, consider seeing a sex therapist or a couples’ counselor. If your partner is having difficulty with the change in your sex life as well, you can also discuss these issues with the counselor. Both you and your partner can even meet with the counselor individually before sessions if you want to talk about things with them that are difficult to communicate.
You can even see a couples’ counselor online these days or an individual sex therapist who only treats you. Many people forget that menopause can be mentally and physically draining, so being able to get support for the mental side of this natural process can help you come to terms with the physical symptoms as well.
You can also learn more about the mental health of menopause at BetterHelp’s site, which has advice, blog posts, and more.
Try a Personal Lubricant and Massage Oil
If you are dealing with vaginal dryness, consider a personal lubricant. You can even find a lubricant that doubles as a massage oil to spice things up in the bedroom. A romantic massage is a great way to “get in the mood” if you’re having difficulty, and the lubricant will help reduce pain or dryness during sex. There’s never “too much” lube, so don’t feel embarrassed to use what you need.
Indulge in Your Fantasies
There’s never a bad time to try new things in the bedroom if you’re interested in doing so. If you need a little more to “get started” in the bedroom, trying out a new kink or buying a new set of lingerie might just do the trick. Make sex a special and exciting event, and you may find that you’re not having so much difficulty getting into it anymore.
Say “No” When You Need To
It’s also important to respect your personal boundaries. Consent is always key when dealing with physical touch. If you don’t want to have sex due to menopause or any other reason, you don’t have to. If your partner is pressuring you or is upset with you about your lack of sex drive, you can tell them “no.” If this is causing stress in your relationship, it’s a good idea to see a couple’s counselor or come up with other arrangements. Never violate your physical boundaries just because someone is upset with you.
Menopause is a difficult time in many people’s lives, and you should never feel pressured to have sex, especially when dealing with stress and physical changes.
Try a Medication
There are medications on the market for distressing menopausal symptoms, such as dryness in the vagina. If you are experiencing this, you can speak to your doctor about a medication that works for you. It may feel embarrassing to bring up this symptom, so you can do some research about medications used to treat it beforehand.
Bring up the medication names and express that you’ve done some research on the medication for a certain symptom you’ve been having due to menopause. Your doctor should get the hint!
Learn New Ways to Have Sex
Finally, it’s worth noting that sex doesn’t always have to be penetrative. If you are finding that sex hurts more often than not, perhaps it’s time to try something new. You can try a kink, oral sex, new positions, anal play, or even roleplaying. Remember, these symptoms you’re experiencing likely won’t last forever, and in the meantime, you can try something new and exciting.